On March 7, the week before the markets came crashing and the world started exploding with COVID, I booked my Airbnb to Barcelona for August 10-13, which I had been looking forward to for some time. The following week everything changed.
Spain was one of the top countries with new COVID cases and the borders were shut down for Americans. Airbnb soon after published an extenuating circumstances policy assuring customers that they would be offered full refunds for not being able to make the trip even if the host had a strict cancellation policy.
At the time, the policy did not include my check-in date of August 10 but assured me the dates would be revised as time passes. I waited until early May when it looked like there was no way I was going to Spain. I cancelled with the host, thinking I would do her a favor by giving her plenty of time to relist the apartment and that I would continue to monitor the policy.
Finally July 1 came around and my check-in date was finally included. I opened my support case and didn’t hear back from a rep. I followed up on July 8. No response. I followed up again on July 18 to which I finally received a response saying she would check with the host. The host denied it.
Then they tell me that I’m not covered by the policy because I cancelled before the policy was updated. It got escalated to another case manager who offered me the service fee but not the other $210 I was owed. When I said I was due a full refund and wanted a call from his boss, he refused.
This is outrageous and Airbnb needs to honor their policy, especially for loyal customers who’ve used Airbnb all over the world.