Airbnb COVID Travel Credit Process

What Guest Would Take a Travel Credit Over  Full Refund?

Until Airbnb provides discovery, t is unclear what the full sequence of refund/travel credits were at each point, whether Airbnb even followed the process it tried to modify with its various versions of the ECP (most of which were overwritten and changes deleted).  Airbnb does not allow hosts to see any portion of the process its uses for cancellation and refund requests by guests, any information or documentation provided by guests, or any interactions between Airbnb and the guest

Below are the screenshots we have obtained from guests who went through the process. Note everything pushes towards abandoning the refund request and instead of taking an Airbnb travel credit (no proofs required, no ECP vetting, ABB avoids the expense of ECP review process, Guest avoids having to justify refund). 

 

Below is another screenshot that shows how Airbnb promises refunds but then pushes travel credits.  Note that the guest is given two ‘radio button’ choices which are made obvious and prominent in the user flow, (1) honor the calculation policy and get no refund or (2) receive an Airbnb travel credit representing 100% of what the host was supposed to receive. It is hard to read on this image, but the text appears to read “Get 100% of what you paid applied to your next trip without submitting official documentation for review.” Creating heavy incentives for guests to select am Airbnb Travel Credit further allowed a ‘no questions asked’ way for Airbnb to avoid returning any money to the guest, and avoid Airbnb host payouts.

The refund link is not a  radio button option but buried a the bottom. Assuming a guest even sees that option, in order to get a refund, the guest has to click  ‘Get Started.’

If a guest sees the refund option and clicks the additional link, they quickly learn that the medical proof required is significant, must be mailed and it is unclear if and when the refund will happen. 

 

This process extends the period during which Airbnb avoids making a host payout or a guest refund.  The cash analysis of ABB as COVID hit would no doubt show this option of conserving cash. 

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