Extenuating Circumstances Policy
Note: This article does not address circumstances related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Review our COVID-19 extenuating circumstances article to learn about coverage of COVID-19 related circumstances, and in particular the coverage limitations for reservations made after March 14, 2020.
Effective date: January 20, 2021
This Extenuating Circumstances Policy explains how cancellations are handled when unforeseen events beyond your control arise after booking and make it impracticable or illegal to complete your reservation. This Policy applies to reservations for both accommodations and Experiences.
When this Policy allows for cancellation, it controls and takes precedence over the reservation’s cancellation policy. Guests that are impacted by an event covered by this Policy can cancel their reservation and receive, depending on the circumstances, a cash refund, travel credit, and/or other consideration. Hosts that are impacted by an event covered by this Policy can cancel without adverse consequences, but, depending on the circumstances, their calendars may be blocked for the dates of the cancelled reservation.
What events are covered
This Policy uses the term “Event” to refer to the following situations that occur after booking, are unforeseen at the time of booking, and prevent or legally prohibit completion of the reservation.
Changes to government travel requirements. Unexpected changes to visa or passport requirements imposed by a governmental agency that prevent travel to the destination. This doesn’t include lost or expired travel documents or other personal circumstances relating to a guest’s authorization to travel.
Declared emergencies and epidemics. Government declared local or national emergencies, epidemics, pandemics, and public health emergencies. This does not include diseases that are endemic or commonly associated with an area—for example, malaria in Thailand or dengue fever in Hawaii.
Government travel restrictions. Travel restrictions imposed by a governmental agency that prevent or prohibit traveling to, staying at, or returning from the Listing location. This does not include non-binding travel advisories and similar government guidance.
Military actions and other hostilities. Acts of war, hostilities, invasions, civil war, terrorism, explosions, bombings, rebellions, riots, insurrection, civil disorder, and civil unrest.
Natural disasters. Natural disasters, acts of God, large-scale outages of essential utilities, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and other severe and abnormal weather events. This does not include weather or natural conditions that are common enough to be foreseeable in that location—for example, hurricanes occurring during hurricane season in Florida.
What is not covered
Everything else. This Policy only allows for cancellations for the Events described above. Everything else is excluded. Examples of situations that this Policy does not allow cancellations for include: unexpected disease, illness, or injury; government obligations like jury duty, court appearances or military duties; travel advisories or other government guidance (that fall short of a travel ban or prohibition); cancellation or rescheduling of an event for which the reservation was made; and transportation disruptions unrelated to a covered Event like road closures, as well as flight, train, bus and ferry cancellations. If you cancel a reservation in these cases, the amount refunded will be determined by the cancellation policy that applies to the reservation.
What to do next
If we notify you or publish information confirming that this Policy applies to your reservation, please follow the cancellation instructions that we provide. When we have notified you or published information about how this Policy applies, you should have the option to cancel under this Policy by going to your Trips page and canceling the impacted reservation. If you believe this Policy applies to your reservation, but we have not notified you or published information about the Event, please contact us to cancel your reservation. In all cases, you should be prepared to provide documentation that shows how the Event has impacted you or your reservation.
If you have questions, please contact us.
Other things to be aware of
This Policy applies to all reservations with a check-in date on or after the effective date. This Policy doesn’t apply to Luxe reservations, which are subject to a separate Luxe Guest Refund Policy.