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How do the world's biggest OTAs react to COVID-19?

Mar 27, 2020 10:28:04 AM

Each of the biggest OTAs  such as Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia and Homeaway created force majeure policies to prevent their guest's and partner's health witch is their top priority these days. The policies also show the OTAs standpoints about cancelled reservations and refund methods and they are also giving advice to property owners what to focus on in the upcoming period.  We made a brief summary of their key findings below.

Booking.com

More information: Booking.com Force Majeure Policy

  • In accordance with Force Majure, Booking.com expects partners to refund any prepayment and waive any cancellation costs (fees, expenses and/or other amounts) in situations where the guests/travellers requested cancellations as a result of Force Majeure. 
  • Force Majeure conditions apply for all reservations made for properties in Hungary, with a check-in date between 17 March 2020 and 31 March 2020 (including). Domestic travel is excluded from the Force Majeure conditions. 
  • The accommodation owner can only cancel the reservation if the guest has agreed to it.

Airbnb

More information: Airbnb Extenuating Circumstances Policy

  • According to Airbnb's Extenuating Circumstances Policy, Reservations witch are made on or before 14 March 2020, with a check-in date between 14 March 2020 and 14 April 2020, may be cancelled before check-in. This means that guests who cancel will receive a full refund.
  • Hosts can cancel reservations without charge or impact on their Superhost status, and Airbnb will refund all service fees.
  • Airbnb's resource center contains useful tips about how to update your listings and helps answer property owner's questions about coronavirus.
  • Airbnb also created a cleaning guideline witch shows those critical actions witch can reduce the spread of infection.

Expedia

More information: Expedia Force Majeure Flex Policy

  • Expedia Group is expanding the following Force Majeure Flex Policy to all bookings worldwide that were made prior to March 19, 2020, with stay dates between March 20, 2020 and April 30, 2020.
  • With its Cancellation Waiver Program, Expedia is automatically refunding travellers who contact them requesting to cancel bookings covered by the program.
  • For those with non-refundable bookings at properties that have opted out of the program, Expedia Group will cancel the booking and provide a one-year travel voucher for the value of the initial booking.

Homeaway 

More information: Homeaway Force Majeure Policy

      • Homeaway suggests to adopt flexible or moderate cancellation policy for the time being.
      • As a property owner review the safety features in your property editor and consider adding local hospitals and emergency numbers to the property's description.
      • Homeaway asks the property owners to offer a full (or expanded) credit for stay dates within the next year (at no additional cost) for travellers who can’t take trips now due to COVID-19.
      • If the travellers are unwilling to accept a credit, then offer a full refund or provide at least a 50% refund on cancellations for all stays with a night that falls between March 13 and April 30, 2020, including trips that are outside the set cancellation policy. 

The OTAs are checking up on the current coronavirus status day by day, and trying to constantly inform their partners about the current situation.  Therefore we suggest that you have a look on these sites occasionally, to be up to date with the latest measures. 

Make sure that your accommodation description, rates and availability are synchronised with the above actions, SabeeApp's Channel Manager is here to help you!

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