Airbnb Updates Its Cancellation Policy

Airbnb Updates Its Cancellation Policy

Airbnb has updated its cancellation policy making it easier for guests to cancel bookings due to extenuating circumstances.

The new platform-wide policy, entitled the Major Disruptive Events Policy, extends to “foreseeable weather events,” as well as unforeseen circumstances, such as government travel restrictions or public health emergencies (such as an epidemic).

The policy overrides the cancellation policies set by individual hosts, and allows travelers to receive a refund on their booking, according to Travel and Leisure. These new rules apply not only to guests who haven’t yet departed on their trip, but guests who have already checked-in to their accommodations. And if a guest decides to cancel mid-stay, they will receive a refund for the nights they didn’t stay.

Juniper Downs, Airbnb head of community policy said the new changes in policy “were made to create clarity for our guests and Hosts and ensure it’s meeting the diverse needs of our global community.” Downs further explained the policy was meant to align with other industry standards. 

Though some may be relieved by the new policy, which is set to go into effect on June 6, Airbnb does not cover cases of injury, illness, or obligations such as jury duty or court appearances, which may interfere with a reservation. 

The home share company has been under scrutiny over the past year for increased rental prices, and new limitations on rental properties as cities around the world have begun to crack down on short term rentals as they take over cities and push housing costs up.

Airbnb has also recently moved to ban all indoor security cameras in its listings worldwide, a rule going into effect at the end of this month. With all these changes, it may be safe to say that popular travel companies are looking to make some changes in the face of a difficult and competitive year as travelers turn to other applications such as Vrbo, or revert to standard hotel accommodations.

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