Almost all Airbnb customers will be allowed to cancel their reservations for free due to coronavirus
- AirBnB changes cancellation policy to allow customers to pull out free of charge
- Anyone who made reservation on or before March 14 can cancel without penalty
- New policy also means hosts can cancel without charge if its before check-in
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AirBnB has announced that nearly all customer with pre-existing bookings can cancel without paying a charge or penalty.
Anyone who made a reservation on or before March 14 can cancel free of charge, the company said on Saturday.
The new policy also means that hosts can cancel without charge as long as it is done before check-in.
It means many hosts are losing thousands of dollars due to travel bans and lockdowns in Europe and the US.
The new Extenuating Circumstances Policy relating to COVID-16 cancellations came into effect on Saturday, AirBnB announced.
Previously free cancellation was only possible up to 14 days before check-in and a service fee was still applicable.
AirBnB announced that all customers who made reservations before March 14 can cancel without paying a fee or penalty
The company said on its website: ‘In response to the extraordinary events and global disruption to travel caused by COVID-19, today [Saturday] we are announcing updated coverage under Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy.
‘Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy allows hosts and guests to cancel eligible reservations with no charge or penalty.’
AirBnB experiences, where travelers can book tours, classes and workshops, are also covered by the new policy.
The company added: ‘We understand that this announcement will impact hosts around the world, many of whom depend on the economics they generate on Airbnb.
‘We will be working in the days and weeks ahead to identify tools and initiatives to support our hosts during these very challenging times.’
The worldwide outbreak has sickened more than 169,000 people and left more than 6,500 dead, with thousands of new cases confirmed each day.
In the United States, there are more than 3,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and nearly 70 deaths.