Airbnb Updating its Cancellation Policy & This One’s Fair

by SharonKurheg

Airbnb has recently announced they plan to update their cancellation policy and we have to say this is a fair, pro-guest change.

They’ve updated its Extenuating Circumstances Policy, including renaming it the Major Disruptive Events Policy. They say they’re doing this “to better reflect its purpose.” The change will provide greater flexibility for travelers who may need to cancel their reservations when unforeseen circumstances affect their ability to complete their stay.

What will it cover?

According to Airbnb, the new policy will cover:

  • Natural disasters
  • Declared emergencies and epidemics
  • Changes to government travel requirements
  • Government travel restrictions
  • Military actions and other hostilities

It will also allow hosts to cancel reservations without fees.

Under this updated cancellation policy, guests will be able to cancel reservations and receive refunds in cases of “foreseeable weather events” (hurricanes are a good example) that would result in another covered event occurring, such as large-scale utility outages. As per Travel + Leisure, the policy already applies to other “unexpected major events,” such as declared public health emergencies, including epidemics, but excluding COVID-19.

Once it goes into effect on June 6th, the revised policy will override individual hosts’ own cancellation policies.

This updated policy also applies to mid-trip cancellations. This means that travelers can receive refunds for the unused portion of their stays in the event of a covered cancellation (say, you stay for 2 weeks but a hurricane hits a week into your stay and you want to leave the premises because there’s a hole in the roof and no electricity in the neighborhood).

What won’t it cover?

Airbnb’s policy specifies that it doesn’t cover all unforeseen incidents. They list that it won’t cover:

  • Events that impact a guest or their ability to travel, but not the reservation location
  • Unexpected injury or illness
  • Government obligations like jury duty or court appearances
  • Non-binding travel advisories or other government guidance that fall short of a travel ban or prohibition
  • Cancellation or rescheduling of an event for which the reservation was made
  • Transportation disruptions unrelated to a covered Event, such as airline insolvency, transportation strikes, and road closures due to maintenance

“The changes to this policy, including its new name, were made to create clarity for our guests and Hosts, and ensure it’s meeting the diverse needs of our global community,” Juniper Downs, Airbnb’s Head of Community Policy, said in a statement. “Our aim was to clearly explain when the policy applies to a reservation, and to deliver fair and consistent outcomes for our users. These updates also bring the policy in line with industry standards.”

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.

Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Leave a Comment