How to handle COVID-19 cancellations: a message to our customers

In HomeAway's nearly 25 years, we’ve been through a lot, but nothing comes close to the current challenges facing the guests and partners (homeowners and property managers) who advertise their homes with us.

This is an impossible situation. HomeAway is a two-sided marketplace, so for every guest who paid hard-earned money for a getaway they may not take, there is a partner who relies on clear cancellation policies and the associated money within those policies to pay their mortgage and hard-working employees. Despite that, the vast majority (>95% in the past week) of our partners are rising to the occasion and giving credits or refunds to guests given these extreme circumstances.

We’re actively listening to feedback from guests and partners as this outbreak develops, and today, to help ease uncertainty during this time, we are rolling out a new policy that strikes the best balance of protecting travelers, partners, and the public.

Here’s what HomeAway is doing as part of our COVID-19 Emergency Policy

Full Refund of HomeAway's Fees: HomeAway is refunding 100% of the money it makes through traveller service fees when someone must cancel a trip due to COVID-19, whether the cancellation is government-mandated or because you’re prioritizing the health of your family and loved ones. This is in effect for all stays booked before March 13th with a stayed night between March 13thand April 30th Guests don’t have to do anything to collect the refund; it will happen automatically over the next few weeks. No need to call and confirm.

Flexibility for Future Travel Plans: We are asking partners to offer a full credit for flexible stay dates within the next year (at no additional cost). If the guest is unwilling or unable to accept the credit, we advise working with our partner on an acceptable refund, and we have incentivised our partners to go above and beyond their standard policies. The more our partners are able to do for guests, the more HomeAway will reward them with future bookings.

Visit our COVID-19 help page for FAQs and additional details on our policies.

Here’s what you can do now

Adjust your holiday from your holidaymaker account. From your account, open your upcoming reservation to adjust or cancel your dates. If you are making changes outside the cancellation policy window, please contact the owner for refund options.

Taking care of our customers is at the center of everything we do. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, our teams are focused on first addressing the needs of travelers and partners with imminent stays. As always, you can manage your booking through your account or contact us through the help center. As a courtesy to fellow travelers, if you’re not traveling in the next four days, please wait to call our representatives.

We’re thankful for the thousands of partners who are already working with travelers to change reservation dates or offer refunds despite cancellation policies. And, we thank you for your patience as we navigate this situation.

Stay safe and stay together,

Jeff Hurst and the entire HomeAway Family