No Refunds due to Coronavirus Cancellations

A few days ago I cancelled my deposits for Airbnb stays in Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Of the three places, Vienna gave us no refund and the other two places gave me only partial refunds on my deposits.

I am 70 and my wife is 60. Considering what is going on around the world with this virus and travel restrictions, you would think that full refunds would be the norm.

What is Airbnb management doing about this deplorable behaviour? We should be entitled to a full refund in this unique situation. I look forward to some answers and hopefully to a prompt resolution.

Airbnb Does not Support Hosts During Outbreak

I seem like a regular host on Airbnb — one person who rents one apartment — but in fact I am a full-blown company. I am also a Superhost.

As a company we take pride in this because we are a full-fledged business with over twenty vacation rental properties. Airbnb is not our boss; they are a third-party company that we use to gain more customers we have on our own website. We also use other platforms and can say with certainty that Airbnb is by far the worst platform to use. They only care about themselves, not the hosts and not the guests.

Coronavirus has been handled completely wrong. According to the U.S. transportation guidelines — which is what airlines typically use — you have 24 hours to cancel and get a full refund and travel must be booked seven days prior to your arrival. This is why airlines do not give out refunds unless the problem is something on their part such as cancelling the flight, safety hazards, and so forth.

With the coronavirus situation they know better and this is why they have not refunded passengers. Most of them are issuing flight vouchers and waiving rescheduling fees. For refunds this is not the case. This is the proper way to handle these circumstances.

Airbnb started off confused, which is not good. First they threw the blame ball to the host and said they were not refunding service fees. It was up to the hosts. If we had strict cancellation policies then they flat-out changed them all — no consistency, and no regard for the hosts and the amount of money that we are losing. No regard for the fact that we still have to pay bills and rent.

Hosts that are businesses such as ourselves are suffering. We get no support from Airbnb. It has been a nightmare to be on this platform during this crisis. Our cancellation policy is not being honored.

All Airbnb needed to do was either honor the cancellation policy  — which in many cases gave the guest a 50% refund, which is better than nothing — or simply offer a credit for a year to allow the guests to come back and reschedule their travel. Many guests were cancelling simply because their conferences got cancelled. That is not because they were coming from an impacted area or because they were sick themselves. It was not because flights stopped.

Our main guests were coming from the U.S., literally in the state of California coming down from NorCal to SoCal and only wanted to cancel because Disneyland had closed. This is completely unfair to the hosts. I understand if it was Italy but if the country hasn’t been closed then there is no need to panic; it is the guests’ own fears that are causing them to not want to travel.

At the end of it all, as much as we would like be angry at all the guests that have cancelled we are truly angry at the monster that is Airbnb. In the end, this awful corporation can take the financial hit but not smaller businesses like ours.

Next month everything might be back to normal and people will start booking again but what about us, the smaller companies that have several vacation rental properties with rent to pay but no money? Will we still be here because of all the lost revenue?

We are in severe jeopardy over nonsense. It is unfortunate that this occurred. As far as being a host here on Airbnb, I hope to not continue.

There will always be bad apples to give hosts a bad name but there are many of us who are ethical, really do this hosting with pride, and love hosting guests and offering great hospitality. For Airbnb to not want to protect the great hosts that keep them bringing them all this revenue that keeps their lights on is just disgusting and unfair.

Coronavirus Causes Hours of Customer Service Wait Time

My host will not cancel and told me to go through Airbnb. Their chat is a bot and not a human, so that got me nowhere. I am on hold, but they said “we are experiencing higher than usual call volumes, expect to wait hours” and then started on hold.

Hours? I have never heard that before. I can’t believe they don’t have a away to easily cancel online with this coronavirus stuff. We have a family member with a respiratory illness whose doctor has said not to travel. We need to cancel and can according to their policy, but I need to be able to do it.

I will never book through Airbnb again. I have never had such a problem and it is so stressful.

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.