Answers to your hosting questions about the coronavirus
Updated March 30, 2020
We know there’s a lot of uncertainty around the coronavirus (COVID-19) and whether or not it will impact you and your hosting business. To help support our global community, we’re tracking your questions and answering some of them here. We’ll keep updating this page as the situation evolves and as more answers become available.
What is the extenuating circumstances policy?
Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy gives guests and hosts the option to cancel without charges if they’re impacted by things like serious injury or illness, natural disasters, travel restrictions, and other unforeseen events. In response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, we’ve extended this policy globally* to cover all reservations booked on or before March 14 and with a check-in date between March 14 and May 31. For reservations that have already started, were booked after March 14, or have a check-in date after May 31, your listing’s cancellation policy will apply as usual.
*This does not apply to domestic travel in mainland China. Please check here for more information. Luxe or Luxury Retreats reservations are covered under the Luxe guest refund policy.
What is Airbnb doing to lessen the impact of cancellations on hosts?
We’re investing $250 million USD to share in the cost of guest cancellations due to COVID-19. For eligible cancellations under our extenuating circumstances policy, we’ll pay 25% of what you would’ve received for a cancellation based on your cancellation policy. For example, if you would’ve received $400 USD through your normal cancellation policy, we'll pay you 25% of that—or $100 USD. Learn more at Airbnb.com/250MSupport
A guest just canceled on me. What happens now?
We know cancellations can be upsetting, even when they happen for an understandable reason. Keep in mind that guests who cancel their reservation under our extenuating circumstances policy have been impacted themselves and by canceling are helping to protect the well-being of our entire community. If your guests cancel their reservation through this policy, they'll have the option to get a full refund or Airbnb travel credit. We’ll notify you and automatically unblock the dates on your calendar so that you can host other guests, and we won’t collect any fees for the canceled reservation.
A guest is coming from an impacted area. What should I do?
If you’re concerned about hosting a guest who’s traveling from an impacted area or you just don’t feel safe hosting right now, you can cancel eligible reservations through the platform. You’ll then be notified that your reservation qualifies for a cancellation without charge, and your guest will get a full refund. It’s a good idea to message your guest as early as possible explaining the need to cancel.
Please be mindful that we have a nondiscrimination policy. Cancellations related to disruptions caused by the coronavirus need to observe our internal policies along with official guidelines and recommendations around eligible situations and locations.
What should I do if I’m uncomfortable hosting a guest?
If you’re worried about hosting a guest during these times of uncertainty, we understand your concern. Before you cancel a reservation, please keep in mind that Airbnb has a nondiscrimination policy. Remember to treat each traveler with inclusion and respect, which means making sure that you're holding each reservation—and decision about cancellation—to the same standards. We’ve outlined some guidelines and questions you can consider asking to help you get the information you need.
Is there anything I can do to minimize the impact on my hosting business?
While many travelers are choosing to stay home during this uncertain time, some are still considering local stays and future travel. To meet those guests’ needs, we’re working to highlight listings with flexible cancellation policies. We’ve also put together some tips to help you minimize the impact of COVID-19 on your hosting business, and we’ll keep working on ways to support you during this difficult time.
How will Airbnb support hosts who offer more flexible stays?
We’ve developed a suite of tools and programs to help both hosts and guests navigate uncertainty and support more flexible travel plans.
- We’ve made it easier for guests to find listings with flexible cancellation policies—like a new filter that makes it easy to search for those listings.
- We've also rolled out a tool that will make it easy for hosts to refund guests who need to cancel.
We’ll share more details as we introduce these enhanced tools and programs to our community in the coming weeks. Learn more
Is Airbnb collecting fees on canceled reservations?
When reservations are canceled under the extenuating circumstances policy, guests can choose between a full refund or a travel credit in an amount that includes our fees. And we won’t be imposing any cancellation charges on hosts who have to cancel eligible reservations.
We also want to clarify that our service fees will be refunded in full or provided as a travel credit for every covered cancellation.
Can I accept new reservations if I cancel an eligible reservation?
You can accept new reservations during the dates, even if you’re the one who canceled the booking.
Will I lose my status as a Superhost if I cancel an eligible reservation?
No. Cancellations under the extenuating circumstances policy will have no impact on the 1% cancellation rate needed to maintain your Superhost status. Learn more about how we’ll be reviewing criteria in the upcoming Superhost assessment.
Will any other penalties apply for hosts who cancel eligible reservations?
No. None of the standard cancellation penalties will apply for hosts who have to cancel under the extenuating circumstances policy.
I'm an Airbnb Experiences host. What do I need to know?
We're pausing all experiences starting March 18 through at least April 30, 2020. We made this difficult decision because experiences are designed to bring people together, and health organizations around the world have advised against this kind of interaction as one of the best ways to protect communities. Read this Help Center article for the latest updates.
How can I help prevent the spread of illnesses like the coronavirus?
Cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g. light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) and regular hand washing can go a long way toward keeping you and your guests safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read our article with more cleaning tips and hygiene recommendations from the CDC.
Events are getting canceled. Will these reservations be covered by Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy?
We know that many of our travelers book places to stay on Airbnb for events like Coachella, SXSW, Mobile World Congress, and others. If an event has been canceled and your reservation is not covered by our extenuating circumstances policy, we’re encouraging guests to check the cancellation policy on their reservation and reach out to hosts to discuss options.
We’ve rolled out a tool so hosts can refund reservations like these that aren’t covered under our extenuating circumstances policy.
I host an Airbnb Luxe or Luxury Retreats property. Does the extenuating circumstances policy apply to me?
No. Our extenuating circumstances policy doesn’t apply to Airbnb Luxe or Luxury Retreats reservations, which are subject to a separate Luxe guest refund policy.
I need help. Where can I find resources online?
We know it can be frustrating when you can’t get an answer right away. We’re committed to helping you get the support and information you need, which is why we’ve launched Airbnb.com/COVID, in addition to continuing to answer your calls, chats, and emails as quickly as possible.
Many common issues can be resolved online, especially if you’re dealing with a reservation that falls under our extenuating circumstances policy. You can also head to our Help Center to find more answers. Many of you have also been sharing your own tips and support in our Community Center.
I still have questions. Who should I contact?
We'd like to encourage you to reach out to our community support team with questions or to get help with canceling reservations. We appreciate your patience as we prioritize those needing immediate support and ask that you only reach out to us if your reservation is in the next 72 hours. If you have an urgent question, please also check Airbnb.com/COVID or the Help Center for answers.
We know how disruptive something like the coronavirus can be to your business, and we’re here to help. Thanks for working together with us to protect the safety and well-being of our community.
Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.