More than a third of active listings on Airbnb have cancellation policies which mean you’ll struggle to get your money back if you can’t travel, even due to this month’s instant lockdown.
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Fair Go has some tips on how to book a vacation in our new Covid standard. Source: Fair Go
Hotels and other accommodation sites have all implemented policies that prevent them from having to pay a refund.
Janine Philp discovered the hard way – $ 542 – that there would be no refund on her three nights in an Auckland hotel.
The single mother had prepaid through Booking.com three months earlier.
It was not a public holiday; rather a course requirement as part of his Bachelor of Social Work at Massey University.
Janine opted for a non-refundable rate but – he pōhēhē – she mistakenly thought that with the public health order preventing Quest Albany from offering her a room and being unable to travel, she could expect a refund.
It would no doubt be a frustrated contract, eligible for a refund, but the hotel had instituted a policy of offering refundable rooms for an additional $ 10 – the best Janine was offered – a 12 month credit.
“It would have been my first trip in 17 years and yeah I said I probably wouldn’t come back and it was like, no you can have a credit. My final decision, ”Janine reported.
Aucklander and Airbnb new user Ramy Hoshini said he expected compassion when he tried to cancel a bach in Raglan he booked so that he and two of his friends can escape on his birthday.
Ramy attempted to cancel as soon as the lockdown was announced, less than 48 hours after booking.
Its host had opted for a policy that means visitors can cancel within 48 hours and get a refund, but only if they’ve booked for a stay in more than two weeks.
Ramy stood at risk of losing everything except a $ 79 refund of his cleaning fee, with the host pocketing $ 318 and Airbnb taking his $ 65 service fee, with no hosting.
Ramy reluctantly accepted an offer to change reservations, as the alternative offered was to lose half of his money instead
“It was such a comprehensive policy for the whole world, regardless of the New Zealand situation, given that we had full freedoms just a week ago,” Ramy said.
Airbnb’s Derek Nolan, policy manager for Australia and New Zealand, told Fair Go in a statement:
“Hosts recognize they want flexibility in these uncertain times, and now almost two-thirds of active listings offer moderate or flexible cancellation policies.
“And with our flexible cancellation policy search filter, customers look for listings that offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before check-in, avoiding any strict cancellation policy listing from their search results.
“Prior to booking, guests can review the cancellation policy that has been selected for that particular listing by its individual host. “
Garth Bray from Fair Go Source: Fair Go
In these cases, the host and hotel have given some thought and decided to offer discretionary refunds to their guests after Fair Go verified their situation.
Ramy and Janine are both very happy – but anyone can guess how many others are still wondering who kept their money and why it’s OK.