Airbnb, HotelTonight to Cancel All Washington, D.C. Reservations Week of Inauguration
Two days after Airbnb announced its plan to remove users associated with the Capitol building riot ahead of the presidential inauguration, the company furthered its efforts by announcing it'll cancel or block all reservations during the week of the milestone event.
"In response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., we are announcing that Airbnb will cancel reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the Inauguration week," Airbnb announced Wednesday. "Additionally, we will prevent any new reservations in the Washington, D.C. area from being booked during that time by blocking such reservations."
HotelTonight, which is owned by Airbnb, is also cancelling and blocking reservations.
Guests will be refunded and hosts will be reimbursed for the canceled bookings.
As part of Airbnb's "Capitol Safety Plan," announced Monday, following the deadly pro-Trump riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, the company vowed to remove anyone from the site who is found to have been involved ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.
"If the individuals have an Airbnb account, we take action, which includes banning them from using Airbnb," the company said in a statement on Monday. "If we confirm that any guests are associated with a hate group or otherwise not allowed on our platform for violating certain community policies prohibiting violence or engaging in criminal activity, we will cancel those reservations and ban them from Airbnb."
This isn't Airbnb's first effort to cancel reservations made by those identified as belonging to a hate group. Ahead of the Capitol riot, the company said it removed people from the platform when they were found to belong to hate groups, including the Proud Boys.
In addition to blocking people, the company said it may re-run background checks for potential guests and threatened legal action "if we learn that they or their additional guests are members of hate groups, planning violence or violating our policies or terms of service."
In the days since the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol, which took place as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden's electoral college win, several groups have called for those involved to be placed on the federal no-fly list and barred from commercial flights.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.