Need to cancel your summer vacation due to COVID? Don't expect an Airbnb refund

If you catch COVID-19 ahead of your summer vacation, don't expect an Airbnb refund.

More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb will no longer refund trips disrupted by a COVID-19 infection.

The short-term rental’s extenuating circumstances policy had offered refunds or travel credit to reservations interrupted by a guest or host contracting the virus. That ends May 31, although qualifying reservations made before then are still eligible for refunds.

“The safety of our community is our priority and we continue to monitor the situation closely,” Airbnb said in a statement Friday.

The change comes ahead of what's expected to be a busy summer travel season. COVID-19 case counts and hospitalization rates within the U.S. are rising but remain far below January’s peak, with about 66% of the total U.S. population fully vaccinated.


Airbnb will no longer refund trips disrupted by a COVID-19 infection starting May 31.
Airbnb will no longer refund trips disrupted by a COVID-19 infection starting May 31.

The updated policy from Airbnb is yet another example of the travel industry moving away from pandemic-era travel measures. Major U.S. airlines and other forms of public transportation dropped their masking requirements earlier this month after a judge in Florida voided the federal mask mandate.

Vrbo, another short-term rental platform, continues to let hosts determine the cancellation and refund policies for most properties.

Airbnb notes that almost two-thirds of active listings on its platform will still offer moderate or flexible cancellation policies. Travelers who are concerned about a COVID-19 infection affecting their trip can filter their search to find listings that offer "free cancellation."

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You can follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter @bailey_schulz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Airbnb to end COVID refund policy on May 31