Can you get a refund on the short-term rental you reserved for SXSW?

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Where does the historic cancellation of South by Southwest leave out-of-town guests’ short-term rental reservations?

Airbnb’s Coronavirus extenuating circumstances policy page gives several guidelines of when reservations may be cancelled without charges.

These include if guests are traveling to or from areas that are severely impacted and/or “anyone who can’t complete their trip due to official travel restrictions, medical or disease control duties, flight or ground transportation cancellation initiated by the provider due to COVID-19, or suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.”

The company also says that if your reservation is in a severely impacted area, you may be notified that your reservation automatically qualifies for cancellation and refund.

Airbnb bookers can click here to find more information.

Vrbo’s website, meanwhile, says that its Book with Confidence Guarantee does not cover “cancellations due to travel advisories from force majeure.”

“Force majeure” is defined as big event or effect that can’t be anticipated or controlled, according to Merriam Webster.

In spite of this, Vrbo’s site also includes a COVID-19-specific note to rental owners that “if a traveler reaches out to you to cancel, we encourage you to give them a full refund.”

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