Airbnb and its subsidiary HotelTonight have canceled all reservations in Washington, D.C., during inauguration week over concerns of “armed militias and known hate groups.” The company’s co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky announced the decision on Twitter on Wednesday.
“We are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration,” the company’s statement read.
We have canceled all Airbnb reservations in DC for Inauguration week.
Guests will be issued a full refund and hosts will still be paid in full for these canceled bookings. https://t.co/K67zaRqdKJ
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 13, 2021
Following reports from various “Washington, D.C. officials, Metro Police and Members of Congress” that dangerous situations could unfold in the city due to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Airbnb also noted it would prevent any new bookings in D.C. until after the ceremonies are over.
Airbnb said it would refund and reimburse both the guests and the hosts whose bookings the company had scrapped. The vacation rental company also announced it is using “media or law enforcement sources” to identify people involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and permanently bar them from using its site or services.
“We are continuing our work to ensure hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community,” the statement read. “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.”
While President Donald Trump will not attend the inauguration, he issued an emergency declaration for Washington, D.C., “to boost security” before, after, and on Jan. 20. More than 20,000 National Guard members are expected in the city during the ceremonies.
Airbnb is one of the many companies that announced they would no longer donate to any of the 147 Republican senators and representatives who voted against the certification of Electoral College votes for Biden on Jan. 6.