Following the events of January 6, 2021, Expedia Group continues to take extraordinary steps to protect our travelers, partners, and communities.
Out of an abundance of caution and in support of local and federal law enforcement initiatives, we have implemented elevated, emergency security procedures across all existing and new lodging and air reservations through Expedia Group and Vrbo in and around Washington, D.C. and all U.S. state capitals.
Our teams in trust and safety, physical security, customer support, and crisis operations have taken several actions, including:
- Screening and cross-referencing all lodging and air bookings through January 24, 2021 multiple times a day against local and federal government agency provided lists to ensure those identified as persons who pose a threat to homeland security, including individuals arrested in connection with the Capitol siege, are not booking on our platform.
- Expanding existing Vrbo policies for cancellations and refunds and assisting both travelers and partners. In the event we cancel a reservation for security concerns, a host chooses to cancel a reservation, or a traveler decides to cancel a reservation, the guest will be refunded, and the host will be paid in full. This applies to the Washington, D.C. metro area and all U.S. state capitals through January 24, 2021.
- Requiring those booking a Vrbo property in and around the Washington, D.C. or any U.S. state capital to reconfirm their identity via copies of government-issued photo identification so that we can re-vet those reservations.
- Guests who have not yet checked in are required to provide this information before their check-in time. If guests do not supply the required information, their reservation will be cancelled.
- Guests currently staying in a Vrbo property will be asked to provide this information expediently. If guests do not supply the required information, their reservation will be cancelled.
- Using third-party security firms who work with local, state, and federal government and information security services to perform checks on reservations and forwarding our findings to law enforcement when warranted.
- Ongoing contact with Washington, D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, members of the D.C. City Council, and representatives from other government agencies.
- Providing trend and other data to law enforcement as appropriate.
We continue to support travel for individuals and families who are or plan to be in and around Washington, D.C. and all U.S. state capitals for legitimate and critical reasons — first responders, law enforcement, medical professionals, government officials and others. If any of the above measures suggest that a reservation may be associated with malicious intent, our policy is to investigate, notify law enforcement, and cancel that reservation.
These recent events underscore the importance of increasing collaboration between the travel industry and government entities. Expedia Group has already begun conversations with industry partners and organizations on how we can promote greater engagement, alignment and information sharing between the travel industry and government authorities to ensure a safe travel environment in any future security emergency.
In the near-term, we will continue to partner with law enforcement and the multiple local and federal government agencies that are doing incredible work to protect our country, our citizens, and our democracy, to steer us toward a peaceful transition.