VRBO is double-vetting DC area guests

During inauguration week following last week’s Capitol Hill violence, vacation rental site VRBO is requiring guests booking a property in and around the D.C. area to reconfirm their identities with copies of valid, government-issued photo IDs to re-vet those reservations. It also applies to guests currently staying in a VRBO property.

VRBO will cancel reservations immediately if the information is not provided.

Parent company Expedia says the new policy runs through Jan 24, and applies to hotel and airline bookings through its travel sites for visitors to D.C. and to state capitals in all 50 states.

Expedia’s booking sites include Hotwire, Expedia, HomeAway, Orbiz, Travelocity, CheapTickets and others.

Airbnb had already canceled all existing and new reservations for properties in the D.C. area for this week. Airbnb also issued full refunds to canceled guests and reimbursed hosts for lost income.

Expedia says it is screening and cross-referencing all lodging and air bookings through Jan. 24 multiple times a day against local and federal government agency provided lists to prevent those identified as persons who pose a threat to homeland security from booking through its sites.

In addition, it is using third-party security firms to perform checks on reservations.

Expedia has expanded VRBO policies for cancellations and refunds. If it cancels a reservation, the guests will be refunded and hosts will be paid in full for the lost income. That policy applies to both VRBO hosts in the D.C. area and in state capitals.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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