Airbnb extends refund policy for guests, supporting hosts with $250m fund

Hosts are getting something!

Airbnb stretches the window for guests, allowing them a full refund on the reservations knocked by COVID-19 pandemic, till the end of May. Moreover, the company pledged $250 million for its hosts to ease the pain of cancellations. Hosts will now receive 25% of what they usually get on every cancellation. 

The lodging company, Airbnb, extends its ‘extenuating circumstances policy’ to May 31, accommodating all its guests to cancel their trips due to coronavirus panic, for bookings done on or before March 14 with check-in till the end of May. Guests will receive a full refund or travel credit on canceling their bookings in between the dates. 

READ: Airbnb offering full refund as the COVID-19 continues to disrupt the travel plans

“For a reservation to be eligible under our extenuating circumstances policy, it must have been for accommodations and booked on or before March 14 with check-in between March 14 and May 31, 2020,” Airbnb said in an official statement.

The check-in reservations booked after March 14 with check-in after May 31, however, will not be in effect of COVID-19 related extenuating circumstances policy as the company is uncertain about the pandemic situations after May. 

Full refund if booked on or before March 14 with check-in between March 14 and May 31, 2020

“In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking hosts and guests to revisit these reservations and choose to either cancel or re-commit to the reservation,” the company further states. 

Airbnb realized that its hosts are a bit annoyed with Airbnb’s policy allowing guests to cancel their prior arrangements with a full refund. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, then came forward to excuse its hosts for not considering them at the time of policy announcement. 

“We determined that we had to allow your guests to cancel and receive a full refund — including all our fees. Please know this decision was not a business decision but based on protecting public health. However, while I believe we did the right thing in prioritizing health and safety, I’m sorry that we communicated this decision to guests without consulting you — as partners should. We have heard from you, and we know we could have been better partners,” Brain Chesky wrote in a letter to his host community. 

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb. Image: Kimberly White/Getty

The company has created a $250 million fund for its hosts now so that they can cover up the cost of COVID-19 cancellations. In terms of entitled reservation cancellations, Airbnb will pay the hosts 25% of their regular cancelations. For example, on every revocation, booked between March 14 and May 31, if a host in normal circumstance would receive $500 due to cancellation, Airbnb will pay its hosts $125 as compensation of coronavirus crisis (25% of what they usually get on casual cancellation policy).

The Airbnb Superhost Relief Fund

The Airbnb workforce has donated to a relief fund of $10 million to compensate for the hosts. The fund is collected for Airbnb’ Superhosts and Airbnb Experience hosts.

In contribution to this relief fund, everyone in the Airbnb workforce is doing their best to facilitate the hosts from their ends. Airbnb’s employees’ have donated $1 million, and the rest of the $9 million is the contribution made by Airbnb’s founders personally, for hosts so they can do well during the pandemic crisis.

Airbnb has previously announced that it would put up all of its marketing expenses to brace the business adjustments affected by COVID-19. With marketing expense suspension, the company could save $800 million this year. The company’s co-founders also agreed on taking no salary for the next six months. Following that, executives will also get wages with a 50% cut. 

Airbnb is hopeful that its superhosts will get the pain relief as soon by April start where they can apply for grants for up to $5,000.

Full complete details and eligibility criteria visit the Airbnb Superhost Relief website. 

Airbnb Guest Support

The multitude, Airbnb, is proud of its generous guests’ community who showed flexibility and interest in supporting the hosts financially. The company will add a feature on its platform where guests can send the supporting contribution with pleasing notes to any of their hosts they have experienced their stay. 

READ: Airbnb — How is my refund calculated if I cancel my reservation? ↗
READ: How bad COVID-19 has hit the tech industry
READ: Elon Musk: Tesla New York Gigafactory will reopen to produce ventilators amid COVID-19

Featured image: Airbnb

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