Dance Around Extenuating Circumstances Refund

I made a reservation on Jan. 15 for a stay in Kent April 25-May 9. My international flight from the U.S. to the U.K. was booked for April 1. All hell broke loose in March with COVID-19. With a travel ban, cancelled flights and looming domestic restrictions, I cancelled my Airbnb.

I was told I would get a partial refund, basically my first payment minus the reservation fee. Then I was told I would get the service fee back as a coupon, with many restrictions. I tried to print a copy of my refund amount; it stated zero. My host said I should be getting a refund from Airbnb. They said I need to get it from my host.

The extenuating circumstances policy for COVID-19 dated March 30 states reservations made before March 14 with a check-in date before May 31 are covered. Contacting Airbnb again, I was told it doesn’t apply to my booking as it was cancelled before March 30, despite my reminding them my flight was cancelled and no one could travel anywhere.

Are you confused yet? I have an English degree yet this has me frazzled. If my host cannot come through with a decent refund, then my next step is to try my credit card company and my travel insurance but this should not be necessary. Neither should my host have to carry this burden. I will not be risking Airbnb again.

COVID-19 Double Standards of Airbnb

I booked accommodations in Brasilia, Brazil for a longer period, from February 24 to April 20. I am a PhD student and visit Brasilia once a year for my research work.

This time, unfortunately, four weeks into my stay, I had to return to Germany due to the travel advisories from the government. However, Airbnb’s COVID-19 policy doesn’t cover me only because I checked-in before March 14.

The policy is extremely flawed as it would cover me if I had made two separate bookings: one from the end of February to March 13, and another from March 14 to mid-April. Because I made one long booking, I’m not covered.

I definitely learned a lesson. Never book a longer stay with Airbnb. Now due to this policy not helping me, I am at the mercy of my host who has refused to refund me.

The funny part is that the accommodation that I booked was sold by the host to me with certain amenities — gym, pool, and sauna — but all those facilities are closed since March 16 due to COVID-19. The host still kept all the money and is not willing to reduce per night price.

Ironically, someone from the Airbnb support team replied that it was not the host‘s fault that the facilities in the building are closed. It is due to COVID-19 that the host won’t refund me.

Now the host is suddenly entitled to rip me off in the name of the coronavirus even though the host is not willing to accept my situation — canceling due to coronavirus — as an extenuating circumstance. If Airbnb or the host is not willing to refund me on the grounds that I have to cancel due tot the coronavirus, how can they use it as an excuse for not providing me the amenities that I paid for? If I do not get what I paid for, am I not entitled to a refund?

One support team member at Airbnb also told me that the host‘s financial situation doesn’t allow her to refund me. I feel as if I’m not a student but a charity organization who has to provide money to a host in need. So the new development in this coronavirus crisis is that the financial situation of a host entitles them to rob people of their money and Airbnb sides with them.

Disappointed with Airbnb During COVID-19 Response

I’m very disappointed with Airbnb. As a result of the coronavirus, I was forced to cancel my reservation as everyone is in lockdown. To cancel my reservation using the coronavirus selection for canceling, two choices were provided to me: to have half of the money I already paid for the reservations credited to my credit card; or take a credit for Airbnb with tons of rules to use the Airbnb property another time.

This is unacceptable as they suffer no hardship for the current environment — only the host and guests pay the price. At worse, they should have at least provided me with half of the money back to my credit card and credit for the other half for the next stay using Airbnb.

It is impossible to speak with customer service and their online materials are so confusing and in no way help you to understand the enormous amount of rules and inflexibility. They barely had my business, but no more.

Airbnb is Scamming Hosts During this Crisis

I’ve been a host with Airbnb for about seven or eight years. We’ve had our differences but nothing too bad. Mainly, after the first couple of years, getting help from them for a situation was difficult, then they got better, but really, it was for minor things.

I’ve been a Superhost now for a couple of years so I take my role as host very seriously. Well, I had a guest that I was in communication with the whole time and she had to cancel at the last minute because of travel restrictions back in March due to the virus.

As per my cancellation policy (100% if a week, 50% if less than that), I received half of my expected fee and she got her half. Just last week, we get this email with great fanfare from the CEO about how they were putting five million dollars into helping the Airbnb community. I thought that was nice.

I have one guest who is here because he’s working on a job for an essential industry. When I received my payment, Airbnb had deducted my 50% from the cancelled guest and had returned the entire fee to the guest.

I don’t object to that given all the money Airbnb has but to take it from me, who is a small business person who relies on this income and works hard for it  — in Massachusetts we register as small businesses and pay business taxes — seems very unfair, especially because they are giving a false narrative about how they are taking care of the whole “Airbnb” community. Three hundred and fifty dollars is nothing to a corporation like theirs. They should be able to take care of the guest and me.

Trapped in Dirty Airbnb Apartment During Pandemic

I rented an Airbnb apartment in Lima. The description said there were two beds, an air conditioner, pots and pans, microwave, oven, stove, and a washer/dryer. In fact, there was only one bed, no air conditioner, no washer/dryer and no pots and pans. The microwave, oven, and stove didn’t work.

In the pictures there are two couches, and there was only one, which was much smaller. Nothing is like it was the pictures. It’s a totally different apartment. It smelled bad, and was quite old. I talked to the host, and he said that the original apartment was dirty, and not usable (he told this to me via Airbnb messaging). The situation got worse.

I checked out of my hotel because I knew I had an apartment, and now they won’t let me back in (due to coronavirus, it’s really hard to find hotels that accept new people). I was waiting on the phone with Airbnb for almost three hours. When someone finally picked up, she told me that someone else will call me back. Of course I never got a call back.

Now I’m stuck in Lima. Two people in a dirty, smelly, small apartment which has one normal bed for $70 a night (which is expensive for Peruvian standards).

Australian COVID-19 Refund Roundabout

We cancelled an Airbnb booking two weeks into a one-month booking, due to increasingly urgent travel advisories from our (Australian) government. We advised Airbnb twice by email that we were checking out: once on the day before we checked out, and once on the day of checkout. Not good enough apparently.

A week after our return to Australia, and after having repeated Groundhog Day experiences with website requests for a refund, we noted that our booking was still active. It was then that we found the ‘cancel’ procedure on the website. Airbnb said ‘no refund’ because of the host’s refund policy. The host said he couldn’t cancel a booking because of Airbnb’s policy. We believe him.

Trying to move beyond this point on the Airbnb website is an exercise in futility. There is no avenue for engaging in effective communication. We eventually negotiated a refund with our host for 50% of the unused period of our booking.

We accept that Airbnb has had to respond to a global pandemic. Their response seems to be focused on their financial immunity from the pandemic, and not on their guests.

Airbnb Host from Hell During Pandemic

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We booked through Airbnb for an event in DC that was supposed to happen the weekend of April 16-19. Well, the event was cancelled due to the global pandemic.

Airbnb instituted a policy in which they would provide a full refund to anyone with a check-in date on or before April 14. Since our check-in date was two days after that, it was completely up to the host to approve our refund. She denied it.

We messaged constantly for days on end. She wanted us to put the money we had already given Airbnb for this reservation toward a reservation on another one of her properties that was smaller, had fewer beds, and less space… but cost the same. We of course did not want to do that for the obvious reasons, but also because we were no longer traveling to the area in the near future.

After several phone calls with Airbnb, and several unanswered messages to them, we were told we had to submit documentation that the United States government had warned against travel during our travel dates. When I asked what that documentation had to be, I was told it had to come from, and I quote: “The government website.”

To which I replied, “There is no unitedstatesgovernment.com so you’re going to have to be more specific.” Of course there was no actual answer to that.

We are still in the middle of this battle, having provided documentation for an “extenuating circumstance” and are waiting to hear back if it has been approved. I am attaching a screenshot of the host’s profile so that you can avoid this heartless wench at all costs.

Boycott Airbnb After Coronavirus Response

I have several friends that were screwed over because Airbnb isn’t refunding deposits to people who can’t travel because of corona. This is some terrible corporate policy. I never use Airbnb because I think the whole concept is disgusting. Yes more disgusting than a motel.

But they are taking money from people who are already screwed because of the quarantine. They are not showing much solidarity with Americans who are all of us struggling. I have posted on Instagram and I hope we can encourage a boycott until they agree to refund peoples monies.

Airbnb Trip Around UK cut Short due to Virus

My husband and I booked an extensive trip around Devon and Cornwall, before COVID-19 meant that we found ourselves in lockdown. All other hotels we have booked with have refunded us 100% but because Airbnb have stated that they will only offer 100% refunds up to April 14th, we find ourselves in a tricky situation.

Do we wait to see if they update their policy to include the dates we have already paid for? If we cancel now, we are only entitled to a fraction of what we’ve paid… through no fault of our own. Obviously we will not be travelling unnecessarily. Understandably we are really cross right now.

Racism from a Superhost over Airbnb Cancellation

I am writing this message on a serious issue of racial discrimination by a “Superhost” on Airbnb. I require Airbnb’s support or I will report this to mainstream media and trigger a public discussion on the Internet.

I made a reservation with this host for a trip March 29 – April 3. The host contacted me after the reservation had been confirmed, and asked me to cancel: “If you are traveling from China, just so you are aware, our government has imposed a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country.”

I told him that I was not traveling from China and have been staying in Canada for over three weeks. He insisted I cancel the booking. I found the official guidance on Airbnb: the host should initiate the cancellation on his end, otherwise the guest will lose half of the refund and service fees.

I followed this official guidance and asked the host to do so since it is his intention to cancel this booking, or he can contact Airbnb for help. Soon the host became rude, and said if he cancelled he would lose his “Superhost” status.

On the refund, he said: “It’s Airbnb that will take your money. We don’t handle the money.”

On the confirmed reservation, he said: “You will not be allowed to check in.”

On the cancellation policy, he said: “Let Airbnb take your money. I’m not cancelling.”

He keeps sending me messages like: “You need to start taking this pandemic seriously! For the health and safety of everyone.”

I am very confused. He accused me harming “the health and safety of everyone” just because I have an Asian name. My family and I are all German citizens.

Are such racist opinions from a “Superhost” tolerated in the Airbnb community? This kind of racist speech will damage the reputation of Airbnb and the trust from all its members. All the messages are on Airbnb as proof.

I ask for your support. I need a full refund because it is the host who wants to cancel but refuses to do so on his end. This host should not keep his “Superhost” status for his dishonest intentions. For that status, he blamed and pushed a guest to cancel a confirmed reservation.

Lastly, but the most dangerous issue: racism on Airbnb, a global community, should not be encouraged. I have been a member of Airbnb for five years and traveled a lot using it every year. I meet wonderful people and have good memories.

I treasure their work to build up a global platform to communicate with people around the world, to let people know each other better. So, please, do something to stop racism on it.