I've stayed at several AirBnB properties on bike trips over the years and they've all been great experiences. But it's important to know what the ground rules are before there are issues.


If you're looking to book an AirBnB for your vacation this summer, you should know about changes to the company's refunds and cancellation policy.

It's called AirBnB's "Major Disruptive Events Policy" and it spells out what the company will do if there is a larger scale issue that may prevent you from using the AirBnB property as booked.

The policy that goes into effect June 6th -- regardless of when you booked -- addresses what happens if there are:

  • public health emergencies
  • government travel restrictions
  • military actions or hostiliities
  • utility outages like power or water
  • natural disasters

Generally speaking, if your stay will be affected, AirBnB will allow you to cancel your booking and get a refund regardless of the cancellation policy of the property you booked.

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The new policy, however, doesn't cover everything. You may still be on the hook if:

  • you have problems travelling to the AirBnB property but there aren't problems at the property itself
  • you are unexpectedly sick or injured
  • you have government obligations like jury duty or court appearances that keep you from using your AirBnB
  • there are non-binding travel advisories or guidance that fall short of a travel ban
  • your reason for getting an AirBnB is cancelled or rescheduled like the wedding's called off or your vacation's cancelled
  •  transportation disruptions like an airline stops flying or there's a transportation strike

In other words, if the reason you can't fulfill your booking is out of AirBnB or the host's control, you may not be able to cancel or get a refund.

Of course, there are valid reasons why the guest OR host could legitimately cancel a reservation and you should review those before booking.

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