New cancellation policies coming soon… and increased host fees! 🚫

Airbnb is planning to introduce an update to the Cancellation Policies and a corresponding increase to the host service fees.

The change is for now planned for Italian hosts starting from October 18, but Airbnb reps have already confirmed that the changes will be soon rolled out to other countries as well.

Unfortunately the pages explaining the pages on Airbnb are only visible to Italian hosts… However, a detailed explanation of the changes is available here:

In short, what is going to happen is the following:

  • Each cancellation policy will have a grace period, i.e. a set period of time before a reservation when a guest can always cancel and receive a full refund
  • The Moderate and Strict policies (less favourable to the guests), will be accompanied by an increase in host service fees, from 3% to respectively 4% and 5% to keep into account the extra protection from cancellations
  • Guests that cancels pre-trip will not be charged the guest service fees, making cancellations truly 100% refundable

The rationale that Airbnb is putting behind this is that by having more relaxed terms, more guests will book, and that this will compensate a possible increase in cancellations.

However, while this logic is true on a macro level (i.e. Airbnb’s overall business), it will hardly be valid for on a micro level (i.e. single host). Getting a reservation cancelled is always disrupting from a host point of view!

What do you think?

The Italian host community is on fire, as hosts deem these changes unacceptable and only favouring the guest side. They even created an online petition as Airbnb is not really addressing the matter in a direct way…

It’s interesting to know your opinion on this topic 🙂