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Airbnb refunds and the new England lockdown

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I am posting here on behalf of my daughter who has had to cancel her trip to London due to the new Covid lockdown in England.


She is due to stay at an Airbnb for one night at the end of this week but due to the new lockdown it is illegal for her to travel as it is for leisure purposes and not essential.


She has contacted Airbnb and the hotel itself and they have said she is not entitled to a refund or rebook as the hotel remains open.  She is a student and doesnt have a lot of money and cant afford to just loose £70.


I was wondering if there would be any loophole with this.  The T&Cs say that they will not refund under "extenuating circumstances" after March.


I have checked the Government website and it obviously says that you cannot travel unless its essential and that hotels are able to remain open but for certain scenarios only and none of them are for leisure purposes.


I guess there must be an awful lot of people in this same situation but if anyone has any ideas it would be much appreciated.


One site suggested a chargeback with the bank but what would she say? 


Many thanks




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I certainly think that a chargeback is the place to start. Tell her to contact the bank and say that she made the contract which is now become unlawful to fulfil because of government regulations and that you have tried to raise this with Airbnb and they have declined. Tell the bank that Airbnb are acting unlawfully and that she wants the chargeback.

Come back here and let us know what they say. There are more aggressive ways to deal with it including saying that it is a frustrated contract although there could be difficulties in this case. Chargeback is the best way to start.

When did she make the booking?

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Hi BankFodder,


Thank you so much for your reply.


She only made it quite recently, about a month ago at a guess.  It was a treat for her boyfriends birthday.  They were going to do some sightseeing, dinner at the shard but unfortunately her plans have been shortlived due to whats now going on.


I will certainly help her start the ball rolling with the chargeback and of course I will update here.

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I'm sure it was going to be a lovely treat – but frankly anybody who makes these kinds of arrangements at this period in the crisis is pushing their luck.

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As evidence for the chargeback I would cite the official government guidance that says:


To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. These include:


  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes



As the hotel could not legally have allowed your daughter to stay in the hotel if she had arrived and attempted to check in the hotel would have to have camcelled her booking. So she's entitled to her money back.


The actual legislation is the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 paragraphs 18 (5) and 18 (6)





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