What if I need to cancel because of an emergency or unavoidable circumstance?
Please note: This article does not address circumstances related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Review our COVID-19 extenuating circumstances article to learn about coverage of COVID-19 related circumstances, and in particular the coverage limitations for reservations made after 14 March 2020.
How it works
We may be able to give you a refund or waive the cancellation penalties if you have to cancel because of an unexpected circumstance that’s out of your control. Below is a list of circumstances covered by our Extenuating Circumstances Policy. Before you cancel, check that your circumstance is included in the list below and that you can provide the required documentation.
It’s important to keep in mind that penalty-free cancellations are only available for extenuating circumstances that occur before the official check-in date for your reservation. Additionally, our Extenuating Circumstances Policy doesn’t apply to Luxe or Luxury Retreats reservations, which are subject to a separate Luxe Guest Refund Policy.
Circumstances that require documentation
Death of a host, guest, or their co-host, additional guest, immediate family member, or caregiver. You’ll be asked to provide one of these documents:
- Death certificate
- News article naming the deceased
- Police report
Unexpected serious illness or injury affecting a host or member of the travelling party. You’ll be asked to provide a statement from a physician confirming that the person can't host or travel due to an unexpected, serious illness or injury. The statement must be also dated after the reservation was booked and provided within 14 days of cancellation. At this time, pre-existing conditions known to the user at the time of booking are not covered by our Extenuating Circumstances Policy.
Government-mandated obligations including jury duty, travel restrictions, court appearances, and military deployment. You'll be asked to provide a copy of the official notice dated after the reservation was booked, including the name of the person fulfilling the obligation.
Unforeseen property damage, maintenance, and amenity issues to the Airbnb listing that makes it unsafe to host guests, or that prevents guests from accessing basic amenities like running water. This doesn’t include planned renovations. You’ll be asked to provide all of the following documents:
- 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
Transportation disruptions that make it impossible to travel to your destination, including road closures and flight cancellations where there are no alternative methods of travel. This includes closures and cancellations caused by natural disasters, such as earthquakes or severe storms. You’ll be asked to provide a notice of the road closure, or documentation from the airline that the flight was cancelled and supporting documentation confirming that it's not possible to travel to your destination.
Train, bus, or ferry cancellations where no alternate trips were available on the same day. You’ll be asked to provide documentation that clearly shows the carrier was not operating on that day, such as a screenshot of the company’s website or a link to an official statement from the carrier.
Circumstances that require special review
There’s no required documentation for these circumstances, but our specialised team will review each case to confirm that you’re directly affected.
Open Homes reservations that have been cancelled. More info about Open Homes.
Natural disasters, terrorist activity, and civil/political unrest that prevent the guest from travelling to or from the destination, or that make it unsafe to host guests.
Epidemic disease or illness that suddenly affects a region or an entire group of people. This doesn’t include existing diseases that are associated with an area—for example, malaria in Thailand or dengue fever in Hawaii. 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.
Travel restrictions imposed by a government, law enforcement agency, or military that restrict travel to or from the listing or experience location.
Safety and security threat advisories issued for the listing or experience location or the guest party’s departure location.
Essential utility outages that affect the listing or experience location.
Changes to visa or passport requirements that make it impossible to travel to the destination. This doesn’t include lost or expired travel documents.
What to do next
If you’ve confirmed your circumstance meets the requirements above, first cancel your homes reservation or Airbnb Experience. If your reservation falls under a recognised extenuating circumstance, you’ll be notified that your reservation qualifies for a penalty-free cancellation, and you’ll get a full refund if you’re a guest.
If your reservation doesn't qualify automatically, continue cancelling your reservation and then contact us to file a claim. We’ll walk you through the next steps, which will include submitting any required documentation and waiting for our team to review your case. Claims must be submitted within 14 days of cancellation.