No Refund for State of Emergency in LA

On Tuesday evening I decided to spend two days in LA and booked with Airbnb. Wednesday morning, LA County declared a state of emergency. I’m not afraid of the virus, but deliberately going to an area where the state of emergency was declared because of the virus doesn’t make any sense either. I decided to cancel.

Unfortunately, the state of emergency because of the deadly coronavirus is no reason for cancellation and therefore the host doesn’t want to refund my money. I called the customer service on Wednesday early afternoon and they promised a call back from a supervisor.

Now it is Thursday at 11:00 PM (PST) and I called again. This time it was someone who promised a call back from a supervisor. No callback so far. I also filed a claim after I cancelled but I haven’t received any response here either.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. A state of emergency in our city was the only way our mayor had the means to use quarantine to prevent the CDC from letting positively tested virus patients out onto our streets. We have no cases of the virus in our population. It is just a tool. Again, if you weren’t afraid, why cancel, and in the middle of your visit? There’s no reason for you to get a refund.

    • I had a similar situation… i told my host I needed to cancel due to coronavirus scare effecting my travel plans. I asked my host if I could refund or switch to a later safer time. He encouraged me to go ahead and cancel then led me to believe they would work with me once I contacted airbnb. Nope! As soon as I cancelled, stupid me… and two hours waiting on the phone to reach airbnb, I was told it was up to the host to decide my request. Turns out they had several cancellations so they opt to KEEP all of my 4 nights $630 of nothing so not to lose more business. DONT TRUST THAT HOSTS ARE COMPASSIONATE. If you ever need to cancel because of a world epidemic, DONT cancel until you’ve talked to airbnb and a decision is made. This keeps you in control and you still have the ability rate your experience; which is what they fear the most.

  2. Sorry. States or counties will declare emergencies to avail themselves to mutual aid and financial aid during times when the established system might be burdened beyond normal. Lis Angeles County didn’t declare Marshall Law. And, the entire state became a “Disaster Zone”- no one is suggesting all travel be banned. You say you didn’t make your decision out of fear but that’s what you did. You made a decision that w as right for you but all choices have consequences. Accept it.

  3. You won’t get a call back. After asking daily for help and to talk to the “next level” I gave up after 10 days. Their customer service is a joke.

  4. The host thinks you’re being ridiculous. “State of emergency” sounds alarming, but it’s just about freeing up certain funds for disease prevention. There are 10 million people in LA County. ELEVEN of them have coronavirus. ELEVEN. Out of 10.1 million.

  5. If you are not afraid …Why did you cancel?…Why should a host pay for your flakiness… they have bills to pay, mortgage etc. If you cancelled a hotel last minute you would not receive a refund…Why should Airbnb be any different? Do you have travel insurance?

  6. You perhaps don’t understand that cities labeling things as a state of emergency open up federal funds to take preventive measures. It is not due to an actual mass emergency.

    Follow a host’s cancellation policy.

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