Dear hosts, if the Airbnb’s dings (notifications) in your phone are giving you dread instead of joy, I know what you mean. Airbnb just changed their Covid 19 Extenuating Cancellation Policy and we’re getting more emails than ever. Not with an inquiry but letting us know that Airbnb is fully refunding the guests. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please stay tuned to Airbnb’s latest update as of March 14, 2020 Covid-19 Extenuating Cancellation policy.
The Airbnb Covid-19 extenuating cancellation policy is changing quicker than a guest using your white towels to remove their make-up, even though you provided a black one just for that. And it’s just as frustrating.
Let me share the latest one as of March 14th 2020
Why the new change on their extenuating policy?
If you listened to Episode 99 Coronavirus Covid-19 and your Airbnb you know what’s going on.. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a global pandemic. According to the WHO on March 14th they’re over 142 thousand confirmed cases worldwide.
In addition, as of Saturday March 14th the US has suspended travel for 30 days from 26 countries.
- Czech Republic,
- and Switzerland.
On Monday, March 16th the ban will be extended to the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The U.S. travel ban does not apply to American citizens, legal permanent residents, their immediate families, and certain others. These people will be channeled through one of 13 airports equipped to do special screening.
US domestic Travel:
As of now, we’re good BUT President Trump said he's also considering domestic travel restrictions in response to Covid-19.
What does this travel ban mean?
U.S. citizens traveling in Europe do not need to race to board a flight home before midnight. They are free to return to the U.S. while the ban is in effect.
Guatemala and other countries:
Are starting to ban US flights to enter their country. I imagine more countries will follow. .
When the travel ban happened, the US was added as a one of the countries on the extenuating circumstances policy list. The original countries were China, Korea, Iran and Italy. Then they added the United States for about two days.
Now they went global.
What does this mean to us hosts?
Oh dear hosts, the confusion is real, and I get it. I have been hosting since 2010, that’s almost 10 years and this is something new and unprecedented.
Existing reservations made on or before March 14, 2020 for stays and Airbnb Experiences with a check-in date of April 14, 2020, or earlier, and with at least one night occurring between March 14, 2020, and April 14, 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 March 14, 2020, and to existing reservations made on or before March 14, 2020 with check-in dates after April 14, 2020.
Please note that this doesn’t apply to domestic China reservations, Luxe, Luxury Retreat or Experiences. Visit Airbnb’s site for that information.
Now something very important:
Because Airbnb and everyone else is talking about changing your cancellation policy to something more flexible for travelers, and just in case you’re thinking about it…
In the same page Airbnb states:
Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made after March 14, 2020 will not be covered under our extenuating circumstances policy except where the guest or host has contracted COVID-19. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual.
Please remember to carefully review the listing’s cancellation policy set by the host when booking and consider choosing an option that provides flexibility.
Yes, Airbnb is pushing for that flexibility cancellation but that doesn’t mean you need to have it.
What this means is if you get a reservation after March 14th your standard cancellation policy will be in effect. I have spoken about cancellation policies in previous episodes, but as a quick reminder here are the cancellation policies:
- Free cancellation until 14 days before check-in (time shown in the confirmation email). If booked less than 14 days before check-in, free cancellation for 48 hours after booking, up to 24 hours before check-in.
- After that, guests can cancel up to 24 hours before check-in and get a refund of the nightly rate and the cleaning fee, but not the service fee
- Free cancellation until 14 days before check-in (time shown in the confirmation email). If booked less than 14 days before check-in, free cancellation for 48 hours after booking, up to 5 days before check-in.
- After that, guests can cancel up to 5 days before check-in and get a refund of the nightly rate and the cleaning fee, but not the service fee
- Free cancellation for 48 hours, as long as the guest cancels at least 14 days before check-in (time shown in the confirmation email)
- After that, guests can cancel up to 7 days before check-in and get a 50% refund of the nightly rate, and the cleaning fee, but not the service fee
What I’m doing?
I’m keeping my strict cancellation policy and I’ll discuss this, and much more in my upcoming FREE webinar “How to Deal with Guests Cancellation Masterclass”.
Dear hosts, change is here, is it good or bad? It all depends how you want to see it. Because change is the one constant in life. You will get through it.