Airbnb Denies Hurricane Ian Refunds for Displaced Guests

Airbnb guests displaced by Hurricane Ian’s path have relied on their hosts to choose to refund them as the company’s cancellation policy specifically excludes issues related to Florida storm season.

Ian, which made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday, dumped up to 12 inches of rain in some cities, leaving millions of homes and businesses without power as trees fell and blocked roads . The storm is one of the costliest in US history, with damage estimated in the tens of billions of dollars.

Floridians are familiar with hurricanes because they land almost twice as often as Texas, the second most hurricane-prone US state, which is why Airbnb covers some natural disasters in its policy but doesn’t reimburse for weather “enough.” common to be predictable” in this state. Specifically, the company cites Florida hurricane weather among its exceptions, following a policy similar to other short-term rental companies like Vrbo and Expedia Group.

The arrival of Hurricane Ian is another example of the delicate balance between guests, who must pay upfront, and hosts, about half of whom rent out their properties for a living. At the start of the pandemic, Airbnb’s cancellation policy came under scrutiny as guests did not receive refunds, placing the burden of accommodation on hosts.

Eventually, the company rescinded the policy and allowed full refunds, angering hosts facing mounting bills.

Disgruntled Airbnb guests on Twitter typically complain about everything from misleading ads to cleaning fees, but hosts are also growing disillusioned. On message boards and Facebook groups, hosts are sharing stories of their own struggles.

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