People at a beach in Sydney, Australia
Airbnb has not said travel restrictions are returning from June 6, despite conjecture online. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS

Impending travel restrictions claim just a flight of fancy

Tom Wark May 14, 2024

Airbnb has warned customers to expect governments to restrict travel from June 6, 2024.


False. Updates to Airbnb’s policies have been misrepresented. The company has issued no such warning.

Global accommodation marketplace Airbnb supposedly has inside information on a government plan to imminently restrict travel, according to posts on social media.

But the claim is false. The posts have misrepresented changes to the accommodation site’s policies for refunds and cancellations amid major disruptions.

The claim appears in social media posts reading: “Message from Airbnb: expect governments restricting travel after June 6, 2024.”

A Facebook post featuring the false claim
 Airbnb has not warned of impending government shutdowns, despite posts sharing this message. 

The wording appears to come from a Substack article with the same headline, published on April 10.

Many of the posts featuring the false claim contain screenshots of both the Substack article and Airbnb’s policy update.

The Substack article’s author writes: “It looks like new lockdowns for whatever pretenses [sic] are expected starting after June 6.”

In reality, on March 28 Airbnb published a press release outlining changes to its Major Disruptive Events Policy, formally known as the Extenuating Circumstances Policy.

In the release, the company says: “This policy provides cancellation and refund support for our guests when unexpected major events like natural disasters, government travel restrictions or weather events impact their ability to stay at a location.”

The changes clarify the circumstances under which refunds and cancellations can be made due to foreseeable weather events.

Screengrab of Airbnb press release dated March 28, 2024.
 Airbnb released a policy update at the end of March. 

“As an example, if a hurricane were to impact Florida during hurricane season and this led to a mandatory evacuation order, under the old policy affected bookings for this destination would not be eligible for a refund.

“With this update, in these same circumstances, guests with affected bookings do qualify for a refund.”

The release ends with the line: “These policy updates come into effect for all reservations taking place on or after June 6, 2024.”

Airbnb told AAP FactCheck it had not given warnings of government shutdowns. The full policy contains no prediction of travel restrictions starting on June 6.

Similar claims have been fact-checked by Reuters and PolitiFact, among others.

The Verdict

The claim that Airbnb has warned customers to expect governments to restrict travel from June 6, 2024 is false.

An update to the company’s policies for refunds and cancellations amid large-scale disruptions has been misinterpreted.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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