In normal times, having upwards of a million or more people flowing into a city would be a boom for a company like Airbnb. In case you haven’t noticed, these aren’t normal times!
With Inauguration Day coming up on January 20, Airbnb is actually getting a head of any potential problems by canceling and blocking future reservations in the metro area of Washington, D.C., for most of the week.
For guests that have already booked reservations, they will be receiving full refunds according to Airbnb.
President-elect Joe Biden has already declared his inauguration will be scaled down because of COVID-19, but the tension in Washington is still palpable, and the FBI has sent out warnings of armed protests that were being planned for the D.C., area, as well as state capitals around the country.
Everywhere you turn there are signs of nervousness for what potentially could happen on the 20th, in fact D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam have all urged people to not travel to their area for the inauguration.
Airbnb has pivoted several times on how they planned on handling booking in the D.C. area. Initially thy said they would step up safety plans, and then announced they would ban individuals who were involved in the riots at the U.s. Capitol or were associated with any known hate groups.
Finding that to be too tedious, and the situation too volatile, they decided to play it safe and not book any rooms during a week that could get violent.