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Saw this on another forum as it relates to what I posted this morning:
This showed up in my email inbox today. Good/Bad? Your thoughts:
The coronavirus continues to disrupt the travel industry, and millions of Airbnb hosts and guests are on lockdown.
We’ve been working with hosts like you to shape our ongoing response to the pandemic through over a hundred listening sessions in more than 30 countries. One thing we’ve heard is that you want advanced notice and options to engage guests directly when things change. Here’s what you need to know.
Guests may need to cancel June reservations due to COVID-19
If a guest’s travel plans are impacted by COVID-19, they will have the option to reschedule.
If they need to cancel, they will receive a full refund or travel credit, and you won’t receive a payout.
These reservations will not be eligible for any payment under our $250M support initiative, since the program only covers check-in dates through May 31.
Here’s what you can do
Keep the dialogue going with guests. Some guests may need extra assurance right now—reach out to see if they have any concerns that you can address.
Cancel penalty-free by April 30. Whether you’re unable to host or you want to open your calendar for longer term stays, you can now cancel any upcoming reservations this year booked before March 15. You won’t pay a fee, have your calendar blocked, or have your Superhost status affected.
I personally feel that the onus is on the guests to cancel. Not sure why were are not getting the option to cancel with our cancellation policy. It’s seems like they keep piling more financial loss on the hosts. I thought they realized that forcing hosts to cancel and give above their cancellation policy was the wrong thing to do.
Bad because it means more guests will cancel with a full refund, and obviously Airbnb has decided that they want to cut their losses by not extending the 12.5% payouts.
Good because I had two guests that I needed to cancel on after taking on a 2 month rental at one of my listings. I had hoped they would cancel on their own, but one was going to try to make the trip after all.
Airbnb needs to tell guests to cancel now if they are concerned with travel. There isn’t going to be a vaccine by June. Guests will likely wait till the last minute, cancel and it will be impossible to find a replacement booking.
Also, would be nice to know what they consider “Guests’s travel plans impacted by covid-19” assuming this means anything.
This e-mail is specifically to cover Airbnb’s ass. They’re notifying hosts now that it’s possible they will extend the extenuating circumstances policy beyond May 31 and if they do, you won’t receive any money from COVID-related cancellations. They are also giving you the opportunity to cancel in case you have a reason not to host that wouldn’t be covered by any type of extenuating circumstances (e.g. you are worried about contracting COVID-19, or you want to convert your listing to long-term-only).
This falls under the sentence that says “the Extenuating Circumstances policy may cover” where it means they may extend the COVID-19 coverage dates beyond May 31. If they extend the policy again, I expect that means it’s same as before, where the guest simply needs to select the reason as “COVID-19”. I can tell you right now that they will extend it if they determine that they simply don’t have the resources to verify all of the EC claims.
One thing that is curiously missing is this: If Airbnb extends the extenuating circumstance policy for COVID-19 beyond May 31, will the extension allow penalty-free cancellations by hosts like they did before? I suspect that there few of those compared to guest cancellations, but it’s still an important detail.
It is. They’re not asking hosts to cancel. They’re giving hosts a freebie if they happen to have any reservations after May 31 and want to get out of them for any reason without penalties. I suspect this is more driven by mega-listing hosts that converted long-term rentals to short-term and now want to go back, but the penalty free cancellations benefit all hosts for any reason. The only bad thing is they’re giving hosts only a week to decide.
Airbnb mentioned they they were going to ask guests to commit to reservations after May 31, so I suspect they are getting similar e-mails. If so, it would be interesting if somebody would post one of those here as well.
Guests may need to cancel future reservations due to COVID-19
If travel continues to be disrupted, the Extenuating Circumstances policy may cover some of your reservations that were booked before March 15. We’re actively monitoring the situation and will continue to keep you informed.
Ugh. I had a feeling that this policy was going to cause some issues
I have 2 reservations in June and would benefit by cancelling them now because I am confident I could rent the apartment for a monthly tenant or guest for June. However, when I reached out to the guests with reservations to let them know about my cancellation plans, they both were upset and have asked me to not cancel their reservations.
So I get to be the bad-guy now if I cancel them. If I don’t cancel them, they could still cancel later and receive a full-refund when it’s too late for me to rent the apartment for the whole month.
There should be a plan for this situation. I can’t imagine I’m the only host running into the problem. If guests resist the cancellations now, then they shouldn’t be eligible for a refund later. And if Airbnb wants guests cancelled now so that they don’t have to deal with the issues later, then they should cancel the guests for us.
I’m annoyed that I’ve been put in this position. And I only have a week to decide. Buggers.
Thanks for all your input. I’m going to leave my a calendar as is. It’s only a couple of bookings. I just don’t know what Airbnb will decide a month from now if you agree to a full cancellation.
After my essential guests leave who are paying 50 percent less than I normally get (I don’t rent for more than 28 days) I’m going to just raise my rates really high through June so will I won’t be booked but maybe I can later bookings.
So I got my 25 percent of 50 money today and went trough all my cancellations. For the ones that I agreed to I got nothing which of course were the larger ones. I’m just going to leave things as they are because I got penalized for doing the right thing. I doubt they will give us more money but see no reason to cancel. I’m unwilling to do long-term rentals due to strict tenancy laws in my state and no evictions during COVID.