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Breaking: Airbnb and HotelTonight to block and cancel all Washington, DC bookings during inauguration

Jan. 13, 2021
3 min read
Breaking: Airbnb and HotelTonight to block and cancel all Washington, DC bookings during inauguration
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Editor's Note

/strong> This story has been updated to reflect that HotelTonight has also canceled all reservations.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that HotelTonight has also canceled all reservations.

Airbnb and its subsidiary HotelTonight will not allow those hoping to attend the inauguration in the Washington, D.C. metro area to use its services. The home-sharing service announced on Wednesday that in light of official guidance, it will cancel all existing reservations and prevent any new reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area around the Jan. 20 inauguration date.

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"In response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., we are announcing that Airbnb will cancel reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the Inauguration week," Airbnb said in a statement. "Additionally, we will prevent any new reservations in the Washington, D.C. area from being booked during that time by blocking such reservations."

Airbnb will refund those who had bookings in full. In addition, it said that it will reimburse hosts who had stays booked during the inauguration period.

The move follows growing concern from authorities about the safety of the inauguration event after a violent mob stormed the United States Capitol on Jan. 6. The FBI has warned that more attacks are planned.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, as well as Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam have told visitors that they should not travel to the D.C. Metro area for the inauguration.

Related: No-fly lists, security crackdown: Chaos in DC leads to big changes in travel ahead of inauguration

More than 10,000 National Guard troops will be deployed to the capital for the inauguration, with 5,000 more available, if needed.

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With its announcement on Wednesday, Airbnb also said that it's investigated whether individuals who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 have Airbnb accounts.

"Through this work, 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," Airbnb said.

Airbnb has also clarified that there will be some exemptions for long-term stays and medical hardships.

On Tuesday, a number of travel brands — from Marriott to Hilton and Airbnb — condemned the violence at the Capitol. For Marriott, that also meant that it would be "pausing" donations of Republican members who voted against certifying the election — without saying when the donations would resume.

Related: Travel industry reconsiders political donations following Capitol siege

Featured image by Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023