Airbnb CEO Pledges $250 Million to Hosts in Apology for Allowing Guests No-fee Cancellations 'Without Consulting You' (Video)
“My commitment to you is to rebuild our partnership," CEO Brian Chesky said.
Airbnb CEO announced the company will pay $250 million to hosts to help them recoup money that was lost due to coronavirus-related cancellations.
Airbnb will pay each host 25 percent of their individual cancellation policies for any canceled reservation with a check-in date from March 14 to May 31, Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s cofounder and CEO, said in a letter posted on Monday where he acknowledged that travelers are unable to leave their homes. The new policy applies retroactively, he said, and payments will start being issued in April.
“We determined that we had to allow your guests to cancel and receive a full refund—including all our fees… However, while I believe we did the right thing in prioritizing health and safety, I’m sorry that we communicated this decision to guests without consulting you—like partners should,” Chesky said. “My commitment to you is to rebuild our partnership. When we are working together, we are at our strongest and absolute best.”
The new directive comes weeks after Airbnb updated their “extenuating circumstances policy,” allowing travelers all around the world to cancel their reservations without a fee. It also follows Airbnb’s goal to provide free housing to 100,000 first responders and healthcare workers.
Additionally, Airbnb said it was setting up a $10 million ‘Superhost Relief Fund,’ which will allow these designated hosts as well as some “long-tenured Experience hosts” to apply for grants of up to $5,000 (which the company said will not need to be paid back) in order to cover their rent or mortgages.
Many people and businesses throughout the globe have been financially impacted by the coronavirus as it continues to spread. On Tuesday morning, confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped more than 801,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, who has been tracking the pandemic.