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AIBU to challenge AirBnB host?

(32 Posts)
Suchafaff Wed 20-May-20 14:51:35

I am meant to be travelling up north with my family at the end of August for a family event. My husband and I discussed it and as there is no guarantee that travelling over 300 miles to have a holiday will be allowed that we would cancel.

I contact the host and explained the situation and they have refused a full refund based on the fact that they tell me that we can travel and as it is a cottage we can socially distance. They also say that as things will be 'back to normal' in 3 months that I would have to pay the cancellation fee.

I am quite surprised as I was under the impression you can day trip to places but not travel to have a holiday? Or have I completely misinterpreted things?

My DH now says that we should wait as if there is a second spike and everything is locked down again then she will have to give us a full refund but I am reluctant.

I don't know what to do. I want to challenge her understanding of the guidance but then my DH doesn't want to upset her and be put on the 'bad guests' list before we have even stayed there.

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ferretface Wed 20-May-20 14:55:01

It isn't clear what the situation in August would be so I don't think it is necessarily U of her to apply normal cancellation conditions - but what are normal cancellation conditions, normally you would only have paid a deposit now?

If she can't provide the service then she will have to provide a full refund so your husband is right on that front. But there's a chance that SC lets will be allowed in Aug even if other hospitality industry isn't fully open for business.

Suchafaff Wed 20-May-20 15:02:52

@ferretface thank you, I am just concerned that she is under the impression all will be back to normal and I don't think that will be the case. The whole reason we are going is to see family and if the restrictions are still in place then that won't be allowed.

We paid for the cottage in full but I am going to go and look again at the cancellation information.

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Nicknacky Wed 20-May-20 15:04:37

It’s three months away. What makes you think we won’t be allowed to visit places by then?

So I don’t blame them not giving you a full refund. Just wait and see what’s happens.

NoMorePoliticsPlease Wed 20-May-20 15:05:36

I think the AirBnB have over ruled some owners

TyneTeas Wed 20-May-20 15:07:32

I think the refund position for Airbnb depends on when it was booked.

When did you book OP?

curlyLJ Wed 20-May-20 15:08:38

AirBnB over-ruled an owner and gave us a full refund, but that was for a trip in April to the USA that we weren't allowed to do (as Trump had banned travel by that point).

I think perhaps for a trip at the end of August it might be worth waiting to see what happens. AirBnB might be able to help you if there are still heavy restrictions in place nearer the time.

Suchafaff Wed 20-May-20 15:10:04

@TyneTeas I booked in January so well before all of this happened. I have just emailed AirBnB to see what they are advising.

I know it is 3 months away and I am typically quite an optimistic person but I just worry about it still being unsafe to travel.

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TyneTeas Wed 20-May-20 15:13:09

An Airbnb host in a different country told me that for ones booked before a certain date (in Feb or March I think) that you could get a full refund and the host received a small compensatory amount from Airbnb too

SirVixofVixHall Wed 20-May-20 15:15:05

At the moment the guidance is very clear, that you can’t travel to another area and stay there overnight. You can drive somewhere else to walk or whatever, but not for a holiday.
This might change by August though.
These are the rules for England, the rest of the UK has a no travel rule too.

dicksplash Wed 20-May-20 15:16:04

I think you are thinking too far ahead at the moment. We also have a cottage booked for scotland in August and still very much hope we can go but expecting we might not. We wouldn't be trying to cancel yet and will wait until the government restrictions are clear for the tome if our trip.

Suchafaff Wed 20-May-20 15:18:35

@SirVixofVixHall thank you, this is exactly what I thought. I have emailed the host to say that currently it is not the case that we can travel to holiday somewhere.

I am torn but think I will just have to wait and risk it.

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SunflowerSeedsForever Wed 20-May-20 15:19:46

The host is right
If you cant travel due to restrictions (not by choice) at the end of August you will be eligible for a refund.
If you cancel just because you don't want to go (which trying to cancel is at the moment) then you wont.

Redglitter Wed 20-May-20 15:19:50

Air BnB seem to, very sensibly, be reviewing and extending the refund dates. It's only covered til the end of June just now so your host is perfectly entitled to only offer a partial refund. Cant see Air BnB over ruling that at the moment.

The booking is 3 months away. Why not just wait and see what's happening nearer the time. Surely there's no great urgency to sort it just now

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 20-May-20 15:21:25

The govt also said that hotels and B&B's could possibly open from July 4th depending on numbers so everything is up in the air at the moment

vanillandhoney Wed 20-May-20 15:21:41

If you cancel now then no, you won't be eligible for a refund. You may still be able to go in August - it's not for another three months, after all.

Wait until nearer the time.

Suchafaff Wed 20-May-20 15:23:44

Thank you everyone, we will wait and see what happens. I suppose I was worried mainly because her interpretation of what is currently allowed was not correct.

We really do want to go and see family so fingers crossed all will be ok and there will be no restrictions. I think anxiety levels are high at the moment.

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Nicknacky Wed 20-May-20 15:34:50

She isn’t wrong though. You seem to think her interpretation is incorrect. Just wait and see.

mindutopia Wed 20-May-20 15:35:12

Airbnb is making cancellation decisions based on the current guidance when your trip is planned. We had one booked for this month. I easily received a full refund as obviously we are not currently allowed to travel for a holiday (well, we weren't at the beginning of May).

There is absolutely no telling what the guidance will be in August, so you can either cancel according to normal cancellation policy and get only a portion of your payment back, or you can wait until August and decide if you'll either go or apply for a full refund if restrictions are in place. Personally, I'd hang on to the booking and plan to go, and only cancel if you have to.

We have a holiday planned for the 2nd week of September (to a family property, so no booking or cost), but I would definitely plan to go. It will be lovely to get away as long as we are allowed to travel, and we can easily socially distance.

GreenTulips Wed 20-May-20 15:50:46

I’ve just looked at a hotel chain

They are taking bookings from 5th July onwards

Frannyhy Wed 20-May-20 16:19:15

I’m an Airbnb host. Wait until nearer the time. If you cancel now you lose your money.

I’ve just had a guest cancel for August - she has lost £300 due to my strict cancellation policy.

itswinetime Wed 20-May-20 16:22:07

I think there are 2 parts to this

1) will you be allowed to travel and stay in hotels/Airbnb by august and the answer to that is no one knows. Your right you can't at the moment though. If you still can't then you should be entitled to a full refund but if the government allow it by then normal terms and conditions will apply for cancellations.

2) Do you only want to go if you can visit family? I think this is less likely to be given then ok by august. You may be able to visit one or two family members but I don't think events are likely to be taking place by then. That's just my opinion obviously. If you don't want to travel unless you can do as you planed then you can risk it and not cancel hoping the government rules will mean you get a full refund. Or cancel now and yes loose some money but get the majority back.

lampygirl Wed 20-May-20 16:23:20

Just wait until closer the time. We have cancelled one AirBNB for first week of June for a full refund under their updated conditions. Another for the week after we have moved to the same week next year, though they were happy to offer a refund too, we’d happily move that as it’s a long weekend European city break we can drive to. I’ve not tackled August or October yet, still too far away for the ‘special circumstances’ type T&C to kick in.

Idododoidadada Wed 20-May-20 16:26:50

Being as you have contacted both her and Airbnb direct you might be best to check that your booking is still held.
You would have been better doing nothing until nearer the time tbh.
I wonder if Franny was your host!

countrygirl99 Wed 20-May-20 16:31:36

Airbnb have a very good covid cancellation policy but the dates for it to apply are moving with the advice, which is as it should be. We had accommodation booked for a wedding in June, as soon as the policy dates covered it we cancelled and the money was back in our account by lunchtime. August is too far off to expect a full refund yet.

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