Victoria man annoyed with full refund not offered after BC travel restrictions fulfilled Airbnb plans

VICTORIA – No matter how nice your condo is, it can be difficult to stay home after more than a year during a pandemic. That’s why Victoria’s man Casey Edmunds and his partner have planned a quick trip to Kelowna for his birthday.

“(We wanted to) get away from Victoria after a year of confinement,” he said. “We have booked our flights and booked an Airbnb.”

But then the plans changed. BC announced that it was restrict all non-essential travel for more than a month.

He says he had no problem getting a full refund for his flight from Pacific Airlines, but the owner of the Airbnb he planned to stay in said no.

If an Airbnb operator has a “strict” cancellation policy, people who cancel their reservation within seven days of arrival are only eligible for a 50% refund.

“In the meantime, I connected with Airbnb to see if they could support my case and the fact that it was not a change of plan on my part, it was a provincial travel ban,” he said. he declares.

The company responded, saying a policy is a policy and that no refunds would be available, but Edmunds could re-book their reservation for a later date.

“Two days ago I texted him saying, ‘I don’t feel comfortable staying with you, I would really appreciate a full refund,'” he said.

But the host declined, saying they would stick to the 50% refund policy and that Edmunds would have to raise his concerns with the provincial government.

“Your frustration and mine should be redirected to the government for imposing these regulations that disregard small businesses and the right to move freely,” the Airbnb host told Edmunds.

British Columbia Solicitor General Mike Farnworth provided an update on how the province plans to enforce its travel restrictions on Friday. During the briefing, CTV News asked Farnworth what he thought of this situation.

“I think this person has to take a long look at himself in the mirror,” he said.

“For the next five weeks, when a person cancels a reservation, they (should) get a full refund because they will come back afterwards,” he said. “What they’ve done now is lose a customer, and a lot of others.”

Farnworth said current travel restrictions, if followed, would help BC businesses reopen sooner than if health orders are not followed. He said “short-term greed” would end up hurting BC’s economy in the long term.

As for Edmunds, he says he no longer expects a full refund.

“I’m also a realist. I don’t think she’s going to want to pay me back,” he said.

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