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Airbnb Cancellation Policy: The Complete Guide to How it Works

Many hosts and property managers, particularly those just getting started, are unsure whether the Airbnb cancellation policy is ideal for their company. There are various alternatives available, and you must understand how each policy works before accepting your first reservations.

What is the cancellation policy for Airbnb?

The Airbnb cancellation policy is a mechanism that manages guest and host cancellations. Airbnb has a variety of cancellation rules, which vary based on the conditions and compensation. Continue reading to learn about the many kinds of cancellation policies and how to choose which one is ideal for your company.

Cancellation Options for Airbnb

Airbnb allows you to cancel your reservation in the following ways:

  • Strict
  • Moderate
  • Flexible
  • Long-term
  • Extremely rigorous (30 Days)
  • Extremely rigorous (60 Days)

A Quick Overview of Airbnb’s Cancellation Policy Terms

Strict

According to Airbnb’s strict cancellation policy, guests may get a full refund if they cancel within 48 hours of booking and at least 14 full days before the listing’s local check-in time. Regardless of how far out the check-in date is, visitors are only entitled to a 50% refund after 48 hours.

If the visitor cancels at least 7 days before the booking, they will get a 50% refund of the lodging expenses. They will be reimbursed for the cleaning price, but not the service fee. There will be no reimbursement if a visitor cancels a reservation less than 7 days before arrival.

Pros: 

  • Guests are less likely to cancel a reservation owing to financial loss.
  • For canceled dates, hosts have extra time to locate a replacement booking.
  • Cancellations are less likely to result in revenue loss.

Cons: 

  • Guests may be hesitant to reserve a home with this policy in place.
  • In the Airbnb search results, you’ll have lower visibility.
  • This may result in a reduced overall booking rate.

Moderate

The most common cancellation policy is the Moderate cancellation policy. It is a little tougher than the Flexible policy, but it still allows visitors some flexibility and the option of a full refund. The Moderate policy reduces the risk of cancellations for Airbnb hosts. To get a complete refund of the lodging expenses, the visitor must cancel the reservation at least 5 days before the scheduled check-in date.

The first night of the visitor’s stay and the Airbnb service charge will not be returned if the guest cancels within 5 days of the booking start date. They will also only be reimbursed 50% of the booking costs. If a visitor cancels after checking in, they will get a 50 percent refund of the remaining nights’ lodging expenses. They will, however, be responsible for any nights spent.

Pros: 

  • Guests cannot cancel their reservations at the last minute without incurring financial penalties.
  • Hosts are more protected against losses due to cancellations.
  • This cancellation policy’s nature may draw in more serious visitors.

Cons: 

  • Within a week of the reservation, hosts are still vulnerable to cancellations.
  • The cancellation compensation will still be less than the initial booking price for hosts.
  • After the cancellation, it may be difficult to locate another booking to complete the dates.

Flexible

For guests, the Airbnb Flexible Cancellation Policy is the most accommodating alternative. Guests who cancel a reservation at least 24 hours before check-in are entitled to a full refund under this policy (local time of the property).

If a visitor cancels a reservation less than 24 hours before check-in, the first night’s stay, as well as the Airbnb service charge, must be paid.

If the visitor chooses to cancel his or her stay after arrival, the remaining nights of the reservation will be refunded in full.

Pros: 

  • Higher search engine rankings for Airbnb.
  • You’ll be able to make more appointments and keep your calendar filled.
  • Guests will have more options.
  • Guests are not forced to make any commitments.

Cons: 

  • Hosts are not covered in the event of cancellations.
  • There’s a greater danger of losing money.
  • All of the risks are assumed by the hosts.

Long-term

All 28 nights or more bookings are subject to the Airbnb Long-term Cancellation Policy. To get a full refund, guests must offer a 30-day notice of cancellation. The first month’s reservation fee is still due if the visitor cancels within 30 days of the check-in date.

In addition, if the visitor chooses to check out early during their stay, they will be charged 30 days after the date of cancellation or up to the original reservation’s end date.

Pros: 

  • If a visitor cancels, hosts have plenty of time to secure another appointment.
  • If a visitor cancels within 30 days of check-in, hosts get reimbursed for the whole month.
  • Hosts do not have to devote as much effort to locating new visitors and making bookings.

Cons: 

  • Earning potential is limited.
  • Long-term visitors pose a greater danger of causing harm to your home.
  • Longer reservations have a higher likelihood of causing complications.

30 Days of Extreme Strictness

This option is only accessible via an invitation to seasoned hosts. If visitors cancel a reservation at least 30 days before check-in, they will get a 50% refund under the Super Strict 30 Days cancellation policy.

If an Airbnb visitor cancels less than 30 days before check-in, they lose their lodging payments. Finally, there will be no reimbursement if a visitor chooses to cancel after checking in.

Pros: 

  • Guests who book homes with this policy are less likely to cancel their reservations.
  • In the case that visitors cancel, hosts are amply compensated.
  • If a visitor cancels, there is still time to secure a replacement booking for those dates.

Cons: 

  • This policy may deter guests from reserving a property.
  • This may result in a reduced overall booking rate.
  • This policy may indicate that you’re a harsh or hostile host.

60 Days of Extreme Strictness

The Super Strict 60-Day Cancellation Policy operates similarly to the Super Strict 30-Day Cancellation Policy. This option is only open to seasoned hosts and accessible via invitation. The only distinction is that the visitor must cancel the reservation at least 60 days before check-in to earn a 50% return on the lodging costs.

If an Airbnb visitor cancels less than 60 days before check-in or after arrival, he or she will not get a refund.

*The Super Strict 30 Days and Super Strict 60 Days are both by invitation only and apply to extraordinary conditions.

Pros: 

  • Guests who book homes with this policy are less likely to cancel their reservations.
  • In the case that visitors cancel, hosts are amply compensated.
  • If a visitor cancels, there is still time to secure a replacement booking for those dates.

Cons: 

  • This policy may deter guests from reserving a property.
  • This may result in a reduced overall booking rate.
  • This policy may indicate that you’re a harsh or hostile host.

What impact has Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances Policy had on cancellation policies?

The COVID-19 Pandemic has prompted Airbnb to evaluate its Extenuating Circumstances policy regularly. Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, guests will not be eligible for a refund after January 20, 2021. These conditions include the following:

  • Flight cancellations or delays are common occurrences.
  • Seasonal meteorological conditions can be predicted, such as a storm in Florida during hurricane season.
  • Injuries or illnesses that occur unexpectedly.
  • Personal engagements and appointments that have been postponed or rescheduled.

Extenuating conditions will continue to apply to large-scale events and occurrences, such as:

  • Earthquakes and tsunamis are examples of natural calamities.
  • National crises, epidemics, and pandemics have been declared.
  • Travel limitations or bans imposed by the government.
  • Military operations and various forms of conflict.
  • Selecting the Most Appropriate Policy for Your Listing
  • It’s a nuisance for hosts to deal with cancellations. They may give you little time to locate a substitute visitor or result in income loss. As a result, if you want to optimize your reservations, you must carefully choose your Airbnb cancellation choice.

Choosing the correct policy for your company will reduce the chances of a disagreement requiring Airbnb’s participation. You may choose various cancellation procedures depending on the characteristics of your Airbnb administration.

It is advised that you pick the Flexible cancellation policy for most hosts. In light of the continuing Coronavirus epidemic, this policy is the one that pays the greatest attention to visitors’ requirements, particularly in terms of changing travel limitations. Selecting this policy demonstrates your willingness to be flexible and provide free cancellation. This will be appreciated by your guests, who will be more inclined to book with you, raising your total booking rate.

If you’ve earned Superhost rank or have a lot of reservations, the Moderate cancellation option may be a suitable fit for you. This strategy increases the likelihood of attracting only serious visitors who are unlikely to cancel at the last minute.

Experienced hosts do not recommend the Strict cancellation policy. Guests often want greater flexibility since their trip plans may change. Guests will not get a full refund under the Strict cancellation policy, regardless of how far in advance they tell you of their cancellation. As a result, this option is unlikely to assist you in keeping your calendar fully booked.

Cancellation Policy for Airbnb Hosts

Airbnb tries to reduce cancellations by hosts to provide a positive experience for visitors. However, as a host, you may not have any other choice except to cancel a booking in certain cases.

If you decide to cancel a booking, Airbnb will charge a fee based on the date and amount of cancellations you’ve made recently:

  • Airbnb will take $50 from the next refund if you cancel the booking more than 7 days before the guest’s arrival.
  • You must pay $100 to Airbnb for your next refund if you cancel fewer than 7 days before check-in.
  • You will not be charged a cancellation fee if you have made at least 10 consecutive appointments without canceling.
  • Keep in mind that if you cancel a reservation, the dates associated with it will stay blocked in your calendar.

If you cancel a reservation before the check-in date, Airbnb will post a review on your listing telling other users that you have canceled a reservation. Although you cannot delete this review, you do have the option to respond to it and give clarity.

In rare circumstances, hosts have the right to cancel a reservation without incurring any fees. Suppose you can show that you cannot complete the booking due to extenuating circumstances or other factors beyond your control. In that case, Airbnb may opt to authorize the cancellation without imposing a penalty.

Extenuating conditions may include the following:

  • Changes in government travel regulations occur unexpectedly.
  • Local or national crises, epidemics, and pandemics proclaimed by the government.
  • A governmental agency’s travel restrictions impede or prohibit travel to or from a listing’s location (this does not include travel advisory warnings).
  • Military action or other forms of hostility
  • Natural calamities.
  • Parties or events that are not approved.

If you cannot fulfill your booking reservation, you should try to cancel it as soon as possible to enable visitors to change their arrangements. If you need to cancel a reservation less than 24 hours before check-in, you will not be able to do so online and will have to contact Airbnb directly.

Cancellation and Refund Policies for Airbnb Guests

The Airbnb refund policy is inextricably linked to the cancellation policy. The Airbnb refund policy specifies which situations or difficulties qualify guests for a refund. Guests may be eligible for a refund from Airbnb in the following circumstances:

Inability to enter the accommodation: A host cancels the reservation less than 24 hours before check-in, alters the reservation information without the guest’s permission, or fails to give check-in keys or access codes.

Erroneous listing details: The information in the listing description was missing or wrong. This might be related to the size, location, number of bedrooms, and amenities of the home. It might also refer to facilities and appliances that aren’t working properly or are damaged.

Concerns about health and safety: The lodging has not been cleaned, or it includes health and safety dangers, or it houses pets or animals that the host did not mention in advance.

If visitors run into any of these issues, they must file a claim with Airbnb within 24 hours. The ultimate decision on whether the visitor will be compensated or booked Airbnb will make alternate lodging.

Guests will be required to produce proof of their claim in the form of images, videos, and other documents. They’ll also have to show they attempted to contact the host and remedy the issue directly. The claim will then review it, who will reply to the visitor with their conclusion.

Conclusion

Choosing the best Airbnb cancellation policy for your company necessitates some deliberation and thinking. Thankfully, automation can help you simplify your business’s day-to-day operations. Vacation rental software, such as Lodgable, will help increase the revenue of your business. Schedule a demo now to see how Lodgable can make all the difference!

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