I bet there are a lot of people that are interested in this answer.
It's perhaps the most annoying situation to be in, because Mother Nature has a mind of her own and doesn't care about your vacation. But ultimately, if you can't make it to the Airbnb because of inclement weather, the company is pretty wishy washy about providing a clear cut answer in regards to refunds on either host or guest side.
Kinda like Mother Nature.
For the record: We emailed an official spokesman and had a full phone discussion with an Airbnb customer service representative about their policies. Both consistently declined to make definitive statements, and said refunds would depend on a case investigation.
It definitely falls under Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances, which is long, boring, vague and doesn’t offer any real information about what a host or guest could *actually* expect throughout the process. (Airbnb customer service is not exactly reknown for its user-friendliness.)
The one thing that Airbnb did confirm that both hosts and guests may be equally liable in weather situations, refunds and extenuating circumstances.
They would not confirm whether a guest could expect a refund in inclement weather (we would think so), if hosts are liable for refunds (Airbnb reserves the right to supersede host cancellation policies), and who would pay for the refund if granted (Airbnb says the host might be liable, though we think Airbnb would or should pay for it).
At any rate, here’s what you want to do, and make sure to document evidence along the way to get that money back.
Contact the host for a refund.
Be aware the host may enforce their policies and refuse a refund. In that case…
Did you buy travel insurance? Or put the reservation on a credit card that has it?
Good on you for buying travel insurance! Now for the rest of us slackers, try to remember what credit card the reservation was purchased on. Many cards offer travel insurance that also cover inclement weather.
See this link for a list of possible qualifying credit cards. Dig into that T&C!
Contact Airbnb customer service.
The next step is to contact Airbnb customer service directly. Open the app, go to “Profile”, tap “Help & Support”, and then tap “Contact Us”. Please realize any claims will have to be filed after the reservation is completed and here has either been a cancellation or check-out. It also must be done within 14 days of the booking.
For those that prefer the old-school method, there is a global customer service hotline open 24/7. The number for that department is 855-424-7262.
Speaking to a live, human being is a great experience everyone should try once.