Airbnb Coronavirus Cancellation Policy Extends Into June

Airbnb Coronavirus Cancellation Policy
Photo: Airbnb

Airbnb Coronavirus Cancellation Policy Extends Into June

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the trouble with Airbnb’s and VRBO’s cancellation policies.  We are still battling VRBO for a refund.  But Airbnb’s updated cancellation policy has improved and made the process significantly easier for customers.  On Friday, the company extended covered dates to include stays with a check-in between March 14 and June 15.  It’s also significantly easier to get the refund.

The announcement is helpful because it gives people more time to plan and further out from their travel date.  We had other people traveling with us to Hawaii — so sad we’re missing that trip but we’ll make up for it next year — who just got a full refund from Airbnb.  That refund was processed after just three days of the new policy’s implementation.

That’s very helpful, and I really want to thank Airbnb for making their policies more user friendly.  It’s also in stark contrast to the refund experience we had in April for May travel bookings.  In those circumstance, Airbnb made it significantly harder and it required a lot of back and forth.

Keep in mind, the policy does not apply to bookings made after March 14.  The policy also does not apply if you’ve already checked in for a rental.

VRBO Updated Policy

On April 23, VRBO updated their policy through May 31, 2020.  But there’s still no word about travel in June.  VRBO’s updated policy states “We ask that Vrbo partners (homeowners and property managers) handle cancellations for trips booked within this period in one of two ways (even if those trips are outside of the set cancellation policy).”  The two choices VRBO extends to property owners is to offer a credit or offer a refund if a credit if the renter isn’t amenable to a credit.  Personally speaking, my check in is June 2 and is not being considered for a refund, despite this guidance.

Bottom Line

Since I wrote a piece criticizing Airbnb’s policies a few weeks ago, I wanted to make sure to praise them here.  As a comparison, it took significantly more work to get refunds a few weeks ago for Airbnb rentals than it did for the Hawaii rental they just refunded.  We are living through an extremely rare set of circumstances that is impacting travel worldwide.  Airbnb deserves praise for making the refund process easier and extending their policy into June.

The change to the Airbnb coronavirus cancellation policy is helpful.  If you have travel up to June 15 with Airbnb, make sure to contact them through your booking page if you need to cancel your trip.


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  1. Note that Airbnb’s waiver still only covers stays booked before March 14th.

    The surprising thing to me when looking at a potential Labor Day stay is how many owners STILL have a strict cancellation policy. No way in heck am I booking any lodging/car rentals right now that I can’t cancel and get the vast majority of my money back, nor any flights that aren’t fully changeable and on an airline I have multiple places to fly to (in case of COVID hotspots popping up)

    1. Yeah, I completely agree. I’m unlikely to book with a company at this point for that very reason. It’s just too risky. And after what I’m going through with VRBO where the trip clearly isn’t happening (flight was cancelled and under a stay-at-home order until June), it’s just not worth it.

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