Airbnb might change it's cancellation policies in ways that give guests a lot more flexibility to cancel.
Here're the most important parts:
Flexible policy: no big changes
Moderate policy: changes only in the cut-off time (from 5 to 7 days prior to the check-in)
Strict policy: changes in both the cut-off time (from 7 to 30 days) and in payout value (what used to be a 50% payout becomes 0%, what was 100% now it’s 50%)
Airbnb is openly trying to incentivize more and more hosts to adopt a flexible cancellation policy, and as a consequence the “extra level of protection from cancellations” offered by non-flexible policies will be available at a premium.
What really worries the hosts community is that by introducing a grace period for every kind policy, Airbnb is de facto granting guests the option to cancel a reservation without any consequences.
This means that a guest will have any incentive to cancel whenever they will find a better or cheaper alternative, possibly also outside of Airbnb.
While even an increase in cancellations might not affect negatively Airbnb’s long-term business (as it might be balanced by an overall higher number of bookings), such a change would have a strong negative impact on individual hosts.
In fact, especially for more professional hosts, cancelled bookings are always a disruptive occurrence, as there’s no guarantee that the slots left empty will be booked again.
Furthermore, the increased service fee combines with the possibility to cancel without penalties might increase the chances that hosts and guests will agree to circumvent Airbnb’s booking system to avoid paying the booking fees.
Read more here:
Airbnb is Testing a Change to its Cancellation Policies that Hosts will NOT like