Airbnb – a San-Francisco based company that offers homestays or tourism experiences primarily – has announced a full refund policy for every reservation around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. Both hosts and guests can now cancel all of their bookings of till April 14, penalty-free.
The online tourism firm in an official announcement on Saturday said, “In response to the extraordinary events and global disruption to travel caused by COVID-19, today we are announcing updated coverage under Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy. Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy allows hosts and guests to cancel eligible reservations with no charge or penalty. This policy now applies to existing reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made on or before March 14, 2020, with check-in dates between March 14, 2020, and April 14, 2020.”
With the announcement, Airbnb felt for its host all over the world. the company gives them the hope to work ahead of this challenging time. “Many of us are hosts ourselves, and we understand this is a difficult time. We have worked to find a balance between supporting hosts and protecting the well-being of our community, and we will find additional ways to help our hosts,” said in an announcement.
Brain Cheskey, the late-stage startup’s CEO, said, “We know our hosts depend on money from Airbnb. 50% depend on it to pay their rent/mortgage. We are working on some bold ideas to support hosts, and we will have news very soon.”
The extenuating circumstances policy applies to all bookings on Airbnb, around the globe. However, it excludes domestic travel in mainland China as it is expecting to return to normal by April 1. For the rest, Airbnb promised not to charge any fees or benefits in the account of any reservation cancellations under this policy.
“Airbnb will allow guests around the world to cancel and get their money back. We will not collect fees on these bookings”, Brian Chesky said in a tweet. He further said, “we don’t want guests to feel like they have to travel because they can not get their money back.”
The booking cancelations have already taken a hit because of the coronavirus pandemic. The two-way platform, Airbnb, says, “We want to thank all of those hosts around the world who have generously provided guests cancellations outside of their existing cancellation policies. We examined Airbnb reservations that were canceled in the last month and found that 86 percent of the money that would have been spent by guests on these reservations returned to them in the form of refunds.”
As the Coronavirus declared as pandemic the hosting company, Airbnb received many calls and emails regarding the escalating number of travel restrictions. The company promised to provide timely, accurate, and proactive support in this formidable situation. The information regarding extenuating circumstances policy conveyed to 55,000 calls on last Thursday since the travel restriction announced.
Airbnb Extenuating Circumstances Policy under the light of Coronavirus
Airbnb has updated reservation coverage under its Extenuating Circumstances policy due to global disruption caused by COVID-19.
The reservation cancellation policy set by the host on Airbnb ranges from flexible to super strict. The hosting company overrides those polices with its new Extenuating Circumstances Policies, where guests can cancel their bookings with a full refund.
While making the bookings, the website pops up the message for booking cancelation without a penalty. The guests may claim the refund within the 14 days of cancellation.
Vrbo also navigating vacation plans around COVID-19
Besides Airbnb, other hosting companies have started to offer the COVID-19 cancellation policies. Vrbo – a vacation rental company – also encouraged to adopt a full refund for those who want to cancel their trips or bookings with the concerns of their well-being.
“Everyone deserves something to look forward to and will need a break to reconnect with one another when this stress recedes. There are fully refundable vacation options around the world, and we hope Vrbo can play a role in your family’s next great vacation, whenever that may be.” The company said in an official statement.
The pandemic coronavirus has infected more than 173,000 people all over the world, and most of the countries have gone to quarantine. With this, countries like the United States, China, South Korea, and Italy and others have restricted their travel. Airbnb has thus updated its cancellation policy to apply to bookings all over the world.
Featured image: Wccftech