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Airbnb Commits Millions in Relief For Covid-19-Affected Hosts

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Airbnb is looking to make right with its hundreds of thousands of hosts who have been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing deluge of canceled bookings.

In a letter sent to hosts on Monday, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky said the company would pay hosts 25% of their normal cancellation fees, which would include part of the accommodation revenue that a guest would have paid had they gone through with the reservation. 

The move follows Airbnb’s announcement earlier this month that guests could get full refunds for certain reservations where they either could not physically make it to their destination, or where hosts or guests felt unsafe or uncomfortable during the pandemic.

However, hosts weren't initially a part of that equation, leaving many to fret over how they might offset the sudden disappearance in income - particularly among those who rely on Airbnb bookings to cover their mortgage and other home-ownership costs.

Airbnb had earlier announced that guests would receive a full refund for the cancellation of reservations made on or before March 14 for check-in between March 14 and April 14. Airbnb also said that hosts could cancel reservations without a charge.

However, Chesky clarified that hosts too will receive compensation for their losses.

"Most of us -including our guests - are on government advised lockdowns, unable to leave our homes," Chesky wrote. "Travel as we know it is almost impossible."

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