Airbnb Covid-19 Cancellation Fees Owed to Hosts Class Action

This class action is another related to Covid-19 cancellations, with a bit of a twist. Airbnb, Inc. and Airbnb Payments, Inc. announced they would allow Guests to cancel reservations without penalty. But the complaint claims that this harmed Hosts, who had their own cancellation policies. That’s not all. The complaint claims that Airbnb did not actually give all guests full refunds, yet failed to pay Hosts the portion of the money retained that should have gone to them.

The class for this action is all persons living in the US who accepted bookings via Airbnb that were later cancelled by the booker, and who were not paid the amount they were due according to the cancellation policy for the booking.

As the pandemic took hold in the US, the complaint says, Airbnb announced that it would let Guests who’d planned stays to cancel their bookings and get a full refund, with no cancellation charges.

This harmed Hosts, the complaint says, because they had their own cancellation policies, which the Airbnb offer overrode. For example, for one such cancelled booking, plaintiff Anthony Farmer should have received $99.91. While Airbnb did initially pay him that amount, it reversed the transaction and took the money back two weeks later.

The complaint quotes Airbnb’s Terms of Service, which asserts that the company is only an intermediary and that Hosts and Guests make contracts with each other; it says that Airbnb does not become a party to that contract.

Airbnb apologized to Hosts and said it was creating a $250 million fund to provide some money to the cancelled-on Hosts. However, the complaint claims that all Airbnb is doing is paying Hosts with their own money.

Why does it claim this? The complaint alleges that Guests have not all received full refunds. It claims some have received partial refunds, some have received only credits that expire next year, and others have simply had their requests rejected. The complaint asserts, “Airbnb then kept the remaining funds for itself—ignoring its fiduciary and contractual obligations to remit any such money to Hosts.”

Farmer claims that he should have been paid at least $840.03 for the cancellations he has received. Instead, Airbnb has paid him only $185.03. The complaint alleges that Airbnb has actually received more in cancellation fees than they are remitting: “In fact, with respect to the Guest scheduled to check in on March 27, Airbnb indicated that the Guest was only refunded $135.50 of the $225 that Airbnb Payments originally collected from the Guest.”

According to the complaint, the only reason Airbnb showed such purported consideration to begin with is because it is intending to have an IPO and wants good press. It claims to be valued at $25 billion.

Included in the counts are breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Agency

Most Recent Case Event

Airbnb Covid-19 Cancellation Fees Owed to Hosts Complaint

November 5, 2020

This class action is another related to Covid-19 cancellations, with a bit of a twist. Airbnb, Inc. and Airbnb Payments, Inc. announced they would allow Guests to cancel reservations without penalty. But the complaint claims that this harmed Hosts, who had their own cancellation policies. That’s not all. The complaint claims that Airbnb did not actually give all guests full refunds, yet failed to pay Hosts the portion of the money retained that should have gone to them.

Airbnb Covid-19 Cancellation Fees Owed to Hosts Complaint

Case Event History

Airbnb Covid-19 Cancellation Fees Owed to Hosts Complaint

November 5, 2020

This class action is another related to Covid-19 cancellations, with a bit of a twist. Airbnb, Inc. and Airbnb Payments, Inc. announced they would allow Guests to cancel reservations without penalty. But the complaint claims that this harmed Hosts, who had their own cancellation policies. That’s not all. The complaint claims that Airbnb did not actually give all guests full refunds, yet failed to pay Hosts the portion of the money retained that should have gone to them.

Airbnb Covid-19 Cancellation Fees Owed to Hosts Complaint
Tags: Agency-Related Disputes, Improper or Unlawful Termination or Cancellation Policy, Incomplete payment of benefits due, Unfair Cancellation Policy