Airbnb Updates Their Cancellation Policy for Hawaii

Airbnb Updates Their Cancellation Policy for Hawaii

An important change towards responsible tourism is occurring at Airbnb, as the platform announced an update to its cancellation policy. Starting June 6, the Hawaii vacation rental giant will now incorporate coverage for severe weather events. While this isn’t only for Hawaii, as you’ll see, it’s especially applicable here.

This includes hurricanes—a change that resonates with travelers to Hawaii during the upcoming hurricane season that starts June 1 and goes through November.

The news comes as we enter April. Yesterday, Governor Green proclaimed April as Tsunami Awareness Month in Hawaii.

Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstance now Major Disruptive Events Policy.

The policy previously catered to a variety of events, from government travel restrictions when Maui was evacuated following the Lahaina fire to other natural disasters. It lacked specific provisions for severe weather conditions, however, that can lead to significant travel disruptions, including hurricanes and tsunamis which can both impact the Hawaiian Islands.

The inclusion of hurricanes in Airbnb’s updated policy is particularly significant.

Although extremely infrequent, events like hurricanes might lead to substantial travel upheaval. Under the new guidelines, unforeseeable weather events culminating in additional listed disruptions (e.g., government travel restrictions or essential utility outages) are now covered. This addition is pivotal for tropical destinations like Hawaii, ensuring travelers have recourse for cancellations and refunds.

The new policy states that if a hurricane were to impact Hawaii during hurricane season, leading to a mandatory evacuation or other emergency measures, affected bookings would become eligible for refund.

Airbnb’s Head of Community Policy emphasized that these updates aim to clarify when and how the policy applies, ensure fair and consistent outcomes for Airbnb users, and align Airbnb with industry standards. This commitment to clarity and fairness is especially crucial for travel hotspots like Hawaii, known for their vulnerability to natural disasters.

Mid-trip cancellations are also now covered. Their policy update provides specific allowances for mid-trip cancellations in the face of a covered event, ensuring that guests can now receive refunds even for partially unused portions of their stay.

The focus of the policy on major disruptive events is to ensure that only those reservations truly impacted by significant events such as hurricanes or tsunamis are covered.

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