My family is living in Vancouver, Canada, and we had an Airbnb booking from Aug. 18 through 22 in Penticton for our vacation. I had to cancel it two days before our booking because of wild fires and consequent air quality issue.
Wild fires were literally burning every route from Vancouver to Penticton. If we were going on our vacation, we literally had to drive through the road on which wild fires are burning. Consequent air quality was also an issue. Wild fires were not burning in direct vicinity of Penticton, but multiple wild fires were burning within a one-hour drive of the area. The air quality in Penticton was extremely unhealthy.
Airbnb implemented a new extenuating circumstances policy in January that states: “When this Policy allows for cancellation, it controls and takes precedence over the reservation’s cancellation policy.” I believe my case was definitely an extenuating circumstance as no one would go on a vacation in such circumstance risking the health of my children as well as that of myself and my wife.
I contacted Airbnb’s Online Support, but they rejected my refund request. They said my case was not an extenuating circumstance. They didn’t consider my case as an extenuating circumstance, and that automatically means that they think I should have risked my family’s life and health to honor my Airbnb booking. They never said it directly, but what else could it mean?
I asked them: Would you go on a vacation in that kind of situation? I asked multiple times, but they never answered this question.
I almost gave up on getting the refund, but I thought that I at least deserved an answer. I asked them to explain why my case was not an extenuating circumstance and explain why the extenuating circumstances policy can not be applied to my case. They never answered these questions, and they closed down my session. Now they are completely ignoring me.