Airbnb cancels all DC-area bookings for inauguration week

Company said it will refund guests and reimburse hosts

National /
Jan.January 13, 2021 12:43 PM
Airbnb Brain Chesky and President-elect Joe Biden (Getty)

Airbnb Brain Chesky and President-elect Joe Biden (Getty)

 

Airbnb is taking the unprecedented step of canceling all reservations in the Washington, D.C., area during the week of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the company said Wednesday.

Airbnb said the policy is a response to “various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C.” In addition to canceling reservations, Airbnb said it would block new bookings.

“Guests whose reservations are canceled will be refunded in full,” Airbnb said on its website. “We also will reimburse hosts, at Airbnb’s expense, the money they would have earned from these cancelled reservations.”

Previously, Airbnb said it would ban users from its platform if they were identified as being part of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Given the number of people involved in the riot, however, it was shaping up to be a daunting task of ensuring the platform was free of everyone involved.

Airbnb said the decision to cancel all reservations was informed by local officials, including Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Along with the governors of Maryland and Virginia, she has urged visitors not to travel to the metro area for the inauguration.

“Additionally, we are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration,” the company said in its statement announcing the move.
Airbnb’s stock was up on news of the announcement. As of midday, it was trading around $171.68 per share, up 6.7 percent from its opening price.

While lawmakers push for President Donald Trump to be removed from office for his role in inciting the insurrection at the Capitol Building, he and his family are facing corporate backlash.

The Trump Organization’s banks, business partners and political allies have been distancing themselves from the president and his family in recent days.

JLL dropped its involvement to sell Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C., and Cushman & Wakefield said it would no longer work on the firm’s commercial properties. Signature Bank said it would close Trump’s personal accounts, and Deutsche Bank said it won’t do business with the family business going forward. PGA of America has pulled the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump’s National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.





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