Let’s face it, when you’re running an Airbnb business, the more the bookings the better. Why? Because a greater number of reservations equates to a greater amount of revenue generated. But, from time to time, certain circumstances may mean you need to cancel the reservation.
The problem is, Airbnb are extremely strict and will penalize you if you cancel a booking, to ensure you avoid any unnecessary punishment for not knowing the Airbnb host cancellation policy, we’re going to talk you through everything you need to know.
Arguably, the most serious penalty you’ll face is a financial one, as the next pay-out you receive may have unexpected deductions. Although, if you cancel within the first six months, you won’t face any cancellation fee. But, if it’s after that, expect to receive a deduction of $50 if you cancel before a week from check-in, and $100 if it’s within a week from the check-in.
When guests are looking for a place to stay, they’ll typically scour through a bunch of different listings. Within those listings, the reviews will definitely influence their decision. Now, if you cancel before the day of check-in, Airbnb will leave an automated review stating what happened, but you will be allowed to reply and explain yourself. But, if you cancel on the day of check-in, it will be much worse, as the guest will be authorized to leave their own public review on your listing.
Another penalty that you’ll receive if you cancel a booking is the inability to accept another reservation on those dates. For instance, if you canceled a booking for the 01/08 to the 05/08, those dates will be blocked off on your calendar, so no other guest will be able to book your property.
To be a superhost, you’ve proved you’re in the upper echelon of Airbnb hosts. But, if you cancel a reservation, you could lose your superhost benefits for a whole year following that cancellation. Alternatively, if you’re not yet a superhost, you’ll be unable to push for that status for 12 months. So, if your goals are to be a superhost on Airbnb, you may want to think twice about canceling.
If you have instant booking enabled on your listing, Airbnb will be slightly more lenient towards you as guests can book without your approval. However, that doesn’t mean you have complete freedom to cancel when you feel like it. Instead, you will be entitled to 3 cancellations if you aren’t comfortable with a booking, without incurring any penalties whatsoever.
This is definitely the worst-case scenario, but you’ll be given plenty of warnings before this happens. Basically, if you cancel 3 or more reservations within a single year, you could be at risk of having your listing deactivated and your account suspended. Be careful with this one, because Airbnb do not offer any exceptions to their cancellation policy unless it’s extenuating circumstances, which is a whole other topic on its own.
Read also Airbnb etiquette for hosts and guests.