Fact Check: Airbnb Did NOT Say It's Expecting 'Large-Scale Government Actions And Lockdowns' To Begin On June 6, 2024

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Airbnb Did NOT Say It's Expecting 'Large-Scale Government Actions And Lockdowns' To Begin On June 6, 2024 Not A Forecast

Did Airbnb say it was expecting "large-scale government actions and lockdowns" to begin on June 6, 2024? No, that's not true: The date marks when the online vacation marketplace's new "Major Disruptive Events Policy" takes effect, which updates some policies regarding refunds and cancellations for significant unforeseen circumstances. It's not a prediction of impending government action anywhere in the world and the company's communication did not make any mention of such prediction either.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on X, formerly Twitter, by Patrick Webb on April 26, 2024, with the caption "BREAKING: AirBnB is expecting large-scale government actions and lockdowns to begin on June 6, 2024, according to a newly obtained email." The post's graphic said:

AirBnB: expect governments' restricting travel after June 6, 2024.

We're updating our Extenuating Circumstances Policy and changing its name to make it easier to understand.

The revised Major Disruptive Events Policy will apply to all trips and Experiences taking place on or after June 6, 2024, regardless of when they were booked.

What's changing in the policy?

Foreseeable weather events at the reservation's location are explicitly eligible for coverage if they result in another covered event, such as a government travel restriction or large-scale utility outage.

The policy will only apply to events in the place where the reservation is located. Events that impact a guest's ability to travel to the reservation are no longer covered.

Your continued use of the Airbnb Platform from June 6, 2024, constitutes acceptance of the updated Major Disruptive Events Policy.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:


(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Apr 30 13:04:01 2024 UTC)

The graphic in the post purportedly shows a "newly obtained email" but no identifying details are provided. It's unclear if this is a screenshot from an actual email from the vacation marketplace website.

In an April 30, 2024, email response to Lead Stories, Airbnb refuted the allegations in the post, clarifying that its communication served as an amendment to its policy regarding refunds and cancellations for significant unforeseen circumstances.

Even the graphic in the post on X makes no mention of the company "expecting large-scale government actions and lockdowns" on any date, including June 6. It only mentions changes in Airbnb policy.

New policy

The supposed email in the post accurately represents the company's reworked "Extenuating Circumstances Policy," which has been renamed "Major Disruptive Events Policy." The changes were announced in a news release on March 28, 2024. A notice on the new policy page explains what's going on and what the June 6 date represents:

This Policy is being updated. The new Policy appears at the top of this page and will apply to all reservations taking place on or after June 6, 2024, except as otherwise notified by Airbnb to users. The existing Policy appears at the bottom of the page and applies to earlier reservations.

The notice contradicts the purported subject line shown in the social media post's graphic: "AirBnB: expect governments' restricting travel after June 6, 2024."

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Other fact check agencies have also reviewed this claim, including Tech ARP and Reuters.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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