A Good Resolution To My Hawaii VRBO Refund Battle

VRBO Refund
Photo by Zahid Lilani on Unsplash

A Good Resolution To My Hawaii VRBO Refund Battle

Last month, I wrote about my difficulty getting a VRBO refund for a trip to Hawaii.  Of course, the trip was cancelled because American Airlines cancelled the flight to Hawaii.  Hawaii is currently under strict quarantine orders for visitors.  So even if we could catch a flight, we’d be stuck spending the week in the house.  Thankfully, we finally got a reasonable resolution to our cancellation.

The short of it is that the home owner originally wanted to delay any decision until VRBO put out further guidance.  The cancellation was in March, so it was likely to be a few months until we’d hear anything further, despite the fact the property owner did not need to wait until VRBO updated it’s policy.

A few weeks ago, Airbnb changed their policy to stretch into mid-June, but even up until today VRBO hasn’t extended the policy into June.  Thankfully, our property owner offered us a credit for a future stay at that property.  We were hesitant to do that because:

  1. Things are just way too unpredictable right now.  It’s hard to know when travel to Hawaii and travel from our home will return to normal and if there will be a second wave; and
  2. In her initial email, the homeowner mentioned she might be getting out of the rental business.

Thankfully, despite the fact VRBO still hasn’t updated it’s interruption date to June, the property owner offered us an 80% refund.  Now, originally I wanted 100% refund (of course).  But given the circumstances and the fact she offered this before VRBO encouraged her to do so, we accepted that refund.  Obviously, there’s a loss.  But that loss is a lot better than others who only received a 50% refund.

Bottom Line

Overall, I’m very thankful we were able to resolve this with the property owner.  Part of the dilemma in my view was VRBO refusing to extend their covered dates.  It’s May 18th and they still are only providing cover for travel through May 31, 2020.  That means if you’re traveling in June, you still aren’t technically covered under the policy.  That’s a major failure on their part.

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  1. Airbnb has now extended their waiver to June 30, so yeah, VRBO is way behind.
    This all is pushing me toward no-money-down reservations in the future, which kind of rules out VRBO and Airbnb.

    1. I completely agree! This whole situation really turned me off to both sites. And I have a feeling that’s a common consensus with many other people.

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