Just like hosts are working hard to boast a great reputation, Airbnb also has to protect its name and therefore has a firm Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy. It has also been created with the guests in mind. Whenever guests make a booking via the Airbnb platform, they are taking a leap of faith that the property will be available and ready for a certain period. Needless to say, finding out that your much-needed holiday has been canceled is an unpleasant experience for any guest.
Though, the reality is that at times a host will have to cancel a booking. In the event of an Airbnb host cancellation, the Airbnb cancellation policy will ensure that neither the guest nor host gets the short end of the stick. This guide will help you when you have no other option but to cancel a guest booking without being affected too harshly by the Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy.
What does a host need to do to cancel?
Luckily canceling a booking is quite straightforward, but in an attempt to make it less unpleasant hosts will have to do more than just hit the cancel button. For starters, the most important piece of advice is that hosts should first phone Airbnb’s customer service. By reaching out to their customer service team, you can talk through your different options with regards to the Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy. It could just be that you will not be penalized!
Also, it is good practice to send your guest a message before you cancel their booking. There is no need to write an entire essay, but do apologize and offer them some form of discount should they book with you again in the future. With the help of Airbnb management software, you can ease this step as it helps you to automate guest messaging.
What are the penalties for Airbnb host cancellation?
It is only fair that the party that decides to cancel should be the one who has to pay. Therefore, in the event that a host should cancel a booking because of extenuating circumstances, he/she can face the following penalties: a cancellation fee, an automatic profile review that gets posted to your listing explaining that you have canceled a booking and a blocked calendar for the days that the booking has been canceled.
Though, according to the Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy hosts are allowed to cancel once within a six-month period without having to face any penalties. Hosts who have opted for the Instant Book feature can also avoid penalties if they can demonstrate that they are uncomfortable with the booking. After a host has used this free cancellation, he/she will be penalized $50 for canceling a reservation seven days before the guest is supposed to check in, while the penalty will be double that (in other words $100) if the host cancels within one week.
Lastly, if you had your eyes set on earning that Superhost badge, according to the Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy your eligibility can also be delayed for an entire year.
How does the Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy work?
Hosts are not the only ones who are governed by the Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy. As guests can also be the party who decides to cancel Airbnb has given hosts the option to select one of the following three cancellation policies – Flexible, Moderate or Strict.
Just like with the Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy, guests can also face penalties should they do decide to cancel. Now to help guests understand how the Airbnb cancellation refund will work hosts should indicate which Airbnb cancellation policy they have opted for beforehand.
Flexible Cancellation Policy
With this policy, guests can receive a full refund by canceling the booking at least 24 hours before the check-in time. If the guest decides to cancel less than 24 hours prior to the check-in time, he/she will not be refunded for the first night but will be able to receive a refund for the other nights. In the event that a guest decides to cut his visit shortly after checking in, he will receive a refund for the remaining nights that he will no longer be staying there 24 hours after canceling officially via the Airbnb website.
Moderate Cancellation Policy
With this policy, a guest must cancel at least five days before the check-in date to get a full refund. If the guest decides to cancel within five days of the check-in date, he/she will not be refunded for the first night but will be able to receive a 50% refund for the other nights. In the event that a guest decides to cut his visit shortly after checking in, he will receive a 50% refund for the remaining nights that he will no longer be staying there 24 hours after canceling officially via the Airbnb website.
Strict Cancellation Policy
With this policy, a guest must cancel at least seven days before the check-in date to get a 50% refund. If the guest decides to cancel within seven days of the check-in date, he/she will not be refunded. In the event that a guest checks in, but then decides to cut his visit shortly after checking in, he will also not be refunded for the nights not spent.
A Few Last Thoughts
Hosts should at all times communicate with their guests via Airbnb’s messaging system. This is even more important when you are dealing with a difficult guest as you will need to have a record to act as proof. Fail to do this and you stand the risk of not being paid for a booking.
Hosts should actually welcome the Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy as it will help to ensure the integrity of the Airbnb platform which after all is an important revenue source for hosts.