Amid disruptions in the travel industry, Airbnb pledged in March to provide cash refunds to qualified guests who have had stays disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. But now some guests contend that the homesharing company is making them go through obstacles to get their money returned, CNBC reported.
Multiple guests have reportedly told the outlet that they are being provided travel credits in lieu of money, and they aren’t able to receive full cash refunds unless they provide documentation demonstrating that travel restrictions apply to them or they are a part of other categories. Select clients have had to put their concerns on social media or reach out to executives through email.
The coronavirus has impacted many industries and the travel space in particular. Travelers called off corporate and leisure trips in large numbers as the virus proliferated. The U.S. Travel Association, for its part, foresees that the industry will shed 4.6 million positions in 2020. Guests of Airbnb, as well as other vacation rental firms, have been especially susceptible because they have to pay for a large share of their accommodations prior to their trips.
“Our community support team has been working around the clock against this global crisis to help both hosts and guests throughout a situation that has been challenging for the entire industry,” an Airbnb spokesperson told CNBC. “We activated our Extenuating Circumstances policy to provide guests with full refunds or credit because we believe this is the responsible thing to do given the guidance of governments and health experts.”
In separate news, Airbnb will be receiving financial support from Sixth Street Partners and Silver Lake, which will put $1 billion into the company. The money will include $5 million going to the company's Superhost Relief Fund, which will assist hosts make ends meet for rent and mortgages on their homes.