Airbnb updates refund window

The home-sharing company revised its extenuating circumstances policy on Friday to allow guests to obtain reservation refunds for Airbnb bookings on or before March 14 and have a check-in date between March 14 and June 15.

Airbnb guests canceling on bookings meeting these conditions have the option of either getting a full cash refund or travel credit.

In addition, hosts can cancel without charge under the new policy without affecting their Superhost status, a distinction given to top-rated hosts within the organization.

The current refund policy does not apply if a reservation has already begun or the check-in date has passed.

Under pressure from the coronavirus epidemic, Airbnb revealed on Monday that it is implementing a new recommended cleaning policy with the goal of informing both rental property hosts and their guests.

In a statement, Airbnb said the optional Enhanced Cleaning Program would provide advice on best and safest practices for cleaning the different rooms in a residence. This should include a manual outlining the requirements about 40 pages long, as well as describing various chemicals and other materials to do the job.

The protocol would also allow a minimum of 24 hours between rentals for those hosts who want to opt in to minimise the risk that a guest may encounter any residual viruses. Potential visitors will be able to see which hosts have already opted in.

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