Booking an Airbnb vacation is exciting! But plans change, trips get canceled, and for some reason or another, you may need to cancel your reservation.
However, some Airbnb locations are expensive and when you need to request a refund it comes from individual sellers.
Some refunds are complete, and some are just partial. Make sure you are familiar with the host’s cancellation policy before you request a refund.
It is relatively simple to get a refund from Airbnb as long as the host and the guest can work together. If you do need to cancel an Airbnb booking, you should cancel it as soon as possible to get a refund.
You can request a refund from Airbnb by messaging your host to cancel, or by managing trips on the Airbnb website or app. You can get a full refund if you cancel more than 14 days before your reservation begins. Some hosts allow you to cancel up to 24 hours before check-in for 100% money back.
If you book enough Airbnb’s, chances are eventually you will need a refund. Of course, it’s best to wait until your plans are set to book your Airbnb stay but sometimes it happens, and you still need a refund.
Or, sometimes there is something wrong with the booking once you get there and you want some money back.
When requesting a refund from Airbnb, make sure you know your host’s cancellation policy and tips for how to get the most money back. Read on for more information on how to get a refund from Airbnb.
You can get a full refund from Airbnb, including all taxes and fees, whenever a host cancels a reservation.
If plans change, you should try to cancel as soon as possible by messaging your host. Additionally, if something is amiss during your stay and your host can’t fix it, you may be able to get a partial refund.
However, if you and your host cannot come to an agreement on a suitable refund, then you can work through the Airbnb resolution center to get a refund.
Once the refund is decided, it can take anywhere from two to ten days to post to your account. Although Airbnb has a generous refund policy, you should not cancel too often.
If you cancel more than three times in a year, Airbnb will not refund their service fees.
Airbnb is not currently offering refunds due to the Covid pandemic because it is no longer an unforeseen circumstance.
However, if you or the host has Covid then your cancellation is covered under Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy.
To get money back from Airbnb through your host:
- Message your host
- Request a refund
- Explain your reasoning
To get money back from Airbnb on the website or app:
- Click “Trips” on the menu of the site or the bottom of the app
- Select the reservation in question
- Scroll to “Cancel reservation”
- Follow the prompts and confirm your cancellation
The easiest way to get money back from an Airbnb stay is to just message the host and request it. Whether it’s a stay or an experience, the process for getting a refund is the same.
You will need to discuss with your host how much money to be returned and for what reasons.
Reasons for a refund other than cancellation include:
- The host did not provide you reasonable access to the location
- The unit was misrepresented on the listing
- The unit is still dirty from the previous guest
- The unite is unsafe
- An amenity in the unit (such as Wi-Fi, hot water, or heating or cooling) is broken
If you are having one of these issues, try to contact your host first to see if they can fix the problem. If not, then they may issue you a partial refund.
Additionally, you should always check your host’s cancellation policy before you cancel because sometimes your cancellation can still cost you.
You can check that under your reservation in Trips or under your reservation confirmation email.
However, if you need to cancel due to circumstances beyond your control like a serious illness, government mandates, natural disasters, etc. then you should contact Airbnb directly for a refund.
You can call their customer service at 1-855-424-7262 (for help in the US) or 1-415-800-5959 (for help elsewhere).
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3 Types of Cancellation Policies on Airbnb
Depending on what type of cancellation policy your host has you may be able to get all or part of your fees back.
These policies will be listed under “Trips” on the Airbnb app or website and under your confirmation email.
Also, keep in mind that the deadlines to cancel are listed in the local time zone, so make sure you figure out any time differences to meet cancellation deadlines.
Here are the different types of cancellation policies on Airbnb and what they mean for getting a refund.
If a host has flexible cancellations, you can cancel up to 24 hours before check-in for a full refund.
If you cancel less than 24 hours before your check-in, then you will need to pay for the first night, but you will still get a full refund on all remaining nights. Only select hosts have this policy.
Moderate cancellation policies allow you to cancel up to five days before check-in for a full refund.
After that, the first night is non-refundable, but you can still get a refund on 50% of any remaining nights.
This is the most popular policy that hosts use because it offers a little flexibility but still protects their bookings.
A strict cancellation policy is the hardest way to get a refund because you have to cancel at least 14 days before check-in to get a full refund and at least seven days before for a 50% refund.
After seven days, you cannot get any refund at all. Most high-demand Airbnb’s have a strict cancellation policy.
Additionally, due to Covid cleaning procedures, more hosts have started to use this policy because they need to coordinate with professional cleaners.
If you are the host, you can refund your guests in the following steps:
- Go to the “Your Reservations” page
- Select the reservation in question
- Click “Issue Refund”
If your guest has an issue like broken Wi-Fi, no hot water, or something similar, then you can send them a partial refund.
However, as soon as you submit the refund amount, the transaction is considered final. If your guest has additional issues, you will need to submit another request.
Full Refund vs Partial Refund
You may need different amounts of a refund from Airbnb, depending on if you’re canceling well in advance or if you need to cancel during your stay.
You cannot get a refund for coupons, and some trips have cutoff times for cancelation, after which you are not eligible for a refund.
Service fees are not refundable if it is after the grace period, you double booked over a reservation, or you have canceled more than three times in the last twelve months.
So, it’s not a good idea to overlap reservations or cancel too frequently because Airbnb will not refund their service fees.
You can usually get a full refund if you cancel your reservation more than 14 days before the first day of your stay.
However, the actual grace period can vary depending on individual hosts. If a host cancels the reservation, you will get a full refund, including all taxes and fees.
If the grace period has passed, or if something is amiss during your stay at Airbnb, you may be able to get a partial refund.
Of course, it is best to contact your host first if you have an issue to see if they can make it right. If they can’t fix the issue, then a partial refund is the next best option.
How Long it Takes to Get the Refund
You can get a refund from Airbnb within ten days or sooner, depending on your payment method. Typically, Airbnb refunds are processed within 48 hours.
However, keep in mind that if you need to change currencies, or your bank has a longer processing time, then it can take longer.
If you get your refund in Airbnb credit, Apple Pay, Hongbao credit or PayPal, it will arrive within 24 hours.
Some major credit cards and debit cards can take up to 15 business days to process your refund from Airbnb, while some credit cards in Brazil can take up to two credit card statements to post the refund.
If Dispute: Use Airbnb Resolution Center
If you cannot settle an issue or refund with the individual host, you can use Airbnb’s Resolution Center to get mediation.
The Resolution Center is designed to let you request or send money and offer fair solutions for both hosts and guests.
You can submit a report to the Resolution Center within 60 days of your checkout date.
Note that this method is best only if you’re having trouble contacting the host or agreeing with the host on a refund or if you want a larger refund.
Always contact your host first. But, if that doesn’t work, you can rely on Airbnb for mediation.
To use the resolution center for a refund:
- Head to the Airbnb Resolution Center
- Click “Request Money”
- Select the reservation you want a refund for
- Click “View Details”
- Select “Request a Refund”
After 72 hours if you still haven’t come to an agreement with your host then Airbnb will automatically give you a few mediation options to complete the process.
You can also elect to reach out to a support agent directly 72 hours after opening the request.
A dedicated Airbnb team member will then be assigned to the case and will review the information both the guest and host provide before making a decision.
How to Win Dispute
If you do need to use the Airbnb Resolution Center, it can be intimidating and difficult to navigate. However, you can win a dispute with a few best practices and by remembering to remain calm.
If you are having an issue with a stay, make sure to take photos to record the proof. Capture the photos as clear as possible to upload with any dispute.
Additionally, do your best to maintain positive reviews from your stays. The more positive reviews you have, the better your odds are.
Always negotiate from a place of logic instead of emotion so that you do not say anything you will regret.
How to Contact Airbnb Support
If you have any issues with getting a refund, you can contact Airbnb support at 1-855-424-7262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure to have your account and reservation information handy to share with the support agent.
You can also log in at https://www.airbnb.com/help/contact-us/ and request support with your account already signed in and verified.
Airbnb Refund Exception: Covid-19
Airbnb does have a clause in its refund policy for extenuating circumstances, which includes changes to government travel, natural disasters, military actions like war, and local or national emergencies.
It also applies to public health emergencies, like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, Airbnb will cover cancellations for any reservations made on or before March 14, 2020.
But any reservations made after then will simply defer to the extenuating circumstances clause of the Airbnb refund policy.
According to Airbnb, at this point, the pandemic is no longer an unforeseen circumstance, so it no longer applies under their extenuating circumstances clause.
However, if a guest or host is currently sick with Covid-19, then the extenuating circumstances clause always applies.
If you get Covid-19, you can cancel online and select, “I have an extenuating circumstance.”
If you need to book a flexible Airbnb reservation because of Covid, then the company recommends choosing a host with a flexible cancellation policy.
Additionally, you can always negotiate with your host for a full refund if you have extenuating circumstances.