Airbnb Waiving Cancellation Fees for Any Bookings (with Check-in Dates between Mar 14 - May 31) Worldwide

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Airbnb is updating its cancellation policy to allow guests to cancel reservations anywhere in the world for a full refund in light of the coronavirus pandemic

In response to the extraordinary events and global disruption to travel caused by COVID-19, today we are announcing updated coverage under Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy. Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy allows hosts and guests to cancel eligible reservations with no charge or penalty.

This policy now applies to existing reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made on or before March 14, 2020, with check-in dates between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020.

Updated: Now extended until May 31. (thanks jicks)

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Comments

  • +13 votes

    We were so happy to hear about this. Just need booking.com, cheaptickets.com and trip.com to follow now :(

    • +3 votes

      Airbnb can do this if they’re holding the funds down themselves and passing the payment to owners only once they have stayed. Expedia, booking.com passes the payment straight to the hotels or owners straight away to get the booking so they have to adhere to their policies or somehow get their money back.

      • +2 votes

        No. In most cases booking.com et al pay the hotel on account 30 days after the guest departs.

    • +1 vote

      About 2 weeks ago I cancelled a non-refundable hotel in NYC via booking.com and got a full refund. I believe it is up to the individual hotel though

      •  

        Yes, our hotels in Japan unfortunately have refused to give us refunds.

        • +2 votes

          That's unfortunate - our hotels in Japan refunded our non-refundable bookings in full

          •  

            @antt: Two of them don't speak English very well and booking.com and cheaptickets.com have not been very good at communicating with them so perhaps that's why. That was at least a month ago though so maybe now, they'll be more willing to listen. Will try again.

    • +1 vote

      regarding booking.com cancellations, I saw this just now but had to specifically search for it:

      https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/legal-security/import...

      I dont know how to action it though, as our hotel had previously denied our cancellation request before this came out. I suspect that the listed dates shown will update as the virus carries on (as i would not expect hotels etc. to allow cancellations to infinity date, so they will only update when they have to as the virus evolves i guess)

      •  

        Can't believe Japan is not on there :(

      • +1 vote

        Oh wait, I think I might have found something, thank you for the info! I'll call again tonight and give it another shot.

      • +1 vote

        I don't know how you managed to find this but thank you, I managed to get a refund! If you happen to see something similar or an email address for CheapTickets.com, please let me know ;)

        • +1 vote

          That is awesome! I am glad to hear that! I managed to get our money back for a night at a best western booked through booking.com recently too, but i dont know if it was related to the above link

  •  

    Only problem with this is you lose the referral bonus that you received unless you contact AirBnB

  • +2 votes

    AIR B&B have been amazing in their response. we were due to fly to Japan in under 2 weeks but had to cancel due to new quarantine on return. Had 2 properties booked through AirB&B and both were cancelled no questions asked. Much better than a Agoda hotel in Kyoto who refused to refund despite AGODA talking to them.

    • +1 vote

      Cancel Your Trip Due to Coronavirus? Airbnb Refuses Scores of Refunds https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-11/airbnb-re...

      •  

        That report is from 4 days ago.

        The new policy was released 2 days ago.

        •  

          I'm not sure what your point is, but my point is that they weren't giving refunds at first.

          • +1 vote

            @leetguy101: They gave a refund for me in china in early feb, but only because the owners also said that i wasnt able to check in.

            However they also wanted to refund me the diff of my hotel bill (since i had to settle for one of those instead) but I declined.

    •  

      You were lucky. I have a medical condition and had certificates from my doctors advising me against travel and up until they announced this, the host in Japan refused to give us a refund and Airbnb said we were not eligible for their extenuating circumstances policy. We spoke to different Airbnb agents over phone and message and none of them would bulge.

  •  

    expedia is blocking us calling them, you can only get in the queue if your booking is within the next 7 days.

  • +26 votes

    We just had to knock a booking on the head in two weeks at Surfers. Huge property in a canal. Over $3.5k for a week - it was sweet because I’d tried to call the owner as we’d held the booking for 6 months and every attempt was met with bare minimum messages and templates. When we cancelled the owners then desperately tried to call us within 20 minutes. These lovely Chinese nationals then had the gall to tell how upset they were about our cancellation and it had caused much trouble for their 2 month French holiday- they then went on to say their other 14 properties in Surfers were cancelling as well. My response - bare minimum just like they used on me. Ha ha

    • +4 votes

      very satisfied to hear this

    • +5 votes

      "Chinese nationals" - Unnecessary, pal.

      • -2 votes

        "Chinese nationals" - Perfectly fine, pal.

        • -3 votes

          Carry on then you racists. Has no bearing on the story of cancelling a booking.

          • -6 votes

            @mecusherb: Spare us your little progressive thought-police routine and head back to your Twitter outrage mob.

          • +2 votes

            @mecusherb: Does "Surfers" have any bearing? "Huge property in a canal" "a week" "French holiday" "other 14 properties"?

            Ultimately it all adds to the colour of the story? Why single out "Chinese nationals?"

            • +5 votes

              @odysseus: Because it's being used derogatively whereas the other phrases are merely descriptive. Given its a community that regularly faces abuse in this country, some people don't like seeing it.

              But then you knew that already didn't you? You just don't care?

              • +1 vote

                @callum9999: Progressive thought police? IS that jargon for not being an arsehole is it? Good onya COBBER

              •  

                @callum9999:

                it's being used derogatively

                How is it being used derogatorily? I've read it three times to find some hidden meaning, some nastiness and racism. I still can't find it. Maybe you're too proactive in looking for things to call out as racist?

    • +7 votes

      How’d you know they’re Chinese nationals? I didn’t realize Airbnb hosts needed their nationality disclosed to guests.

    • +7 votes

      Hosts need to understand how Airbnb came about - pocket money from your home. If they're going to run it as a business, run it as a business and get insurance.

      As a host myself, I'm disgusted with people like this.

      •  

        I agree with you. Having being both user and host on Airbnb the only people who are "ha ha" about it is people who have only ever had shoes on one foot. But they are also the first to complain when things go wrong and dislike it when it is "ha ha" on them.

  •  

    Thanks OP This is great news for us we had booked 2 places in London.
    Now will go about cancelling.

  •  

    I had Jetstar cancel our May flights to Thailand, however because Thailand wasn't on the list AirBNB did not automatically give me the refund. Asked the owner and got told no as it was not in the agreed cancellation policy. Been trying to speak to somebody at AirBNB since Wednesday night now and not getting anywhere with them.

    • +2 votes

      I had a similar situation which was fully resolved by Airbnb support. Mine was a bit different, as I had flights from Thailand to Israel for an Israel, Palestine and Jordan Trip, which were cancelled by the airline when Israel closed its borders to people coming from Thailand. As a result, I was trying to cancel a Jordanian Airbnb (I was originally intending to enter Jordan overland).

      1. I cancelled the booking quoting the extenuating circumstances option and initially got a partial refund due to the property's "strict" cancellation policy.

      2. I lodged a support message with Airbnb explaining the situation. The thing says they'll respond in 24h but it took a few days for them to get back (presumably due to the high volumes I'm sure they're facing). Once someone replied, they asked me for evidence of flight cancellations and evidence of any official communications that Israel's closed its borders. I sent copies of my tickets, a link to the airline website saying where they cancelled flights and a link to the Israeli Health Department website where they're stopping people coming from Thailand, after which they refunded my airbnb. After the first reply, replies were quick from the Airbnb support person.

      I'm actually super happy with Airbnb's handling of this. Compare that to webjet where I have a hotel booking which is also non-cancellable that I'm trying to see if I can move to a later date. Calling the hotel directly, they asked me to go through the agent. Webjet's online chat had no reply after 6 hours of waiting, and their phones no longer answer, so that's a booking that looks like it's going in the bin!

      •  

        Thanks for the encouragement. Hoping to hear from them in the next day or two after that I might try my travel insurance.

  • +2 votes

    How about check-in after 14 April 2020 but booked before March 14 2020
    Is still eligible?
    Cheers

  • +1 vote

    So looking at the dates, this would mean if I booked an AirBNB today for a trip next week for a kids sporting carnival, if it's cancelled then this policy wouldn't apply?

  • +2 votes

    excellent! now booking.com needs to follow suit… Please!!

    •  

      (copied from my comment above)

      regarding booking.com cancellations, I saw this just now but had to specifically search for it:

      https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/legal-security/import...

      I dont know how to action it though, as our hotel had previously denied our cancellation request before this came out. I suspect that the listed dates shown will update as the virus carries on (as i would not expect hotels etc. to allow cancellations to infinity date, so they will only update when they have to as the virus evolves i guess)

  •  

    Just to update this, when I go to cancel the booking it says I get the service fee component back as a coupon.

    •  

      Does your booking fall in the date range as per the post?

      • +1 vote

        I'm retarded. I was reading March as May. We check in on 14 May. So no, I'm outside of it. But hey, at least Airbnb are letting me use the service fee as a voucher if I cancel where as before I just lost it. My booking was flexible anyway.

  • +3 votes

    Umm not to sound like I'm having a go at AirBNB, but this doesn't come out of their pocket from what I can see. It's the host that loses the cancellation fee, not Airbnb isn't it?

    • +1 vote

      Airbnb Coronavirus Cancellations: Guests Cancel For Free, Hosts Pay The Costs
      John Koetsier Senior Contributor

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/03/15/airbnb-...

      • +4 votes

        Yeah that's what I thought. It's still the right thing to do, but AirBNB shouldn't be acting as if this is a huge act of charity on their behalf if it's the hosts that are actually paying for it.

        •  

          Airbnb is in the position of power in terms of forcing their hosts into cancellations and taking the hit while Expedia and Booking.com are at the mercy of their hosts to give free cancellations. Everyone is trying to do the right thing, it's just how the payments are done has worked out for Airbnb.

        •  

          And when exactly did they act like this is a huge act of charity?

          The link to the policy on here specifically acknowledges that it's the hosts losing out the most.

  • +2 votes

    wifes been dealing with abnb for over a month now over a refund they keep holding back on despite it having been agreed right from the start. hope noone else has to go through this nightmare

  •  

    I had to cancel on Saturday as that was the latest date for partial refund on my bookings - has anyone yet had luck in a similar situation in getting it fully refunded?

  • +2 votes

    Agoda is being dodgy as.

  • +5 votes

    with check-in dates between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020.

    Just extend this to another 2 months. Not like this is gonna clear up in a month.

  •  

    I have a trip to Iceland and Scotland in July-August, hoping this will get extended to those dates in due course (because I doubt this is going to calm down until late in the year at least).

  •  

    OH SWEET DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • +2 votes

    This isnt actually a deal is it?

  •  

    bear in mind that hosts are also able to cancel your booking so if you intend on following through with your travels, it might be worth contacting your hosts to make sure they're not going to cancel on you. I messaged all of mine to make sure.

  • +2 votes

    Summary
    Existing reservations made on or before 14 March 2020 for stays and Airbnb Experiences with a check-in date of 14 April 2020, or earlier, and with at least one night occurring between 14 March 2020, and 14 April 2020, are covered. Guests who cancel will receive a full refund, and hosts will be able to cancel without charge or impact to their Superhost status. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual to reservations made after 14 March 2020, and to existing reservations made on or before 14 March 2020 with check-in dates after 14 April 2020.

    Then when I go to cancel:

    Thinking about cancelling because of the coronavirus?
    Cancel your reservation, choose the COVID-19 (coronavirus) reason, and we'll ask your host to approve a full refund. If they decline and you decide to cancel, we'll still give you the service fee as a coupon for your next trip.

    So, is it a full refund? Or is it up to the host to approve it ??

  •  

    The title should read "Airbnb hosts are forced to let their guests to cancel bookings for free"
    IMO a refund voucher would be a bit fairer on both side.

    • +1 vote

      It's true. As a host, I've lost over $8k in revenue. I hope they are not letting people re-book in the same city because I can see the appeal of cancelling and re-booking at a lower rate. I've had to list my apartment at half price in the hope I can get some booking to cover some of my costs.

      Airbnb should have offered the traveller a credit and given the host a partial payout that would come off future payouts in instalments (as like a loan) because a lot of us have repayments to make to our banks and I am on also on unpaid leave with work due to the Corona Virus.

      There's no consideration given to the host except when they say hosts can cancel for free also (why would we want to do that is beyond me…)

  •  

    It was so easy to get a full refund from Airbnb.

    Shame malindo airlines have done nothing yet.

  •  

    I think they realised that it was better to open up the calendar for potential other bookings than block dates while guests are working out how to prove extenuating circumstances.

    A few days ago I tried to cancel a Japan booking and was told the government recommendation was only advice and not extenuating circumstances, so I was waiting for things to get worse and left my booking as is. Even the host mentioned I hadn't cancelled yet, and I had to say I'm not eligible for free cancel. Though now I have cancelled with full refund.

    On the other side, I'm a host, and bookings have actually been really good surprising. Though not sure if that's people needing to quarantine.

  • +2 votes

    Nice! Hosts can now also cancel on pre booked guests and not have their Superhost status affected! Nor incur any cancellation fees.

  •  

    well my booking is for May, so very likely these claim dates will be extended..

    I contacted my host who at this point is only obligated to to give a 50% refund, but he palmed me off to AirBNB to deal with, I offered him the chance to fully refund himself, but now his dates will be locked up with my useless booking until a week before the booking starts, when he will have almost no chance to rebook it..

    I'm very hopeful these dates will be extended, Corona is gonna blow up in USA for sure since they're so hopeless with the testing there..

    • +3 votes

      I’m a host and experienced this when the bushfires first started. Airbnb has to cancel on their end otherwise the host loses the service fee he gets charged and also gets an automated message on their reviews saying they cancelled the booking. That’s probably why he asked you to contact Airbnb.

    •  

      We cancelled our booking in Kyoto Japan for May 4-8 and we received a full refund.

    •  

      I'm in the same boat as you - my host decided he would decline the full refund request despite our conversation indicating that he was going to give me a full refund. He also palmed me off to Airbnb. I also hope they extend the dates, coronavirus isn't going away anytime soon. I guess it's just a waiting game for us then…

  •  

    I cancelled a bunch of bookings two days ago, but still had to pay the service fee. Anyone know if I can get the service fees back now?

  •  

    We cancelled our booking in Kyoto Japan for May 4-8 and we received a full refund.

    •  

      How did that happen ? That's not within their dates that qualify?

      •  

        Well when I went into my booking it gave me the option to select corona virus as the cancellation reason and I had also messaged the host prior to submitting the cancellation as we were due to leave Melbourne on 29 April so Kyoto was after 5 nights in Tokyo. The host was very considerate and just instructed me to cancel on my end so she wasn't charged any fees from airbnb.

  •  

    I cancelled mine but they kept the service fee $80… I messaged Airbnb but no response so far.. host says they can't refund that part so I'm in limbo

    •  

      and you chose the option of coronavirus as the reason for cancellation?

      •  

        Same here. I mentioned coronavirus but service fee has been charged. Wish I can get it back. That was sat when I cancelled

        •  

          Yes correct, I listed that as reason @naira good to know I'm not the only one who is out of pocket because of airbnbs service fee.. maybe after they've caught up with the backlog I'll get a response from them regarding it..

          Till then it's just bots replying


          I just found out I can involve Airbnb in the refund request so I've done so now to wait..

          You involved Airbnb in this request
          Refund for cancellation

          Private message to Airbnb
          I'm missing the service fee for this refund, the host has refunded me the total she received minus the service fee

          •  

            @Gomo: Thanks, will email them

          •  

            @Gomo: oh right, I cancelled mine on Sunday night when they made the announcement so I received the service fee in my refund.
            Good luck!

            •  

              @babezaves: still waiting on a response from AirBNB … Pretty slow if you ask me, lodged inquiry on the 16th March it's now the 22nd..

              •  

                @Gomo: I think they are just inundated with enquiries so I'm sure they'll get to yours hopefully before the end of the month.
                I have a booking with Agoda and they are telling me to contact them in May as they are handling cancellation bookings for March and April.

                • +1 vote

                  @babezaves:

                  Update! Got a response from Airbnb and yes you are correct to many messages! but I got all my money back now :)

                  I hope this message finds you well. This is Japs, Case Manager from Airbnb We're here to help as well as make sure you're taken cared of.

                  Apologies for the delay in my response as we had an overall community quarantine in our place and was not able to report to work and respond to you sooner.
                  I will go ahead and check on this matter Nathan and I will get back to you asap.

  • +1 vote

    This really shouldn't be an upvoted deal due to the shady way it's come about.

    1) they originally told everyone to go (profanity) them selves and wouldn't offer refunds
    2) get a ton of bad PR
    3) ???
    4) oh we changed our minds everyone gets refunds (please don't boycott us)

    •  

      It shouldn't be a surprise that a company is motivated primarily by their business, but they're doing what people want them to do. Isn't that what matters most? If we shit on them even after they make a positive change then it trains these companies to give less of a toss about vocal complaints.

  •  

    Just to clarify,
    Is it up to the host to whether they decide to provide a full refund?
    I booked a Airbnb for the Tokyo Olympics and basically paid 90% of the stay upfront with the host notes saying the (90%) deposit is not refundable if we decide to cancel.
    The way things are going, im sure this new airbnb policy will be extended beyond april 14

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