U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

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Airbnb Cancels D.C. Reservations During Inauguration

January 14, 2021

Responding to pressure from local, state, and federal officials, Airbnb and its subsidiary HotelTonight say they’re doing their part to keep the public away from the nation’s capital ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden next week. Airbnb announced it is canceling all reservations in the Washington, D.C., metro area through inauguration week. It will also block users from making a new booking during that period. Those who made bookings will receive a refund. Airbnb says it will reimburse hosts at its own expense.

The FBI has warned of reports about armed militias and known hate groups attempting to disrupt next week’s inauguration. City officials in Washington have been urging Airbnb, VRBO, and other home-sharing platforms to remove their local listings until the inauguration is over.

Airbnb recently announced a careful investigation of its guests after last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol. The company says that any users who are identified as being part of a hate group or involved in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 will be banned from its site.

So far, “we have identified numerous individuals who are either associated with known hate groups or otherwise involved in the criminal activity at the Capitol Building, and they have been banned from Airbnb’s platform,” the company announced Wednesday. Airbnb says it is cooperating with law enforcement and the media to help identify users who may have participated in last week’s Capitol riot.