Updates to help with COVID-19 cancellations:
Dear CousinsBNB,In Vrbo's nearly 25 years, we’ve been through a lot, but nothing comes close to the current challenges facing our travelers, partners, and team members around the world.
Vrbo is a two-sided marketplace, so for every traveler who paid hard-earned money for a getaway they may not take, there is a partner who is experiencing a loss of bookings and a large number of cancellations. Despite this, the vast majority of you are rising to the occasion and giving credits and/or refunds to travelers in these extreme circumstances. Thank you for exemplifying hospitality — even when it means a financial hardship.
Today, we are introducing our COVID-19 Emergency Policy, a series of measures designed to help navigate these extraordinary circumstances.
For our part, Vrbo is refunding 100% of money it makes through traveler service fees when someone must cancel a trip due to COVID-19.
For your part, we appreciate that you, too, manage a two-sided marketplace accommodating owners and guests. As such, we are offering a choice for handling cancellations for trips booked before March 13 with stays that fall between March 13 and April 30, even on trips that are outside your set cancellation policy.
Option 1 (Default): Offer a credit for full value and flexible stay dates within the next year (at no additional cost) to travelers who can’t take trips now due to COVID-19.
Option 2: If a traveler is unwilling to accept a credit, our advice is to issue them a refund. If you are unable to accommodate a full refund, Vrbo expects you to provide at least a 50% refund if the traveler cancels during this time.
Our intent is to reward Vrbo partners who offer flexibility to travelers during this time of uncertainty with additional visibility in traveler searches on Vrbo and Expedia Group. The idea is that the more you do now for travelers, the more we will reward you moving forward (so a 100% credit/refund will count more than 50% refund and so on).
Here’s more on what Vrbo is doing as part of our COVID-19 Emergency Policy:
Full Refund of Vrbo’s Fees: Vrbo is refunding 100% of money it makes through traveler service fees when someone must cancel a trip due to COVID-19, whether the cancellation is government-mandated or not. This is in effect for all stays booked before March 13 with a night between March 13 and April 30. Travelers don’t have to do anything to collect the refund, it will happen automatically over the next few weeks. They do not need to call and confirm.
Automatically Waiving Related Cancellation Penalties: If you need to cancel due to this event, we will automatically waive the cancellation so it does not impact your ranking metrics or your Premier Partner status. You no longer have to call Customer Service to get the cancellation waived for cancellations issued from January 30, 2020 until further notice.
We realize the new policy we are implementing may not be perfect, but in this unprecedented time we believe it strikes the best balance of protecting travelers, partners and the public. I am sure you may have questions. We primarily want you to understand the spirit of how we hope to address this situation. Please review our help portal and Discovery Hub for the most up-to-date information. These resources will be updated every 48 hours with new information.
We have been in contact with thousands of our partners in the past days and I am humbled by your willingness to rise to the occasion, and appreciative of your sacrifices.
The skies will clear and families will want to travel again. We will be there with open arms to provide spaces to heal and recharge when this is over.
With admiration and appreciation for your partnership,