Extenuating Circumstances Policy

The following language applies to vacation rentals booked on Vrbo.

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Effective June 15, 2024

When broad scale travel disruptions prevent or legally prohibit Vrbo travelers from completing their reservations, Expedia Group may activate its Extenuating Circumstances Policy, applicable to all bookings made on Vrbo. If an event covered by this policy occurs, and Vrbo activates this policy, partners must provide refunds for impacted reservations, regardless of the reservation’s cancellation policy.

Partners must refund the guest in full if they have not yet checked in to their reservation. For reservations already underway, partners must offer a partial refund for the portion of the stay that cannot be completed due to the covered event. Vrbo will refund the full Traveler Service Fee for impacted travelers.

Cancellations covered and compliant under this policy will be eligible for a marketplace waiver, exempting them from fees and impacts to program status, such as Premier Host. Partners that do not refund travelers for bookings covered by this policy may face marketplace consequences such as suspension or fees.

Covered events:

  • Natural disasters and abnormal weather events. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, tornados, flooding, wildfires, and other historically severe weather events.
    • Note: Foreseeable weather disasters (such as hurricanes, cyclones, and extreme winter storms) may be covered if they cause or coincide with another covered event. For example, a hurricane that causes prolonged outages to public utilities to a vast majority of homes in a major region or city (cannot be outages to a few neighborhoods).
  • Declared health emergencies. Epidemics or other public health emergencies as declared by national or local government or regulatory bodies.
    • Note: Expedia Group will follow the World Health Organization’s definition of pandemic: an extraordinary event that is “serious, unusual or unexpected, and carries implications for public health beyond the state’s national border and may require immediate international action.” Emerging national or local government declared pandemics are covered under this policy. Once a pandemic is considered a known event (i.e., COVID-19 and its consequences are no longer unexpected), normal cancellation policies apply.
  • Wars, terrorist attacks and other hostilities. War, terrorist attacks, riots, large-scale civil unrest, and other hostilities that make it impossible or illegal for a guest to travel to a location or a partner to accommodate a guest.
  • Government travel restrictions. National or local government travel restrictions that make it impossible or illegal for a guest to travel to a location or a partner to accommodate a guest).
  • Infrastructure travel restrictions. Prolonged outages of essential public utilities to most homes in a region. Travel disruptions caused by large-scale restrictions or outages to critical travel infrastructure that make it impossible or impracticable for the traveler to reach the destination are covered if the restriction or outage arises from a covered event near the destination. For example, cancelled flights due to a volcanic eruption near the destination that prevent the traveler from travelling to their vacation rental. In such cases, Expedia Group requires Vrbo partners to refund travelers for the lodging. The refund of cancelled flights will be subject to the airline’s policies and is the traveler’s responsibility to coordinate.
    • Note: refunds may be subject to regulatory requirements.
  • Changes to passport or visa requirements. Government changes to passport or visa requirements that were unexpected at the time of booking, cannot be reasonably met before the date of travel and, without which, make it illegal for a guest to travel to a location.

Not covered:

  • Seasonal weather events that do not cause or coincide with another covered event. For example, hurricanes during Atlantic Coast hurricane season; tropical cyclones; winter storms in the Northern Hemisphere); where a covered event has occurred prior to a booking being made, but has subsequently increased in impact (for example, flooding that worsens). See table below for examples of seasonal weather events that would not be covered.

 

Type

Region

Season

Tropical Storm, Typhoon, Cyclone or Hurricane

 

Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea

Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Bahamas, the U.S. (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas), U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Martinique, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint-Martin, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla,

June-November

North Atlantic Ocean

Delaware, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Virginia

June-November

Eastern Pacific Ocean

Mexico, Guatemala, Hawaii

May-November

Western Pacific Ocean

Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, China, Vietnam

May-November

Indian Ocean

Coastal regions in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Madagascar, Mozambique, Reunion, Mauritius

April-June; October-December

South Pacific Ocean

Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, New Caledonia, American Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia), New Zealand (North Island)

November-April

Winter Storms

Northern Hemisphere

 

North America: Much of the U.S. (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming), Canada

 

Europe & Central Asia: Afghanistan, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine

 

Japan: Hokkaidō, Tōhoku, Kantō, Koshinetsu, Chūbu, Kansai, Chūgoku, Shikoku, Kyūshū

 

Other Asia: India (northern states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), Mongolia, Nepal

December-February

Southern Hemisphere

Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand (central area of North Island, South and East of South Island, and mountainous areas).

June-September

  • Diseases that are endemic or common in a region as reported by public health authorities (for example, Malaria in parts of Africa, Zika in parts of Asia). COVID-19 is not covered, as it is now considered a known event. When a covered event is known at the time of booking, any new, unexpected government requirements related to such event, that are later mandated, are not covered under this policy (such as quarantine, PCR/Antigen testing, mandatory vaccines, or a country's ban of non-nationals).
  • Local demonstrations or localized civil unrest that does not prevent a guest from traveling to a destination or a partner from accommodating a guest.
  • Non-binding travel advisories and similar government guidance short of travel restrictions; travel restrictions that were not in place at the time of booking, but were not unexpected at the time of booking, are also not covered, for example, COVID-19 travel restrictions where a booking was made after there was widespread knowledge of the pandemic.
  • Transport disruptions not caused by a covered event (for example, cancelled flights due to plane engineering issues or airline employee strikes); local road closures, boat, or rail schedule disruptions.
  • Changes to passport or visa requirements that were published at the time of booking but came into effect after booking; lost or expired passports, visas, or other travel documents; failure to reasonably obtain a required passport, visa, or other travel document prior to travel (whether or not those requirements were expected at the time of booking).

A traveler’s own personal circumstances are not covered (e.g., illness/injury, government obligations like jury duty, court appearances, and military duty, and cancellation/rescheduling of an event for which the reservation was made). Where an event is not covered, the reservation’s cancellation policy will apply. Travelers are encouraged to research their travel destination to prepare for known or foreseeable disruptions. Travelers are also encouraged to consider insurance options.