The fact that Airbnb visitors or guests contract Covid-19 will no longer be considered grounds for reimbursement. At least that’s what the latest update to Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy says.
During the pandemic, the vacation rental company allowed guests who became sick to cancel and receive a refund, and hosts could also cancel a reservation penalty free, but now that so many people have been vaccinated, that policy is being ended.
“That includes cases where a guest or host is sick with the virus. Instead, the host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual to these bookings,” a press release says.
The new rule will take effect May 31. Although certain bookings made before that date may still be eligible for a refund if they comply with the company’s regulations.
Airbnb also explained that many travel companies stopped offering this type of insurance months ago, while others did not offer it at all. Therefore, they have decided that it is time to follow suit.
The company continues to claim that cancelations and refunds are available in a variety of ways.
“Almost two thirds of active listings on our platform offer a moderate or flexible cancellation policy, which allow guests to cancel at least five days before check-in – and in some cases up to 24-hours before check-in – and still receive a full refund.” the company says.
They claim to provide a “Free Cancelation” search filter that allows customers to limit their search results to these types of flexible offers. But that would be all.
In the early stages of the pandemic, the company pledged $250 million to cover cancelations caused by Covid-19 paying hosts 25% of what they would have received under its standard cancelation policy.
Airbnb has made progress in its recovery by cutting costs and focusing on “experiences” and long-term stays.
In Q4 2021, the company beat Wall Street expectations, generating $1.53 billion in revenue, up 78 percent from a loss of $3.89 billion a year earlier.
However, bookings for overnight stays and experiences were down about 8% from the previous quarter, a statistic Airbnb would no doubt like to improve.