Airbnb Will Now Allow Travelers to Cancel Their Reservations Around the World Free of Charge
“When a crisis like Coronavirus hits, we know both hosts and guests are affected,” Airbnb said.
Airbnb's “extenuating circumstances policy” now extends to around the world, allowing travelers on a global level to cancel reservations without being charged.
The policy, which originally applied to mainland China, South Korea, and Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak as of last week, has been updated following President Trump's recent travel restriction from Europe the U.S. as well as the increase of cases around the world at almost 180,000.
"This policy applies to bookings of places to stay and Airbnb Experiences in every country and region around the world, with the exception of domestic travel in mainland China which is scheduled to return to normal rules on April 1," Airbnb explained.
This is in addition to the site’s general coronavirus policy, which offers refunds for things like travel to “severely impacted areas” and for people who are forced to cancel due to imposed travel restrictions.
Cancelled bookings will be refunded through June 1 in the form of a travel coupon that can be used in the future. Further, the site is giving guests the option to filter their search for a home based on the cancellation policy.
“When a crisis like Coronavirus hits, we know both hosts and guests are affected,” Airbnb said in a statement earlier this week. “Hosts lose earnings that they rely on to make ends meet. Guests are losing hard earned vacation savings. We strive to support both sides and are taking a series of actions.”
“We will continue to assess the situation and will provide further information as matters progress,” the company added.
Guests who are blocked from going on their trip because of things like travel restrictions, cancelled flights, or a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 can also cancel their reservations without a charge.
For hosts, the site said it will waive its 3 percent host fee through June 1 on new reservations for listings whose hosts offer refunds to guests that would have otherwise been subject to a charge. Airbnb said it will also increase the visibility of these listings to promote new bookings.
Airbnb notes that hosts won’t be charged any fees if a guest does cancel their trip under these circumstances and their “superhost” status will not be affected.