An update on our Major Disruptive Events Policy

As part of our ongoing efforts to support travelers, we are introducing updates to our Extenuating Circumstances Policy, including renaming it to the Major Disruptive Events Policy to better reflect its purpose.

This policy provides cancellation and refund support for our guests when unexpected major events like natural disasters, government travel restrictions or weather events impact their ability to stay at a location. When the policy is in effect, it does two things: first, it overrides the Host’s booking cancellation policy and enables guests to cancel eligible upcoming and active reservations at the impacted location for a refund; and second, it also allows Hosts to cancel reservations without fees and other related consequences.

Now, the policy will explicitly apply to foreseeable weather events, like a hurricane during hurricane season, that result in another covered event happening, like a government travel restriction or large-scale outage of essential utilities. This means guests with eligible reservations can cancel and receive a refund and Hosts can cancel without fees and related consequences.

As an example, if a hurricane were to impact Florida during hurricane season and this led to a mandatory evacuation order, under the old policy affected bookings for this destination would not be eligible for a refund. With this update, in these same circumstances, guests with affected bookings do qualify for a refund.

“The changes to this policy, including its new name, were made to create clarity for our guests and Hosts and ensure it’s meeting the diverse needs of our global community. Our aim was to clearly explain when the policy applies to a reservation, and to deliver fair and consistent outcomes for our users. These updates also bring the policy in line with industry standards.”

Juniper Downs, Airbnb’s Head of Community Policy

Other updates to this policy include:

  • Limiting coverage to large-scale events at the destination location only to help balance the needs of our entire community. This means that the policy will only apply for reservations where a major disruptive event has impacted the location of the listing. 
  • Making clear that mid-trip cancellations can be made due to a covered event, with guests receiving a refund for any nights they didn’t stay and without fees and related consequences for Hosts.
  • Reminding Hosts that they’re obligated to cancel reservations if their listing is uninhabitable or no longer consistent with what was originally booked by their guest, and that they are able to do this without cancellation fees and related consequences.

As this cancellation and refund policy is not designed to apply to all types of unexpected issues and emergencies that can impact a trip,  guests should consider purchasing travel insurance. 

These policy updates come into effect for all reservations taking place on or after June 6, 2024.1 Full details of our Major Disruptive Events Policy can be found here.

1Except as otherwise notified by Airbnb to certain users. Application of this policy may vary where required by local laws and regulations.