log in

Airbnb cancels all DC-area reservations ahead of Biden inauguration

Ars Technica - Wed Jan 13 17:40

Please stay home —

Airbnb is worried that "armed militias and known hate groups" may return to DC.

Pro-Trump rioters clashed with police outside the US Capitol January 6, 2021.

Enlarge / Pro-Trump rioters clashed with police outside the US Capitol January 6, 2021.

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Airbnb is canceling all reservations in the DC metropolitan area next week—the week of Joe Biden's inauguration—the company announced on Wednesday. The governors of Virginia and Maryland and the Mayor of Washington DC have all asked visitors not to come to DC for the event.

"Additionally, we are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration," Airbnb wrote.

The District of Columbia has been on edge since last Wednesday, when a violent mob invaded the US Capitol, killed a police officer, and temporarily prevented Congress from confirming Joe Biden's election as the 46th president. Police regained control of the Capitol within hours. But some right-wing extremists have vowed to return with weapons next week to try to disrupt Biden's inauguration.

Airbnb says that it will not only issue refunds to customers, it will also reimburse Airbnb hosts for the lost revenue.

Airbnb says it is also taking steps to ban extremists who participated in last week's riot from the platform.

"As we’ve learned through media or law enforcement sources the names of individuals confirmed to have been responsible for the violent criminal activity at the United States Capitol on January 6, we’ve investigated whether the named individuals have an account on Airbnb," the company writes. As a result, "numerous individuals" have been "banned from Airbnb’s platform."

Airbnb is also canceling reservations made through HotelTonight, an app owned by Airbnb.