How to Cancel Bookings and Get a Refund on Airbnb (Airbnb Cancellation Policy)

By Fatima Turla March 14th, 2020 Posted in Guide for Filipinos, Travel Blog 3 Comments

Please note that the Cancellation and Refund Policy of Airbnb depends on the host. However, there are some guidelines you can follow in case you really need to cancel your bookings. In this article, we’ll help you with the different ways you can do upon canceling your bookings on Airbnb

How to Cancel Non-Refundable Bookings Hotels & Tours [with sample email template]
Annie Spratt
When unexpected events occur, We’re left with no choice but to cancel our trips. That includes canceling flights and booking reservations. Here’s how you can cancel bookings and get a refund on one of the most popular marketplaces for homestays, or lodging, the Airbnb.

How to Cancel A Pending Reservation Request

If your reservation hasn’t been accepted by the host, you can cancel it without charges. However, if you cancel it after the reservation has been accepted, then your reservation will be subjected to the terms of the host’s cancellation policy. 

Step 1: In your Airbnb app or website, go to ‘Trips’ and choose your trip. 

How to Cancel Bookings and Get a Refund on Airbnb (Airbnb Cancellation Policy)

Step 2: Click ‘Your home reservation’. If you’re already on your trip, you may need to click your check-in date to find this information.

Step 3: Just click Cancel

How to Cancel A Reservation for a Place to Stay

Step 1: In your Airbnb app or website, go to ‘Trips’ and find the trip you want to cancel.

Step 2: Tap ‘Show details’.

Step 3: Click ‘Change’ or ‘Cancel’

Step 4: You’ll be redirected to a new page where you can choose to change or cancel your reservation. Click the ‘Next’ button under the ‘Cancel reservation’ to start the cancellation process.

Again, your reservation will be subjected to the terms of the host’s cancellation policy. Check below about the cancellation policies that are imposed by hosts.

Airbnb Standardized Cancellation and Refund Policies Hosts Choose From

This is the list of various standardized cancellation and refund policies that hosts imposed. ALWAYS check and read them before you book.

Flexible 

In this cancellation policy, guests are entitled to a free cancellation until 14 days before check-in (the time will be shown in the confirmation email). If you book it in less than 14 days before your check-in, it’s free cancellation for 48 hours after booking, up to 24 hours before check-in. Meaning, guests can cancel up to 24 hours before check-in and can still get a refund of the nightly rate and the cleaning fee, but not the service fee. 

Cancels 24 hours before check-in: Guests can get a full refund of the nightly rate.

Cancels less than 24 hours before check-in: The first night is non-refundable.

Note: The service fee will not be refunded unless you cancel within the free cancellation period for your reservation.

Moderate

Almost the same as the flexible policy, the only difference is that guests can cancel up to 5 days before check-in and can still get a refund of the nightly rate and the cleaning fee, but not the service fee. Take note, it should be 5 days before check-in, not 24 hours. 

Cancels 5 days before check-in: Guests can get a full refund of the nightly rate.

Cancels less than 5 days before check-in: The first night is non-refundable but 50% of the nightly rate for the remaining nights will be refunded.

Note: The service fee will not be refunded unless you cancel within the free cancellation period for your reservation.

Strict

Here, guests are entitled to a free cancellation for 48 hours as long as the guest cancels the booking at least 14 days before check-in. Guests can also cancel up to 7 days before check-in and would get a 50% refund of the nightly rate, and the cleaning fee, but not the service fee.

Cancels within 48 hrs and at least 14 days before check-in: Guests can get a full refund of the nightly rate.

Cancels 7 days before check-in: Guests can get a 50% refund of the nightly rate. Remember to cancel it 7 days before your check-in otherwise, there will be no refund. And just in case the guest paid only 50% of the reservation, no refund will be made and the remaining 50% will not be charged. 

Long Term

This cancellation policy is applied to all reservations of 28 nights or more. In this policy, guests can cancel before check-in (3:00 PM in the destination’s local time if it’s not specified) and can get a full refund, minus the first 30 days (the first month) and the service fee

If the guests book a long term reservation and cancel it before the start date, the first month of the reservation should be paid to the host in full and is non-refundable. 

The other two cancellation policies are ‘Super Strict 30 Days’ and ‘Super Strict 60 Days’. These two are, however, by invitation only to certain hosts under special circumstances.

Note: You won’t get a refund of the Airbnb service fee if you’ve received 3 service fee refunds in the last 12 months or if the canceled reservation overlaps with an existing reservation.

Need to Cancel Because of an Emergency

If an emergency occurred and it’s unavoidable or out of your control, Airbnb also has a policy for that and they may offer you a refund. 

Extenuating Circumstances Policy

Under the Extenuating Circumstances Policy of Airbnb, there are certain circumstances that they will consider to accept your refund request. These circumstances have 2 categories; require documentation and require special review.

Circumstances that Require Documentation

  1. Death of a host, guest, or their co-host, additional guest, immediate family member, or caregiver. You will be asked to provide at least one of these documents such as Death Certificate; Obituary; News article naming the deceased; Police Report
  2. Unexpected serious illness or injury that affects the host or member of the traveling party. You will need to provide a statement from a physician confirming that the person can’t host or travel due to an unexpected, serious illness or injury.  Note: The statement should be dated after the reservation was made and provided within 14 days of cancellation. At this time, pre-existing conditions/injuries of the user at the time of booking are not covered by the Extenuating Circumstances Policy.
  3. Government-mandated obligations. This includes jury duty, travel restrictions, court appearances, and military deployment. You will need to provide a copy of the official notice dated after the reservation was made.
  4. Unforeseen property damage, maintenance, and amenity issues. Documents needed: 
    • Proof that the issue is being fixed 
    • An estimate of when it will be fixed
    • An invoice for the repairs being done
    • Photos of the damage
  5. Transportation disruptions. This includes road closures and flight cancellations where there are no alternative ways of travel due to natural disasters, such as earthquakes or severe storms. You will be asked to provide a notice of the road closure, or documentation from the airline that the flight was indeed canceled and other supporting documents confirming that it’s not possible to travel to your destination.

Circumstances that Require Special Review

You don’t need to provide any documentation under this category. However, your request would be under review by Airbnb’s specialized team.

  1. Open Homes reservations that were canceled.
  2. Natural disasters, terrorist activity, and civil/political unrest that stop the guest from traveling to or from the destination, or makes it unsafe to host guests.
  3. Epidemic disease or illness that affects a region or an entire group of people. Remember that this doesn’t include existing diseases that are correlated with an area. Note: Airbnb states that “Any updates to our policy regarding the outbreak of a disease, and the scope of policy application, will be determined based on announcements by the World Health Organization and local authorities”.
  4. Travel restrictions that are imposed by a government, law enforcement agency, or military that restrict travel to or from the listing or experience location.
  5. Safety and security threat advisories that are issued for the listing or experience location or the guest party’s departure location.
  6. Crucial utility outages that affect the listing or experience location.
  7. Changes to visa or passport requirements that would make it impossible to travel to the destination. It doesn’t include lost or expired travel documents.

What to do Next

If you meet one of the requirements above, you need to cancel your reservation first (steps stated above). If, in any case, your reservation falls under any recognized extenuating circumstance, you’ll be notified that your reservation qualifies for a penalty-free cancellation, and you can get a full refund.

If your reservation, however, doesn’t meet one of the requirements above just continue canceling and contact Airbnb directly so you can file a claim. Airbnb will assist you through the next steps. Remember that claims must be submitted within 14 days of cancellation.

How to Cancel Bookings and Get a Refund on Airbnb (Airbnb Cancellation Policy)
Photo by Open Grid Scheduler CC0 1.0

To summarize the cancellation policy of Airbnb, all you have to do is always read the hosts’ policy before you reserve or book. Also, you can contact your host directly just in case something came up. The two of you can come up to an agreement (even if it’s not written on their cancellation policy) for as long as you talk through about it. When both of you (and the host) agreed then that’s the time you can contact or write to Airbnb and they will refund in full. You will get your refund immediately upon cancellation. It usually shows up within 3-5 days, but sometimes it can take as long as 15 days before they reflect on the original payment method.

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About the Writer

Fatima Turla2Hi there! I’m Fatima. My first major travel was in 2016 in the beautiful city of Cebu. After that, I got interested in traveling. Now I enjoy learning languages and other country’s cultures. My goal is to visit at least one country each year and to share my experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness my journey by following me on Instagram.

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3 thoughts on “How to Cancel Bookings and Get a Refund on Airbnb (Airbnb Cancellation Policy)

  1. Any idea how can I reimburse my refund? Will it be directed to the payment method I used or do I have other options like thru another bank?

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Written by Fatima Turla

Fatima is a full-time writer of Two Monkeys Travel. Her first major trip was in 2016 and got really interested in traveling. She also enjoys learning languages and other country’s cultures. She has a goal to visit at least one country each year and share her experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness her journey by following her on Instagram.

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