Planning to book an Airbnb in Washington D.C. next week? Not so fast. The online travel platform is making some major changes to its policies following the January 6 attack at the United States Capitol. These changes include banning certain users from the platform, as well as temporarily prohibiting bookings in the D.C. area for all.
Today we’re announcing a 7-step plan to help build trust and assist with protecting our community of hosts and guests in the greater Washington, D.C. area as we approach the Presidential Inauguration.https://t.co/vRw7FTOpOK
— Airbnb (@Airbnb) January 12, 2021
On Monday, Airbnb released a statement that announced that it will be "banning individuals identified as involved in criminal activity at the Capitol." The company noted that it is learning the names of these individuals through media and law enforcement sources, which include, but are not limited to, cross-referencing the January 6 arrest logs of the D.C. Metro Police. "If the individuals have an Airbnb account, we take action, which includes banning them from using Airbnb," the company wrote.
Furthermore, Airbnb reiterated its zero-tolerance policy on hate groups: "We will continue to uphold our community policies by banning violent hate group members when we learn of such memberships."
UPDATE: In response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., we are cancelling reservations and preventing new reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during Inauguration week. https://t.co/TwadjkJ98p
— Airbnb (@Airbnb) January 13, 2021
On Wednesday, the platform issued a follow-up statement that announced that all reservations made in the D.C. metro area during Inauguration week would be canceled. New reservations would be booked during that time, too.
Airbnb explained that guests whose reservations were canceled would receive full refunds. Also, hosts who lost their bookings would be reimbursed by the company to make up for the money they would have earned. These actions will also apply to HotelTonight.
Airbnb noted that input from the local host community, city officials, members of Congress, and the metro police contributed to the new policies.
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