Airbnb will pay hosts $250 million to help cover cancellations
Airbnb has committed $250 million to cover losses for hosts on the platform. If guests have cancelled bookings between March 14 and March 31 due to a coronavirus-related reason, Airbnb will be paying the host 25% of what they would normally get through the platform's cancellation policy.
Airbnb has said that this policy will apply retroactively to all cancellations over the mentioned period.
This is Airbnb's way of making it up to hosts who might have felt blindsided by an earlier policy that allowed guests to get cancel reservations and yet receive a full refund. That policy, however, is still active for guests who have booked before or on March 14 that begin anytime on or before March 31. Those guests will still receive the refund or travel credit.
"We determined that we had to allow your guests to cancel and receive a full refund—including all our fees," Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote in a letter to hosts today.
"Please know this decision was not a business decision, but based on protecting public health. However, while I believe we did the right thing in prioritizing health and safety, I'm sorry that we communicated this decision to guests without consulting you—like partners should. We have heard from you and we know we could have been better partners," Chesky added.
Beyond that, Airbnb is creating a $10 million fund for its superhosts and experience hosts. Employees have contributed the first $1 million and Airbnb co-founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nate Blecharczyk are providing the other $9 million.
Beginning April, hosts can apply for grants up to $5,000. For guests who want to support hosts during this time will soon be allowed to make payments directly to hosts.