Airbnb’s updated policy will make it easier for customers to cancel their reservations

Airbnb’s updated policy will make it easier for customers to cancel their reservations

Airbnb said it was updating its policy to make it easier to cancel and refund reservations without consequences due to “foreseeable weather events.”

The short-term vacation rental company announced Thursday that its current Extenuating Circumstances Policy will be renamed the Major Disruptive Events Policy to better reflect new cancellation and refund support guidelines.

“The changes to this policy, including its new name, were made to create clarity for our travelers and hosts and ensure it meets the diverse needs of our global community,” said Juniper Downs, head of policy. Airbnb community policy, in a press release. “Our goal was to clearly explain when the policy applies to a booking and provide fair and consistent results to our users. These updates also bring the policy in line with industry standards.

As the policy currently stands, guests can cancel an upcoming or active reservation when “unexpected major events” beyond their control – such as natural disasters or changes to government travel restrictions – have an impact. impact their ability to stay at a given location, regardless of host cancellation. policy. A host can also cancel reservations without charge.

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The policy updates will take effect June 6 and will include predictable weather events like hurricanes during hurricane season. Under current policy, a reservation would not be eligible for a refund even if there is a mandatory evacuation order for a destination during a hurricane.

The updated policy will only cover where the major disruptive event occurs to “help balance the needs of our entire community.”

Mid-trip cancellations will also be permitted and guests will be refunded for nights they did not stay.

Airbnb will also ask hosts to cancel reservations if their listings become uninhabitable or no longer match what was advertised to guests. There will be no cancellation fees for hosts if they do so.

The new policy does not cover all emergencies and Airbnb recommends that guests continue to purchase travel insurance for optimal protection.

Earlier this month, to increase guest privacy, Airbnb announced that all indoor security cameras in its listings would have to be removed by April 30, including turned off cameras.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Airbnb’s new policy allows cancellations due to ‘foreseeable weather conditions’