In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak and its massive impact on the travel industry, Airbnb has tweaked its reservation policies to help hosts and guests cancel bookings without taking a loss. Until June 1st, Airbnb will waive the standard 3 percent host fee that it collects if a host decides to cancel a booking. Airbnb also says it will increase visibility of listings for hosts who take advantage of its new “More Flexible Reservations” tools.
If you’re a guest who needs to cancel a booking (again, through June 1st), you won’t be charged Airbnb’s 14 percent guest service fee for doing so. In addition, Airbnb will gift you a travel coupon worth that amount for future use.
Hosts are still able to determine their own cancellation policies. It’s a good idea to be mindful of that while booking; if you want a flexible booking, look for listings that say “Flexible” in the cancellation policy section.
Another thing to remember: per Airbnb’s help page, you might be eligible for a 100 percent refund via its “extenuating circumstances” claim — regardless of the host’s cancellation policy — if you’re traveling from or to an area that has been “severely impacted” by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
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