SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Airbnb was allowing travelers to cancel their reservations and get full refunds, without charges or penalties during the coronavirus pandemic, but some hosts say the policy impacts them unfairly.
The policy applies to existing reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made on or before March 14, 2020, with check-in dates between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020, according to a statement.
The one exception was domestic travel in mainland China, where the normal refund policy will be reinstated as of April 1.
Some hosts were unhappy with the new policy saying Airbnb is forcing them to bear the majority of the cost of the refund and gave them no say in the decision, according to Business Insider.
“This is a free travel insurance policy at our cost,” said Evan Lohr, who manages three Airbnb properties in Santa Cruz, California. “It’s much harder for us. It’s not really equitable.”
San Francisco-based Airbnb defended the move.
“We understand that this announcement will impact hosts around the world, many of whom depend on the economics they generate on Airbnb,” said the San Francisco-based company. “We will be working in the days and weeks ahead to identify tools and initiatives to support our hosts during these very challenging times.”
Airbnb lists rooms, flats and houses in more than 81,000 cities around the world.