Why it’s smart to offer flexible cancellations right now
Updated April 21, 2020
Whether you’re being impacted by COVID-19 personally or professionally, we know many of you are worried about your hosting business. We’re working on helping you attract guests for future travel, which includes letting you know about travel trends on Airbnb.
We’ve shared that many guests are searching for local stays right now. Those who are thinking about traveling later on are understandably wanting more flexibility to rebook or cancel reservations. We’ve also heard from hosts that they want a way to set a flexible cancellation policy for a limited period of time, so we built a new feature that allows you to do just that.
We’ve gathered everything you need to know about offering guests more flexibility, so they can have more confidence to book your space.
How can hosts offer more flexibility?
To help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on your hosting business, consider updating your cancellation policy. With more travel restrictions in place, it’s hard to plan right now. Being able to modify or cancel a reservation may encourage guests to go ahead and book.
If you have a strict policy in place, you can switch to a flexible or moderate one by changing your settings on your Listings page. You can always go back to your strict cancellation policy as needed.
Can I set a flexible cancellation policy for the next few months of reservations?
Yes. You’ve asked for a way to set a flexible cancellation policy for a limited time period—for the next few months, let’s say—and we heard you. Now you can use our feature that allows hosts to set short-term flexible cancellation policies for new reservations.
How do I set up a temporary flexible cancellation policy?
Head to your Listings page, where you can turn on a temporary flexible cancellation policy for one or multiple listings. Please keep in mind that this policy will apply to new reservations that take place within a specific time frame. The time frame will vary depending on where your listing is located.
What should I know about these cancellation policies?
Flexible cancellation policies allow guests to get a full refund, including all fees (like the Airbnb service fee or any cleaning fee charged by the host), when they cancel at least 14 days before check-in. Please check this page to find out exactly how cancellations work for stays.
How can I change my cancellation policy?
It’s easy to change your settings. You can update your cancellation policies across multiple listings at once on your Listings page. If you use software to connect to Airbnb, you’ll likely need to make this update with your software.
How will Airbnb support me if I change my cancellation policy to offer more flexibility?
We’ve rolled out a search filter to show listings with cancellation flexibility, so guests can easily find the ones that best suit their needs. We’ll also be highlighting these listings to potential guests.
During a time when you may have a lot of questions and concerns, having more flexible cancellation options can be one way to keep hosting right now. Please note that this policy may change based on how local communities and relevant authorities are managing this difficult time.
We’ll keep sharing more travel trends, hosting tips, and new tools to support your hosting business, and we’re also answering all of your top questions here. As always, thank you for being part of the Airbnb community.