Airbnb’s covid refund policy is ending
Airbnb travelers who cancel their reservation due to coronavirus infection will no longer be eligible for a refund. The short-term rental company announced the move, which will take effect on May 31, in a blog post Friday which explained updates to its “extenuating circumstances” policy.
Under that policy, guests who contracted the virus were allowed to cancel and get a refund, and hosts could cancel reservations without penalty. After May 31, circumstances related to covid-19 – including an infected guest or host – will no longer be covered.
Airbnb said in the blog post that now is the time to make the switch following a “new way of life” since the start of the pandemic. Typical host cancellation policies will apply after the policy change.
“As we have seen the heroic effort of health authorities and medical advancements around the world, nearly two-thirds of the world’s population have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19,” the company said. on its website. “And many countries have now implemented life plans with COVID-19, because it is now part of our world.”
Cancellation policies on the platform vary by host. Airbnb said nearly two-thirds of active listings offer “moderate” or “flexible” policies – although neither option provides refunds for last-minute cancellations.
The company said the more lenient policies allow customers to receive a full refund if they cancel at least five days before check-in – and some only require 24 hours’ notice. Reservations made before May 31 may still be eligible for a refund, the blog says.
Airbnb also showed off its yet-to-launch travel insurance for guests, expected “in the coming months.”
“While waiting for this new product to be available, customers can consider purchasing travel insurance outside of Airbnb,” the company said.