Disappointed Airbnb guests will receive more money due to new rules.

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April 13th 2024.

Disappointed Airbnb guests will receive more money due to new rules.
Are you getting ready for your upcoming holiday? As summer approaches, many British travelers are planning their dream getaways. However, instead of booking expensive hotels, more and more people are opting for cozy cottages or city apartments through Airbnb. These holiday rentals offer a unique and budget-friendly experience. But what happens if your plans suddenly change and you need to cancel? Navigating through cancellation policies can be a headache and can even result in losing money.

Luckily, Airbnb has recently announced updates to their Extenuating Circumstances policy. These new guidelines will apply to all reservations starting from June 6, 2024. The best part? It doesn't matter if you booked your stay months in advance. You may still be eligible for a refund. Let's take a look at the reasons why you can cancel as a guest or host.

Firstly, if an unexpected event disrupts your holiday plans, there's a chance you may qualify for a refund. This includes declared public health emergencies and epidemics. For instance, if the government of the country you're visiting announces an epidemic or public health emergency, you may be covered. However, illnesses such as the flu or Covid-19, which are now considered endemic diseases, do not fall under this category. Additionally, Airbnb does not cover illnesses that are commonly associated with the area you're visiting, such as malaria in Thailand.

Government travel restrictions are also taken into consideration. This applies to governmental advice, such as evacuation orders. In the case of military actions or other hostilities, including acts of war, terrorism, and civil unrest, you may be able to cancel your reservation.

If large-scale outages of essential utilities, such as electricity and water, affect the majority of homes in the area, you may also be eligible for a refund. The same goes for natural disasters that are unusual and sudden, and do not typically occur in your chosen destination. However, if you're traveling to a location known for adverse weather conditions, such as Florida during hurricane season, these weather events will only be covered if they result in widespread power outages or evacuation.

Airbnb will determine the dates of reservations that are likely to be affected by these circumstances. If your reservation falls within that time frame, you may be able to get a refund. But if your reservation is outside of that period, you may not qualify for a refund. It's important to contact Airbnb as soon as possible to assess your situation and determine if the Major Disruptive Events Policy applies to your reservation.

It's worth noting that these new guidelines mostly cover events that affect the public on a larger scale, as well as the property itself, rather than personal circumstances. So if you need to cancel for personal reasons, you may still lose out.

What about the reasons that are not covered by Airbnb's Extenuating Circumstances policy? Unexpected injuries or illnesses, jury duty or court appearances, non-binding travel advisories, and cancellations or rescheduling of events are not included. Transport disruptions, such as strikes, cancellations, or road closures, are also not covered. In these cases, Airbnb encourages guests and hosts to find a mutually acceptable arrangement. This could mean rescheduling your stay for another date or receiving a partial refund. However, this is ultimately up to the host and is not covered by the company.

Do you have a story to share about your experience with Airbnb's Extenuating Circumstances policy? We would love to hear from you. Get in touch by emailing us at [email address]. Our goal is to ensure that your holiday getaway is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

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