Airbnb won't give full refund for covid-19 cancellation

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May 25, 2020
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Last December I made a reservation for June of 2020. A couple of weeks ago I was notified by British Airways that my flight to Europe was canceled. That forced me to cancel everything else, including my Airbnb reservation for a 10-day stay in Greece.

As soon as I found out about my flights cancellation, I contacted my host to tell her that I would not be making the trip to Greece. After hearing the reason for the cancellation, she agreed to a full refund even though her refund policy would have left me with no refund at all under normal circumstances.

At the time the communication with my host took place, Airbnb was not yet offering full refunds for stays that took place after June 15 (my rental was from June 17-27). However, my hostess told me to go ahead with my cancellation because in order for her to issue the refund, I had to officially cancel my booking at Airbnb.com. After I did, I discovered that Airbnb would keep approximately $304 out of $1264.

I contacted Airbnb to ask if they would refund me that amount if and when they would extend the travel dates covered by the covid-19 refund policy. They responded that Airbnb had in fact just extended the date to the end of June (this would have covered my vacation) but I did not qualify for a refund since my reservation was already canceled.

I feel that because the reason for my cancellation was covid-19, Airbnb should not punish me for canceling six days before their refund policy was extended for that same reason. I could have waited longer to cancel but I wanted to give the host more time to try to find another traveler to take my place, if possible. Also, I agreed to cancel only after the host informed me that I would get a full refund.

While legally Airbnb may not be obligated to refund me the $304 they kept, I think that it's the right thing to do, whether it's in the form of a money refund or a credit toward future travel.

I tried to get the money back but I was unsuccessful.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,420
23,386
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
Unfortunately as we have seen many times here- you canceled too early. As with any travel supplier- airlines, cruise lines- none are refunding their cancellation fees if you didn’t wait until they issued waivers.

You are legally bound to the terms that were in effect at the time you canceled.

You are extremely lucky that the owner refunded you- please check the many complaints that we have from others that had owners who refused to refund at all.

We have company contacts on our company contacts page that you can appeal to executives at Airbnb and see if they will make an exception.

This article might help you understand the hazards of canceling too early. Please read #5:

 
May 28, 2020
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I cancelled an AirBnb reservation this month for a week in NC. AirBnB would not refund, and they did not answer so I could get back in touch. All very circuitous. I'm really angry about it and will never use it again. But I do want to get my money back. I asked the hosts and they said I should get a 50% refund, but whenever I wrote, I could not tell if it was AirBnb answering or the hosts.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,923
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Maui Hawaii
I cancelled an AirBnb reservation this month for a week in NC. AirBnB would not refund, and they did not answer so I could get back in touch. All very circuitous. I'm really angry about it and will never use it again. But I do want to get my money back. I asked the hosts and they said I should get a 50% refund, but whenever I wrote, I could not tell if it was AirBnb answering or the hosts.
Many people in these forums are finding refunds from Airbnb are not being provided. Airbnb has laid off many staff and the others are working from home.
Here are the contacts: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/airbnb/
 
Jun 3, 2020
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Regarding Airbnb and COVID-19, just like others above, I'm in the same situation. Made an Airbnb reservation on January 22, 2020 for a trip to Guatemala and a stay in Antigua for April 17-19 and paid $320.50. By the time COVID-19 closed travel down, I cancelled the reservation on March 22, and unfortunately the host's cancellation policy is very strict. Contacted the host and he was/is willing to refund, and has said he would follow Airbnb's lead, but just as gianfri66 I cancelled before the checkin and Airbnb will not refund my money. I feel like a volleyball, the extenuating circumstances are very tricky and I'm out $320.50 for services I never used due to COVID-19, something I can't control. Airbnb knows this is wrong and should refund money. I even tried to go back to see if I could get credit, to know avail. I have sent messages to Airbnb, called them, tried to get a refund through my credit card, with no success and sent emails to the contacts listed on elliott.org with no refund. If there is any help you can provide it would be greatly appreciated.