Airbnb cancels reservations in Russia and Belarus

Airbnb announced on Monday that it has canceled all reservations on the colocation platform in Russia and Belarus. Reservations for stays in the two countries beginning on or after April 4 will not be honored, the company confirmed to CBS MoneyWatch.

Airbnb announced on March 4 that it has suspended all operations in Russia and Belarus after the attack on Ukraine. It also means that customers from both countries cannot use the platform to make reservations elsewhere in the world. At the time, customers who made reservations on, say, March 2 for a June stay in Russia were told their reservations would be honored.

The company is now backtracking.

“In the weeks that followed, other Russian and Belarusian banks and financial institutions were sanctioned, while many leading global companies also joined Airbnb in suspending their operations. sanctions,” a spokesperson said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. “As the circumstances in Russia and Belarus have continued to evolve, we have made the decision to cancel all remaining existing reservations.”

Russian and Belarusian nationals based outside their home country can still use the platform. Airbnb added that it will provide more guidance to travelers and hosts as the situation evolves.


MoneyWatch: International Companies Pull Out of Russia After Ukraine Invasion

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Hosts based in Russia or Belarus who list their listings on Airbnb can no longer show availability or accept new bookings. According to Airbnb, customers do not have the option of making reservations at properties in either country. A search for stays at properties in both countries returned no results.

Airbnb previously warned users of the service that it would not be able to process transactions affiliated with certain Russian and Belarusian financial institutions.

Visa and Mastercard said in March that they blocked services to Russian banks, complying with US sanctions imposed on the nation amid its war against ukraine.

As the war escalated, people flocked to Airbnb book stays in Ukraine with no intention of visiting the country, but rather expressing their support by putting money in the pockets of the locals.

The home rental company has also temporarily waived guest and host fees on bookings in Ukraine, meaning it won’t profit from those bookings. On March 2 and 3, the total gross value of bookings to Ukraine was nearly $2 million.

More than 600 large companies have out of Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

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