As an Airbnb host, if the job is done well, we could say there is nothing to worry about giving your guests a refund though sometimes in some circumstances not everything goes as planned, and we may be asked to refund guests.
Nevertheless, Airbnb recently introduced a new Policy effective on April 29, 2022, on how Airbnb will assist with rebooking a reservation and how refunds are handled when a Host cancels a reservation or another Travel Issue disrupts a stay within 72 hours after the discovery of a Travel Issue and Hosts voiced their concerns about the recent change made to the long-standing policy.
This article will guide you through:
Take note, that the guests will automatically receive a full refund if and when a host cancels a reservation prior to check-in. Whereas on the other hand, if the host cancels for 30 days or less, the guests will need to contact Airbnb customer support to assist with finding comparable or better accommodations.
The idea of this new policy is for hosts to think twice before deciding to cancel a booking. Come to think about it, it would make complete sense for Airbnb to introduce this policy as it would prevent hosts from canceling bookings for no good reason. Imagine, the possibility of hosts canceling a booking just because they've found a better guest who pays better for the same dates.
However, it is also understandable to find some Airbnb hosts who would have valid concerns with the new policy as it can be vague at times. Just imagine an individual host whose Airbnb space becomes unavailable due to valid reasons, this policy will be unfair especially when the host will not only get the money from the stay but also be penalized by Airbnb such as Superhost status revoked.
Based on the new policy, guests will have up to 72 hours after discovering a Travel Issue to request a full or partial refund depending on the circumstances or Airbnb may assist the guests with finding comparable or better accommodations for the remaining nights of the stay. The amount refunded will depend on:-
Furthermore, the policy adds that under this policy, if a guest reports a Travel Issue to Airbnb was not possible to do it easily and promptly, Airbnb may allow guests to report the condition of the Travel Issue late.
The term "Travel Issue" refers to these situations:
Accommodations are not habitable at check-in for any of the following reasons:
Listing contains a material inaccuracy such as:
To be eligible for rebooking assistance or a refund, the guest must meet the required conditions:
All claims made will be determined by the Airbnb customer support team whether a Travel Issue has occurred by evaluating available evidence. This means that depending on the evidence provided by the guest, Airbnb's customer support team will decide on how much the host will refund the guest or may decide to provide rebooking assistance.
Full refunds are generally only available to guests for major issues that cause them to vacate the space within the first 24 hours of their stay. Guests are eligible for only partial refunds if the issue is less serious, or they choose to remain in the space.
If a Host cancels a stay or another Travel Issue disrupts a stay, take note that the host will either receive no payout or will have their payout deducted by the amount of the refund to their guests. However, in some circumstances, Airbnb will firstly try to confirm a guest's claim with the host, where the host has the opportunity to dispute a Travel Issue via contacting Airbnb Community Support with the appropriate evidence.
If a Host provides sufficient evidence that contradicts a guest's report or that has made an error in one of the determinations, the host will either deny the guest's claim or reverse the decision, as appropriate.
To Airbnb, the new policy is providing hosts and guests an opportunity to sort issues that may arise during stays. While it may seem a great opportunity for the guest to view the new policy as a great customer service provided by Airbnb. Keep in mind that some hosts may think otherwise as they may have concerns and fears with the new policy being introduced. The reasons why some hosts may not be happy with the new policy are because:
According to Airbnb's spokesperson, "for guests, the new policy will provide greater flexibility to report any issues that arise during their stay. For hosts and guests, we hope a longer reporting window will provide more time for the host to work with guests to address any issues before we get involved. Similar to how we extended the window in which hosts can submit reimbursement requests, we believe these updates help build trust.”