Chapter 4

Airbnb Host Cancellation Policy

The Airbnb host cancellation policy is dictated by set rules that are put in place by the vacation rental platform.

Guests put a great deal of trust in the owners that use the platform. Once a traveler has booked a property, they are under the assumption that their travel accommodation has been looked after. If for some reason, an Airbnb host decides to go ahead with canceling, this can make it an unpleasant experience for the guest.


Airbnb Cancellation Options

It’s important to be strategic when setting the cancellation policy for your guests. In order to apply or change your cancellation policy, follow these simple steps: 

  • Go to Listings and click on the one you would like to edit
  • Click on Booking Settings
  • Scroll down to Policies
  • Click Edit next to Cancellation Policy
  • Choose one and click Save

Airbnb Cancellation Policy

Airbnb provides a variety of options for hosts to select for stays under 28 nights. For reservations that are 28 days or more, the long-term cancellation policy applies automatically. Here are the cancellation policies you can apply to your Airbnb listing: 

Flexible

Flexible cancellation means that guests can cancel their booking for free up until 24 hours before the local check-in time. If they’re late with the cancellation, they’ll get charged for the first night and the service fee.

Moderate

This option allows guests to cancel five days before check-in for a full refund. If they cancel less than five days before check-in, they’ll get a 50% refund but will be charged with the first night and the service fee. 

Strict

A strict cancellation policy means that guests can cancel their reservation for free within 48 hours of booking it (and at least 14 days before the check-in time). Guests can also cancel up to seven days before the check-in but will only get a 50% refund of the nightly rate and cleaning fee. The service fee will still be charged.

Airbnb Cancellation Policy

Long-Term

The long-term option is automatically applied when a booking is 28 nights or more. If the cancellation occurs at least 28 days before check-in, reservations are fully refundable 48 hours after booking. If a guest cancels after those 48 hours, they will have to pay for the first 30 days and the service fee. 

Super Strict 30 Days

With the Super Strict 30 day cancellation policy, guests can cancel 30 days before check-in. They’ll receive a 50% refund of the nightly rate and the cleaning fee, but the service fee is non-refundable in this case. This policy is only available for hosts that have their Airbnb account connected to software. 

Super Strict 60 Days

This option is identical to the Super Strict 30 Day policy. Guests can get a 50% refund of the nightly rate and cleaning fee if they cancel at least 60 days before check-in but will not receive the refunded service fee.

Canceling or Changing a Reservation as a Host

An Airbnb host cancellation is when a property owner cancels the booking that a guest has made. The steps an owner needs to take to cancel the reservation are quite simple but should only be done if necessary: 

  • Log in to the Airbnb website and go to Reservations
  • Click on the reservation that you would like to cancel
  • Click on the three dots and tap on Change or cancel
  • Follow the instructions

If your guests are checking in within 24 hours, you will need to contact Airbnb directly to cancel the reservation. 

If you’re looking to change a reservation during a trip, you can send your guests a request with the following steps: 

  • Go to Reservations and choose the reservation you would like to change
  • Click on Change or cancel 
  • Press Change Reservation
  • Make the necessary changes and click Continue
  • Review the changes you have made and Send request

Airbnb Host Cancellation Penalty

Airbnb does not like to see cancellations because of the negative impact that it can have on travelers. Although it is understood that perhaps, on rare occasions, some owners may not have any other option because of extenuating circumstances.

Airbnb has implemented a cancellation policy that includes a penalty so that a proprietor who is canceling will have to pay. They do, however, give an allowance of one cancellation within a six-month period whereby no penalties will be levied against hosts who canceled within this time frame.

Airbnb Cancellation Policy

Airbnb Fees for Host Cancellation

After the first free cancellation has been implemented, hosts have to pay for any following cancellations. If this is done more than seven days before the guest is to check in, then the penalty is $50. If the proprietor cancels in less than a week, there is a penalty fee of $100. These fees are taken off the subsequent amount that would be paid by the site.

While many hosts believe these penalties are too harsh, Airbnb intends on preserving its reputation of providing good experiences for both travelers and owners. The good news is that if you’ve completed 10 consecutive bookings without canceling, the fee can be waived.

Terms and Conditions for Host Cancellations

It will be noted on the host’s profile that they carried through with a cancellation. While these automated reviews stay on the profile permanently, they can write a clarification as to why this took place if needed.

In addition to this, the calendar that is used for the bookings will have this cancellation period for the property blocked. This means that owners will not be able to rent out the property on the platform for that time period.

For those that are hoping to earn their Superhost status, this will be delayed for one year beginning from the date of the latest cancellation.

Last but not least, if a host cancels three or more reservations in a year, their account can be suspended or deactivated.

Exceptions for Instant Book Hosts

Those hosts who use the instant book option for their listing may not have to pay the penalty if they indicate that they are worried about the way people may behave or have other reservation concerns. In order to go through with the cancellation in this circumstance, the owner needs to go to the reservation and click on the change or cancel option, then indicate the reason. Airbnb will then strive to find a replacement guest for this time period.

Refunds

For travelers who have been subject to a cancellation, there may be a few options for their refund. If they wish to reserve another property, then the money will be transferred to this reservation rather than being refunded. In lieu of this, guests can ask for a full refund. If the cancellation took place on a reservation that was four weeks away, then no refund request is needed as this will be done automatically.

How to Avoid Cancelling on Guests

Life can often get in the way of the success of your business. If you’re manually managing your rental on several listing sites, the chaos of it all can cause you to overbook certain dates. While we can always say “it happens”, the truth is that these mistakes can negatively affect your reputation and drop guest loyalty significantly. 

To avoid the cancellation penalty, you can use Airbnb management software to stay on top of your bookings and never miss a detail. With this technology, you can automatically sync your calendars, reservations, and rates from different listing sites onto a single platform. You can even automate guest communication and take your customer service to the next level. 

The more you reduce cancellations, the better reviews you will receive. The next chapter in this guide will focus on the importance of Airbnb reviews, how to write reviews for past guests, and some guidelines to keep you informed.