How to Get Out of Airbnb Strict Cancellation Policy

If you have ever booked an Airbnb reservation, you might be familiar with their cancellation policy, which can vary from flexible to strict. The strict cancellation policy can be challenging to navigate, especially when unforeseen circumstances arise, making it impossible for you to fulfill your booking. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective methods to help you get out of Airbnb’s strict cancellation policy while maintaining a positive relationship with the platform and the host. Whether you face a sudden emergency or a change in travel plans, these strategies will assist you in handling cancellations smoothly.

Understanding Airbnb’s Strict Cancellation Policy

Before diving into strategies for getting out of Airbnb’s strict cancellation policy, it’s essential to comprehend the policy itself. Airbnb’s cancellation policies fall into five categories:

  1. Flexible: Fully refundable if canceled up to 24 hours before check-in.
  2. Moderate: Full refund for cancellations made up to five days before check-in.
  3. Strict: 50% refund for cancellations made up to seven days before check-in.
  4. Super Strict 30 Days: 50% refund for cancellations made up to 30 days before check-in.
  5. Super Strict 60 Days: 50% refund for cancellations made up to 60 days before check-in.

While the flexible and moderate policies offer more leeway for cancellations, the strict policies can be quite rigid. However, even with a strict policy in place, certain circumstances may qualify for exceptions.

H2: How to Check Your Airbnb Cancellation Policy?

Before proceeding, ensure that you are aware of the specific cancellation policy that applies to your reservation. Follow these steps to check your Airbnb cancellation policy:

  1. Log in to your Airbnb account.
  2. Go to “Trips” in the top menu.
  3. Find the reservation you want to check and click on it to view the details.
  4. Look for the “Cancellation Policy” section to identify the policy applied to your reservation.

H2: Valid Reasons for Cancelling an Airbnb Reservation

Airbnb understands that unforeseen situations can arise, leading to the need for cancellations. While strict policies are in place to protect hosts’ interests, Airbnb may consider the following as valid reasons for cancellation:

  1. Medical Emergencies: If you or a family member experiences a sudden medical emergency, you might be eligible for a refund.
  2. Transportation Disruptions: Cancellations due to flight cancellations, natural disasters, or severe weather conditions may qualify for a refund.
  3. Unforeseen Circumstances: Airbnb might consider unforeseen situations that are beyond your control, such as government-issued travel restrictions or visa denials.
  4. Accommodation Issues: If the booked accommodation does not match the listing description or is unsuitable for habitation, you may be eligible for a refund.

H2: Steps to Get Out of Airbnb’s Strict Cancellation Policy

To navigate Airbnb’s strict cancellation policy successfully, follow these steps:

  1. Review the Policy Thoroughly: Familiarize yourself with the specific details of Airbnb’s strict cancellation policy, including the cancellation window and refund percentages.
  2. Contact the Host Early: If you anticipate any issues with your reservation, communicate with the host as soon as possible. Explain your situation honestly and politely request their understanding.
  3. Provide Documentation: To strengthen your case for a cancellation exception, provide relevant documentation, such as medical certificates, flight cancellation confirmations, or official government notices.
  4. Contact Airbnb Support: If you’re unable to reach a resolution with the host, reach out to Airbnb’s customer support. Clearly state your reasons for cancellation and include the documentation you’ve gathered.
  5. Be Honest and Transparent: Always be honest in your communication with both the host and Airbnb support. Transparency can help build trust and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
  6. Highlight Positive Guest History: If you have a history of positive reviews and responsible behavior as an Airbnb guest, mention this in your communication. It demonstrates that you are a reliable and respectful user of the platform.
  7. Stay Calm and Polite: Regardless of the situation, maintain a calm and polite demeanor throughout all communications. Being respectful and understanding can go a long way in resolving issues.
  8. Consider Rebooking: If your cancellation request is not successful, consider rebooking for alternative dates that are more suitable for you. Some hosts may be willing to accommodate changes if given enough notice.
  9. Explore Travel Insurance Coverage: Check if your travel insurance covers trip cancellations. Depending on the policy, you might be eligible for reimbursement for certain unexpected events.

H2: FAQs about Airbnb Cancellation Policy

  1. Can I cancel an Airbnb reservation within 24 hours of check-in under the strict cancellation policy? A: Unfortunately, under the strict cancellation policy, canceling within 24 hours of check-in typically does not qualify for a refund. It’s best to cancel well before the cancellation window to maximize your chances of receiving a refund.
  2. I need to cancel my reservation due to a family emergency. Will I receive a full refund? A: Airbnb evaluates each case individually. If you can provide appropriate documentation of the family emergency, you may be eligible for a refund, but it’s not guaranteed.
  3. Are there any exceptions to Airbnb’s strict cancellation policy? A: While the strict policy is generally adhered to, Airbnb may make exceptions in certain extenuating circumstances, such as natural disasters, government-imposed travel restrictions, or serious illness.
  4. What if my host is unresponsive to my cancellation request? A: If the host is unresponsive, contact Airbnb support directly and explain the situation. They will try to mediate and find a resolution.
  5. Can I transfer my reservation to someone else if I can’t make it? A: Airbnb allows reservation transfers in certain cases, but it’s essential to follow their guidelines and inform the host of the change.
  6. Will my refund be processed immediately upon cancellation? A: Refunds are typically processed according to the cancellation policy. It may take a few days to reflect in your account, depending on your payment method.


Navigating Airbnb’s strict cancellation policy requires a proactive approach and effective communication. By understanding the policy, preparing valid reasons for cancellation, and being honest and transparent in your communications, you can increase your chances of successfully getting out of a strict cancellation policy and securing a refund. Remember that Airbnb evaluates each case individually, and exceptions are made for valid and documented reasons. Always be respectful and understanding in your interactions with hosts and Airbnb support, and consider rebooking or exploring travel insurance options when necessary.