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Airbnb Introduces New Cancellation Policy Worth $250 Million Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Airbnb on March 30 announced that it is putting aside $250 million for hosts who had to bear sudden cancellations because of coronavirus lockdown.


Airbnb on March 30 announced that it is putting aside $250 million for hosts who had to bear sudden cancellations because of coronavirus lockdown. According to a statement released by the company, reservations eligible for the new 25 refund policy are accommodations that were booked on or before March 14 with check-in between March 14 and May 31, 2020. Meanwhile, guests will be able to avail full refund in cancellations related to COVID-19. 

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"Airbnb will pay 25% of what you would’ve received for a cancellation based on your cancellation policy. For example, if you would normally receive $400 USD through your cancellation policy, we'll pay you 25% of that—or $100 USD. We'll send an email with more details in early April to hosts who are getting a payout. Future payments from the fund will be made on a monthly basis to hosts with qualifying cancellations.," the statement read.

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Airbnb further asked its customers and hosts to revisit the reservations booked on or before March 14 with check-in after May 31 and choose to either cancel or re-commit to the reservation as uncertainty regarding free travel still looms large. Airbnb informed that March 14 was chosen as the cut off date because the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus a global pandemic on the same day. 

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Coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19 has claimed more than 37,800 lives across the world and has infected more than 7,85,800 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China was the most affected country until last week before Italy and Spain surpassed it to record the most number of deaths anywhere in the world due to COVID-19. The United States and France are on the verge of overtaking China in terms of the number of deaths recorded in these countries. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.

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(Image credit: AP)

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