SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — San Francisco-based home-sharing giant Airbnb has announced it will be blocking and cancelling all reservations in the Washington, D.C. area during the week of the presidential inauguration.
The decision, announced Wednesday, came a day after Airbnb said it was reviewing reservations to make sure any of its guests were associated with hate groups or violent activity.
Various local, state and federal officials have been asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C.
Airbnb said that guests whose reservations were cancelled will be refunded in full. It will reimburse hosts — at Airbnb’s expense — the money they would have earned from those cancelled reservations. It also said that reservations at HotelTonight, a service owned by Airbnb that handles last-minute deals at top-rated hotels, will also be cancelled.
Airbnb declined to say how many reservations were cancelled. But over Presidents’ Day weekend, the site lists more than 300 rentals in the Washington, D.C. area.
“We are continuing our work to ensure hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community,” the company said in a corporate blog.
Airbnb said that it had learned through media or law enforcement sources the names of individuals confirmed to have been responsible for the criminal activity at the U.S. Capitol. And it’s investigated whether the named individuals have an account on Airbnb. Through this work, it said it has identified numerous individuals who are associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol building, and they have been banned from Airbnb’s platform.
Airbnb has had a policy of removing guests who are confirmed to be members of hate groups since 2017, when it blocked guests who were headed to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.