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What if I need to cancel because of an emergency or unavoidable circumstance?

We may be able to give you a refund or waive the penalties if you have to cancel because of an unexpected circumstance that’s out of your control. Below is a list of circumstances covered by our Extenuating Circumstances Policy. Before you cancel, check that your circumstance is included in the list below and that you can provide the required documentation.

Circumstances that require documentation

Death of a host, guest, or their immediate family member. You’ll be asked to provide one of these documents:

  • Death certificate
  • Obituary
  • News article naming the deceased

Serious illness or injury of a host, guest, or any member of the traveling party. You’ll be asked to provide a general statement from a physician confirming that the person can't travel due to the illness or injury. The statement must be dated after the reservation was booked and provided within 14 days of cancellation.

Government-mandated obligations including jury duty, travel restrictions, court appearances, and military deployment. You'll be asked to provide a copy of the official notice dated after the reservation was booked, including the name of the person fulfilling the obligation.

Severe damage to the home that makes it unsafe to host guests, or that prevents guests from accessing basic amenities like running water. This doesn’t include planned renovations. You’ll be asked to provide all of the following documents:

  • Proof that the issue is being fixed
  • An estimate of when it will be fixed
  • An invoice for the repairs being done
  • Photos of the damage

Airport and road closures, and flight cancellations that make it impossible to travel to your destination. This includes closures and cancellations caused by natural disasters like earthquakes or severe storms. You’ll be asked to provide a notice of the road closure, or notice of the airport closure, or documentation from the airline that the flight was canceled.

Train, bus, or ferry cancellations where no alternate trips were available on the same day. You’ll be asked to provide documentation that clearly shows the carrier was not operating on that day, such as a screenshot of the company’s website or a link to an official statement from the carrier.

Circumstances that require special review

There’s no required documentation for these circumstances, but our specialized team will review each case to confirm that you’re directly affected.

Open Homes reservations that have been cancelled. More info about Open Homes.

Severe security advisories for political or civil unrest in the area that the guest is traveling from, traveling to, or that the host’s home is located in. Examples include:

  • Violence
  • Increased military presence
  • Severe damage to the area’s infrastructure

Changes to visa or passport requirements that make it impossible to travel to the destination. This doesn’t include lost or expired travel documents.

Natural disasters that prevent the guest from traveling to or from the destination, or that make it unsafe to host guests. Examples include:

  • Severe storms
  • Earthquakes
  • Flooding
  • Tornados
  • Tsunamis
  • Wildfires
  • Blizzards or severe winter storms

Endemic disease or illness that suddenly affects a region or an entire group of people. This doesn’t include existing diseases that are associated with an area—for example, malaria in Thailand or dengue fever in Hawaii. Examples of endemic disease include:

  • Ebola
  • Zika
  • Chagas disease

What to do next

If you’ve confirmed your circumstance meets the requirements above, first cancel your reservation and then contact us to file a claim. We’ll walk you through the next steps, which will include submitting any required documentation and waiting for our team to review your case. Claims must be submitted within 14 days of the extenuating circumstance.