Airbnb doesn’t exactly have the greatest reputation, partly because of how unhelpful their customer support could be, but at least they are slowly improving by putting in new measures to protect guests.
In a recent blog post, the company announced that hosts will face much higher penalties if they cancel for reasons that are within their control. Some of the reasons include double booking, suddenly canceling to accommodate a personal party, substituting another property for the listing booked by the guest, or gross listing inaccuracies that materially disrupt a guest stay, like advertising a pool when no pool is available for use by guests. A fee will also apply if a guest is unable to stay at a place because it poses a significant health risk, like severe mold.
Prior to this change, hosts were liable up to $100 based on how far in advance they canceled the booking, but controllable cancellations initiated by the host from August 22, 2022 onward will incur a penalty up to USD $1,000. The minimum cancellation fee is $50 and the maximum is $1,000 under the updated policy. The total reservation cost used to calculate the fee includes the nightly rate, cleaning fee, and any pet fee, but excludes taxes and guest fees.
- If the reservation is canceled more than 30 days before check-in, the fee is 10% of the reservation amount.
- If the reservation is canceled more than 48 hours and less than 30 days before check-in, the fee is 25% of the reservation amount.
- If the reservation is canceled 48 hours or less before check-in, or after check-in, the fee is 50% of the reservation amount for the nights not stayed.
These consequences from the cancellation policy remain the same:
- When you cancel a confirmed reservation, your calendar will be blocked for those dates.
- You may face account suspension for repeated cancellations.
- Your Superhost status or eligibility may change.
This is not to say that hosts cannot cancel without penalty, as there are certain circumstances which may be beyond their control. They would of course need to provide a valid reason to Airbnb to get out of the fee. Hosts can also cancel if they feel that guests are planning to have a party (which is now banned as well) or if there is an issue that can be described as an extenuating circumstance.
As for the guests themselves, if a host decides to cancel, they will be fully refunded, and if they were canceled on within 30 days of arrival, Airbnb will try to find an alternative stay, which matches or exceeds the current booking.
[Featured Photo: Airbnb]