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Airbnb Adjusts its Refund Policies Due to Coronavirus Concerns

An Airbnb host greeting renters with suitcases.

With Coronavirus in the news, you might be rethinking that trip you were planning. Why take the risk of reserving an Airbnb if you can’t go after all and will lose the money? In light of that thinking, Airbnb is introducing new Flexible Reservation rules to help you feel better about taking the plunge.

Of course, it’s hard to rent an Airbnb if no one is willing to take the risk of offering to host only to see cancelations. To help encourage hosts to continue listing, Airbnb is offering to waive its usual 3% hosting fees to anyone who offers a flexible refund listing between now and June 1st. The company is also introducing new tools to make offering refunds easier for the host.

And if you’re a renter, there’s good news too. Hosts can choose how flexible they want to be in regards to refund policies, whether that’s meeting Airbnb’s minimum 48-hour full refund requirement or offering more. With that in mind, the company is making it easier to find hosts that go beyond Airbnb’s minimum requirements.

Additionally, Airbnb has a special offer for renters. Normally, Airbnb charges a 14% guest service fee at checkout. You don’t always get that back if you have to cancel. Now through June 1st, if you need to cancel and Airbnb wouldn’t have usually given you the fee refund, the company will go ahead and issue the refund in the form of a travel coupon.

You should also keep in mind that even if a host isn’t offering a full refund at the point you wish to cancel, Airbnb has an extenuating circumstance process that can help you recover your funds. If the area you were planning to travel to sees a severe outbreak, it may be worth contacting Airbnb if your host doesn’t offer a refund.

via Airbnb

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »