Discover in this guide all you need to know on the Airbnb cancellation policy for guests and what consequences cancellations have for you as a host.
On the Airbnb booking platform, both hosts and guests can cancel bookings. As a host, you can determine under what conditions your guests can cancel their booking. The differences in the three types of cancellation policies lie in the time between the cancellation and the check-in date, and the amount of the refund.
You can set a cancellation policy for each listing individually. If the booking is over 28 nights, Airbnb’s cancellation policy for long-term bookings will automatically apply.
For vacation rentals, you have a choice of four different cancellation policies:
If you opt for a flexible cancellation policy, cancellation is possible and free on Airbnb up to 24 hours before check-in without penalty. Guests will then receive a full refund.
Upon a guest’s cancellation under moderate policy, a full refund is only possible if the guest cancels at least five days before their check-in date.
A firm cancellation policy means that the cancellation must not be made at short notice and the refund value is lower.
With a firm cancellation policy, guests must cancel at least 30 days prior to check-in time to receive a full refund. If they cancel between 7 and 30 days before arrival, you as the host will receive 50% of their what guests would have paid.
To receive a full refund, guests must cancel within 48 hours of booking, and the cancellation must occur at least 14 days before the planned arrival date. If they cancel between 7 and 14 days before that date, you’ll be paid 50% for all nights. If they cancel after that, you’ll be paid 100% for all nights. There are two more options within this type of cancellation plan: “Super Strict for 30 days” and “Super Strict for 60 days”.
Super Strict 30 days is only available for certain hosts on an invite only basis. The procedure is like the Strict cancellation policy, but only within the first 30 days before check-in date. Guests will need cancel within at least 30 days before arrival date to receive a 50% refund. You will be paid 100% for all nights if they cancel after that. Besides this option, there is also a Super Strict 60 days.
Super Strict 60 days is also invitation-only for certain hosts under special circumstances. Guests must cancel at least 60 days before check-in to receive a 50% refund for all nights If they cancel after that, you’ll be paid 100% for all nights.
The details of the Airbnb Cancellation Policy.
As a host, you can change your cancellation policy at any time. To do so, go to “Manage listing” -> “Booking settings” -> then “edit” next to Cancellation policy.
Depending on the time of cancellation and severity of the terms, your guests will be refunded the full price or for remaining nights, etc.
Airbnb service fees are an exception here, as they can be refunded to guests only up to three times per year.
Your guests would receive a refund of the cleaning fee if they cancelled before the check-in time.
Sometimes it happens that the listing on AirBnb does not include all the necessary details about the vacation rental and guests find out on the spot that they cannot stay. This is the case, for example, when the landlord forgets to mention pets or non-accessible access. Under these conditions, guests are entitled to a replacement accommodation or a refund.
If a guest must cancel their reservation due to an emergency, a refund is available in certain circumstances. These include unexpected travel restrictions, disaster situations, and epidemics such as a special Airbnb Covid Cancellation that was implemented during the pandemic, but not sudden illnesses or accidents.
Learn more about the special circumstances policy.
Sometimes it happens that you must cancel a booking as a host yourself. Since Airbnb wants to keep this rate as low as possible, you will have to pay cancellation fees in these cases. The amount of the fee depends on the time you cancelled the booking. The amount will be automatically deducted from your next checkout.
A consequence of the cancellation is that your booking calendar on Airbnb remains blocked for the period of the cancelled booking. AirBnb does this so you can’t accept new bookings instead of the one you cancelled.
If you as a landlord cancel a booking before the check-in time, Airbnb will place a note about it in your listing. You can’t remove this notice, just comment on why you had to cancel the booking. This way you can make it clear to potential guests that the cancellation was an exception, and they can book with you without hesitation.
If you have activated the “instant booking” function, you may be able to cancel guests’ bookings without any consequences. This is possible, for example, if guests with several negative reviews have booked with you.
Also, if you have reason to believe that the guests are not reliable and will not abide by your house rules, you can cancel free of charge to prevent any expected damage to your accommodation.
Avoid double-booking today with Smoobu’s all-in-one vacation rental management software. Try it for free for 14 days and take it to the next level.
Try Smoobu Pro for 14 days. No credit card required!