Airbnb not helping hosts during COVID-19 emergency

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the toll the virus has taken on small business has been substantial. As a real estate agent and property owner of several vacation rentals, Janice Overbeck has experienced the effects on her business first hand. The financial crisis that Airbnb has left their 650,000 hosts in is getting attention all over the world thanks to Janice’s petition on Change.org. The petition is gaining traction and quickly making the rounds on social media groups and pages for Airbnb hosts. Unfortunately, the story is the same from host to host where Airbnb is overriding the host cancellation policy and refunding travelers 100% of the reservation with no support to the host whatsoever.

The petition points out the issues and is asking Airbnb to help small businesses during this crisis. “Airbnb is pulling rank and using their “extenuating circumstances” policy under the Coronavirus and refunding guests 100% of what they paid. This is a good thing and what they should be doing! What is not good, is that regardless of the Airbnb hosts cancellation policies, the host is left without any income from this booking and many hosts on Airbnb all over the world, (an estimated 650,000 small businesses) are being left in terrible situations right now, possibly unable to make mortgage payments come April 1st.

Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-founder of Airbnb, has an estimated net worth of $3.8 billion. We are asking Airbnb to do the right thing and help take the hit to help hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the world and still pay out 50% of what the host would be receiving on the booking,” Overbeck writes. This has been detrimental to hundreds of thousands of hosts and small business owners who rely on rental income to pay their mortgages and support their families. Airbnb has not responded to this petition or offered any financial relief to hosts on their platform. For more information, visit https://www.change.org/AirbnbDoTheRightThing

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