I booked an Airbnb. If I cancel, can I get my money back?
This will depend on your host’s cancellation policy and some exceptions the company has made.
Airbnb, the home-sharing platform, did not have a universal cancellation policy before the coronavirus outbreak. Each host can choose to have either a flexible, moderate or strict cancellation policy — depending on what they have advertised in their property listing.
This is still the case amid the outbreak. If you booked a property with a flexible cancellation policy and you cancel at least 24 hours before checking, you can expect a full refund of the nightly rental (everything but the service fee). If you booked a property with a moderate cancellation policy, you must cancel five or more days in advance to get a full refund of the nightly rental.
If the property has a strict cancellation policy you must cancel seven days in advance to get a refund, and it will only be for 50 percent of the nightly rental. (For more details on cancellation policies, visit the Airbnb page.)
In an effort to calm guests’ travel anxieties, the company recently announced that through June 1, guests who choose to cancel a home or an apartment booking, will get a refund of Airbnb’s guest fee, which can be up to 14.2 percent of the total cost, excluding taxes. (The refund is a coupon that you can use during your next stay.)
There are some exceptions to the cancellation policies. If you are a guest traveling to or from severely affected areas (Italy, mainland China, South Korea) you can cancel your booking without charges and you can expect to get a full refund (including any fees) for reservations running generally through the beginning of April (check Airbnb’s website for the policy for each country).
The same applies if you cannot complete your trip because of official travel restrictions, medical or disease control duties related to the coronavirus, if your flight or ground transportation is canceled by your carrier because of Covid-19, or a suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Some places in the United States have declared states of emergency. Can I still travel to those places?
A growing number of states have declared a state of emergency or a public health emergency, including Washington, California, New York and Florida. As a practical matter, that does not affect travel — flights are not canceled and the C.D.C. has not issued any travel restrictions. States of emergency are used by local and state governments to help them shift funding, as well as to have the authority to close schools and other facilities.
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