Airbnb Guest Stories

These are the most recent 25 stories from real Airbnb Guests.  Read More Airbnb Guest Stories.

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Host and Guest Agree, Still Shorted on Refund

My story starts off in Athens, Greece on September 28th, 2016. I went into my Airbnb account and booked a stay with Konstantinos for $244. For some reason, the app stated the property was not available for my dates, and I would have to search and find another property. I did find another property for […]

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Requests to Reactivate my Disabled Account Ignored

I’ve requested to have my Airbnb account temporarily reinstated after having three emails and several Tweets ignored. I have been trying to sort out possible bookings for next June from my account, only to find out that it has been temporarily disabled due to security reasons. There was a message requesting me to email Airbnb […]

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Airbnb Edits Review to only Show Positive Feedback

We rented an apartment in Oslo, Norway for two nights early in November. Though offered, there was no Internet, wireless or otherwise. We needed to buzz in to the third floor apartment, but the buzzer did not work. We stood on the street attempting to reach the owner by phone to advise her cleaning lady to […]

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Airbnb Providing Refunds to Gift Cards

First of all, I want to say that I’m really an Airbnb fan and I’ve used it in Southeast Asia, China, and Korea. Every time I got a surprising experience and I’ve been trying my best to recommend the site to my friends (you can see the list of friends I’ve invited in my account). […]

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Currency Conversion Doesn’t Explain Higher Fees

Airbnb is a corrupt, money grabbing, poorly operated business that should be avoided at all costs. Back in September 2015, we booked an apartment in Boracay, Philippines for 91 nights from November 2nd, 2016 at a price of around 8,534 Australian dollars (indulgent, I know, but not the point of this story). My credit card […]

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Leaky Roof: Beware of Airbnb Host in Miami

Stay away from a host called Vinod advertising on Airbnb in Miami, Florida. Having used Airbnb for a bunch of stays during 2016, the last one was terrible. There was a leaky roof that stained the sofa, and cockroaches, slugs, and ants infested the condo. Collection bills were piled so high in the mail box […]

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Granada Horror Story: Left Out in the Cold

I booked a place in Granada, Spain for two nights. I called the host the day before my arrival to say I expected to arrive in Granada around 4:00 PM (I rented a car for the trip from Cordoba) When I arrived (at 4:09 PM) I called the host to arrange a meet-up. There was […]

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Deceitful Host and Disappointment from Airbnb

I would like to share the details surrounding my nightmare situation with the host I dealt with in trying to secure accommodations for my trip to Lebanon and my absolute disappointment in Airbnb’s corporate office with their position on siding with this host, despite his clearly deceitful behaviour. When I was planning my trip to […]

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No Apartment and No Money Thanks to Airbnb

After this experience, I contacted Airbnb by telephone. I sent them documents, data and evidences of the scam I experienced through the company. I still noticed that there were ads on Airbnb pages that follow the same strategy to persuade customers to book on behalf of the corporation. On Saturday, November 12th, I logged in to […]

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Scamming Slumlord in China Protected by Airbnb

I booked an Airbnb unit in China, a simple one-bedroom entire home/apt. When I showed up, I had (surprise) eight roommates, no lock on my bedroom door, and cockroaches and trash everywhere. The house was maintained like the worst college dorm you could imagine. I left immediately and Airbnb refused to refund me because I didn’t […]

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Condo in Beautiful Hawaii Filled with Bed Bugs

I went on vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii recently. I booked four nights at the Kona Islander Inn in Kona. The host’s name is Ann, who is from the Seattle area. From the very beginning I should have known better to rent from her. Upon my initial booking back in September she did not greet […]

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Terrible Communication with Airbnb: No Error Message

As a first time Airbnb user, I booked a place for one night. My visa card was debited immediately. After that, I needed to contact my host regarding details for an airport pick-up. Over a 3-4 day period, I found that the Airbnb messaging system is worse than useless. I received both emails and texts […]

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No Customer Service or Response for Superguest

I was planning a vacation with an east coast friend I hadn’t seen in 43 years. We planned a trip to Squaw Valley/Tahoe. Since my husband and I have stayed at the resort at Squaw Valley several times, I was excited to find a condo available through Airbnb. I am a “superguest” known for leaving […]

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Post-Traumatic Airbnb in Dogs’ Bedroom

We booked with Airbnb for a family business trip at a farm. The pictures online looked charming and cozy. We pulled up the driveway to see three vicious looking pit bulls surrounding our vehicle barking incessantly. The owner was nowhere in sight and two of our children were so petrified of the dogs they refused to […]

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Lawyerly Defense in Mexico: Host Plot Foiled

My Airbnb rental was reserved for 45 days in central Mexico. I’m still here. But I’m only here because of the intervention of a Mexican lawyer. My host complained when my flight was late. We got past that. My host has a rescue dog (one of the three on the property) and she asked me […]

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Extortion is Easy When There are no Receipts

I enjoyed my stay at Andre’s place. It was a little small for the price and did not have a microwave. However, I was willing to pay extra because it was close to work and friends. I enjoyed it until it came to actually dealing with Andre at the end of my three-week stay. I stayed […]

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Extortion and Invasion of Privacy: Illegal NYC Airbnb

I had a really unpleasant New York City host somewhere in the financial district. Superficially everything was nice until a few hours after we met. Here is how the interaction went: Host: When will you be arriving? Me: I will actually be in the city a few days before so I can arrive whenever is […]

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Want to Illegally Occupy an Apartment? Look no Further!

I was full of joy and hopes for the future when I booked Nadia’s apartment that she offers as “Schöne und helle Wohnung – Ideal gelegen“. I was moving to Germany for a new amazing job and made a one-month booking to have a place at the start of my contract. We had chats over the […]

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Terrible Experiences and Service from Airbnb

I’ve now used Airbnb three times and each time was a nightmare. The first time, the house had no heater and we froze. I left the host a note, but being a nice guy, chose not to review them. The second was in a lovely location, but the unit was dirty and had safety issues. […]

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Late Arrival, Host Abandoned me in Belfast

I was suppose to stay with a host in Belfast tonight. We agreed to check in at 8:00 PM earlier in the day. After encountering an accident in the highway I messaged to say that I would be there around 20:30. I arrived at 20:30 only to have him message me, saying: “You missed check-in. Your problem. […]

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Disgusted Beyond Belief: Dirty Airbnb

Since Airbnb does not allow reviews on places if we leave I’m posting my story here. People may wonder why I tried so hard to make this work after reading my email. It was because I was exhausted and the thought of hauling our stuff down three flights of stairs and finding a hotel seemed […]

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Terrible Bed, Dildo in Nightstand: Harsh Review

We booked a stay in an Airbnb for four nights in Toronto. The location was great. However, there were a few major issues: The bed was terrible. There was no box spring or support for the mattress, so it sagged badly. Not an inch of closet space or a single drawer was available. The apartment was […]

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Dirty, Dusty Apartment in London: No Refunds Given

So I went with my wife to London the week of November 1st because she had an interview on November 2nd. We rented this “clean” place from Airbnb. We got to the apartment at midnight (there were only late flights out of Milan) and as soon as we started to make ourselves comfortable, I realized […]

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Thrown Out Before Christmas: Australian Airbnb Nightmare

During our most recent Airbnb stay, the electricity kept cutting out, the wifi wasn’t working, and after spending 3500 euro we needed to pay to use the washing machine and dryer. I simply told my host my concerns and he told me to get out of house ASAP, just like that. This was booked months in advance […]

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Bad Experience Using Airbnb for the First Time

On August 28th, 2016, I paid the total amount for a two-bedroom condo with three beds in Chicago in full (which hotels never require). When my family arrived, there were only two beds, so that meant that three adult women all over 5’9″ had to share a queen bed. What a mess. With no permission […]

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29 Comments

  1. Pingback: Better Read This Before You Use Airbnb for the First Time

  2. Pingback: Airbnb’s Elephant in the Room | Spirit by Design

  3. I’m another who had a HORRIBLE experience with Air BnB. Me and my boyfriend showed up to the Air BnB that we rented in Montreal, which had great reviews online. The first night, we went out and when we came home later in the evening, placed our keys on the glass table and chatted with 2 friends. No TV was on. No music was on. The host came over and knocked on the door… Prior to this he hadn’t even told us he lived next door and actually went out of his way to pretend he didn’t… coming from around the street any time he met us. We said ok and kicked out our guests (Thanks, DAD.) but continued to chat, just us 2. The owner came over a second time to tell us to shut up. Ok, fine, we went to bed. The next day, he came back again and chastised us for the night before, again we apologized and he said fine but I’m doing an inspection to make sure you didn’t put holes in the walls, etc. I offered to leave for the second night we had booked and he said whatever. We booked a hotel and left right away- losing the money that we had paid for the second night in this Air bnb. I should also note that at 6am, there was extremely loud banging on the walls, screaming from children and children running non-stop, ALL DAY. The host then proceeded to text message me extremely rude things, asking where I lived and where I was in Montreal that night and was telling me that even though he did indeed say the place was fine and he had the keys, that he was calling the cops. I still have no idea why. Overall, pretty much our entire trip was ruined- we were broke after having to find another place; the first night was ruined cause we were literally told to go to bed (with the assumption that we’d be on the street if we didn’t soon) and the next day was annoying and very unpleasant with the children sounding like they were hanging out in the apartment with us; the host even managed to blacken the second day when we were finally far away from him, by harassing me via text.

  4. Hello!
    This is second notice we have sent to Airbnb and still no any actions… if they are not acting then this letter we will send to another institutions in Spain.
    Decided to inform you regarding one of our hosts where we stayed before.
    Yury Geraskin in Barcelona, Carrer de Biscaia 383, floor 4.
    These are several reasons you to know about this host for your own security:
    1. He stays in Spain illegally (no any documents to stay in Spain and overstayed his visa more than a year).
    2. Not paying taxes to government to do this activity (can be caught any moment by neighbors complaint).
    3. Selling for cash to AirBnB clients who decided to stay more in his apartment.

    He can be caught by police any moment and all of Airbnb guests will lose their living for what they have paid!

    Hope you can make AirBnB more secure.
    Tnx!

  5. The photos of properties are often phony, from years ago when the property was new, etc. Do not trust them or the hosts. When we arrived in Los Angeles the property was so bad I was not sure it was the place I booked.
    The host was dishonest about the property and Airbnb promised a full refund and I received nothing.

    Stay away or somewhere you can trust.

  6. I stayed in an airbnb in St Andrews, Scotland. The host said he would be away and that the house might not be so tidy. he was right. The place was filthy. I was unsure which room to sleep in and there was a see through curtain on the window, no bedding. I did have my own sleeping back. I notified airbnb. No response. The host wrote a fairly abrupt response on his site. No action was taken. However, other guests complained about the exact same issues. Five months on and no one has taken any action. An apology would have been nice.

  7. My gf created a account in a year before, after few times the account has been blocked and we call hundred Times to the customer service. Due this year, I reopened a new account, after two booking, the account have been blocked AGAIN!!! Airbnb is nothing but a piece of crap. A year passed We try to contact with Airbnb to solve this issue, and the result is the same as last year, very disppointed, I mean how this rubbish can operate for so long, delete it. If you finally wake up.

  8. When logged in, prices are higher and a service fee is attached. When not, the prices are lower and no service fee.

  9. Had a horrible experience 3 weeks ago in Tuscany. Property had good reviews and turned out to be a total dump and airbnb has been less than helpful. We did everything right, have facts on our side and they are actually ignorning us completely – no refund for us it seems. Acting like we did something wrong or had wrong expectations. I have lived on 4 continents, have stayed in everything from camp sites to youth hostelf and 5 star hotels – I know what I should be paying for decent lodging. I thought airbnb was a reputable company…they are scam artists and amateurs.

  10. I had a terrible experience just recently. I booked a dog-friendly cottage, and notified host I would be bringing my very well-behaved pet. The 4 night stay was paid for, plus a cleaning fee. She also required a $325 deposit. The day of arrival she had been at the cottage but did not stay to meet us. There was a lockbox, so we let ourselves in. On the table inside was a list of house rules, that also stated that the dishwasher and washer-dryer were not working, and that she had a “very bad ant problem.”. None of this was mentioned prior to our arrival. On the second page was a paragraph “agreement” (that we had no notice she would require) stating she needed an additional $100 deposit, and that she would charge if the pet damaged anything. I did not sign it, nor did I call or contact AirBnb about the defects in her property. The stay was okay – except for a trail of ants waking me up and crawling all over me in the bed!!! And not being able to wash and dry my clothes after outdoor activities. etc. (BTW, We had no food or drink near the bed. I dealt with the ants. I did not launch a complaint.) Before leaving, we washed and dried every dish used. We wiped down counters and sinks We hung up towels. We got rid of all trash, even removing entirely from the property dog waste from the yard and cat waste that was not our responsibility – she had not outdoor trash so we actually carted it away. We folded blankets and put them away. Despite paying a cleaning fee, we cleaned everything we could. There was no vacuum or mop in the house. I would have even popped the linens in the washer, but we were told not to use it. We left everything where we found it. Two days later I received a claim and statement from her that our dog peed in her house and it was “trashed” and she was demanded our $325 deposit. I was completely befuddled. My dog has never urinated in any house or hotel, and I have had him 6 years. And he was with us 100% of the time. She posted a photo of a smudge on the floor wax to “prove” he had. What she did not know is that he is a large male dog who lifts his leg and if he peed in her house, it would have been all over the walls or furniture! She also claimed we put a scratch in her new refrigerator and on her counter. I don’t believe we did this, and she has no proof that we did. For this, and cleaning, she demands $325. The claim was nutty, and I engaged in online back and forth with her. The claim is in now in AirBnB’s hands, but as a responsible person, who has stayed in dozens of hotels and non-AirBnB rentals with my dog, with zero problems, this whole process has been infuriating. She saw a smudge in her floor wax, made an incorrect assumption, and went looking for problems. And this was my first AirBnB rental. Sigh. My daughter has used without issue. But this has unnerved me. It makes me want to stay in hotels and use bona-fide vacation rental properties, which have a proper process in place, and professional management. With AirBnB, you are dealing with individuals, who have wildly varying mental health,, temperametns, and expectations, and often zero professionalism, because of the nature of the business. It’s just too much risk.

  11. As an airbnb host I have come to see that Airbnb is 100% about making money, not responsible hosting.

    – Reviews are unreliable, they are only published if both parties make a review so if either party suspects they will get a bad review they simply don’t make one.

    – In Ecuador, where we host, permission must be obtained from the local authorities to rent or offer hospitality, which means they must adhere to certain standards and pay yearly fees and taxes and are accountable if guests have any complaints.
    Airbnb take no responsibility to ensure their listings are legal and continue to list properties that have been reported as illegal all over Ecuador, these properties are mostly run by expat retirees looking for a little extra income. In the meantime, due to the enormous success of Airbnb they are putting local legitimate business’s out of business

    – Their cancellation policies are ineffective, as a small business we rely upon and work hard to keep our rentals occupied and consequently chose a strict cancellation policy, yet our guests were able to cancel their reservation ONE DAY before the start of the second month of their reservation and even though the house was left like a pig-sty and things were stolen we were unable to give a review because the reservation was cancelled! And even if we had been able to make the review it would not have been published if they had not made a counter review.

    • thank you for the information. I am looking to rent a house in Puerto Ric i. Is there a way to check to see if they have listed with the town/ agency?
      Also, this one I like has no reviews listed, good or bad, should I be concerned? And if you have any suggestions on a how to verify the legitimacy of the renter I’d greatly appreciate it.

    • That’s not true. Each party has 14 days to submit a review and after each party submits their review, it is automatically published. If only one party leaves a review, after 14 days, it is published whether the other party has left a review or not.

  12. I also have a horrible story to share who should i contact to share it?
    Airbnb We got their reservation confirmation email and then be there and prepare to find out your reservation is not really confirmed bc the host does not know what a InstantBook means and Airbnb support service shows no responsibility whatsoever that you are now in the middle of the street w your child and grandma in the car at 10pm. Most of the hotels are also packed but then they offer you $150 as compensation and send you go fishing. Then you are decided to not let them ruin your entire vacation then you pay more than twice the price of a stay and change hotels 4 times during your trip. This is Airbnb folks… #airbnb #fail #ruinyourvacation

  13. During my 2 month stay in Crete via airbnb I had NO LESS THAN 3 sexual predators as hosts!!!!!! I am a serious woman and will never again use airbnb. It is also CRAZY how misleading descriptions/photos are plus how indiscriminately positive the reviews are. Holes in the wall are made into villas etc. What a nightmare!

  14. airbnb is a service that people choose instead of a hotel room where you are somewhat safe and if there is no room they will accommodate you the best. When you book Airbnb, you are going to a strangers house not really knowing what to expect but the best. things could go wrong for sure since its a stranger meeting another one.

  15. Dear Audience:

    To date, September 19th, 2016, I’ve had only four AirBnB experiences. 1 of them was excellent, the other was OK, 1 was sooo bad with the mole smell and everything filthy that i actually, was forced to check into the Holiday Inn Express, and now the 1 i’m currently staying is OK enough for four (7) nights. Will NOT be using AirBnB again any time soon. It’s tooo FUNKY. You don’t get anything of value up to $62.00/night. If you are going to spend more than $62.00/ night, go to a hotel. Do NOT believe the photos. Do NOT! Photos do NOT capture mole and mole smell. Photos do NOT capture what you will walk into when you arrive. Photos do NOT capture the area where you will reside. NEVER Book anything longer than four (4) nights! DO NOT! Also, be careful of REVIEWS! Most may NOT be at your standard. Again, what is GREAT for someone is NOT OUTSTANDING for you. This business of Airbnb is DICEY at best!

    PROBLEM
    AirBnB MUST/NEEDS to hire an independent Company that travels on their behalf and inspect these places in advance. There is NOT any other solution. Photos lie, taking things on face / surface is the farce. It simply doesn’t work! Why not? Because everyone has her or his own idea of cleanliness and standards. What may be filthy to one person is OK to another; especially people who have poor personal hygiene.

    AirBnB option is NOT a hotel. This is where people as me make the HUGE blunder. AirBnB option is the alternative to a hotel. It is NOT a hotel option. NO, it is NOT! Now i’m attempting to convince me that it is someone’s personal setup … not a Company…Organization. People, PLEASE remember this; it is NOT a hotel. You can’t complain, or change rooms, or get a refund, or Book new or get an upgrade! NO, you cannot! Think long and hard before you do an AirBnB. PLEASE!

    AirBnB has ZERO standards. NONE! They tell you flat out, “that’s not what we do.” Therefore, whatever you get, you must take. HORRIFIC!

    AirBnB experience is like the lottery, most of the x, especially if you are on a budget, you will lose and your entire trip/visit, whatever will be ruined. I.e., dirty shower, smelly toilet area, even when you turn the fan on, dirty sheets and pillow cases, dirty mattress, dingy curtains. old used towels, some with CUM stains…terrible. Yeah, it happened to me. AirBnB doesn’t give a SHIT! NO, it doesn’t! All AirBnB cares about is getting paid… stick it to the traveler with outrageous fees and taxes. Some people charging as much as $165.00 as cleaning fee. You walk into the place and there is a dog on the bed. with its dirt and on pillow dog stuff… NIGHTMARE, HORROR SHOW. DESPICABLE!

    HELP!

  16. I also had a horrible experience with Airbnb. The guy is listed as a Superhost. How I don’t know. It’s infested with cockroaches. In addition he falsely advertises his rooms & you have no idea what you will get. He over books the rooms, makes you change rooms or tells you to stay in a hotel. He also has fierce flea infected dogs on the property & one bite my husband. And yes people steal your things, eat your food or take over communal space so it can’t be used. Airbnb does nothing!!

  17. Fraud, last minute cancellations and terrible customer service. That was my Air BNB experience.
    o About a month prior to my visit, I booked a stay in a foreign city through Air BNB.
    o 5 days prior to the stay, the booking is cancelled by the host.
    o Day 5-3: 2 days are spent trying to book a new property. Effort results in mysterious emails, direct from host, requesting that we wire transfer funds to an account in the Ukraine. We determine this is likely fraud.
    o Day 3: I post a question through their “help” section of the Air BNB website alerting them that I think one of their hosts is actively using their site to commit wire fraud, and I am advised to post a review on the hosts’ website.
    o Day 3-2: attempt to book another location, but host rejects in order to accept a different booking request.
    o Day 2-1: limit my search to bookings that are instant. This greatly reduces options, and requires some inconvenient compromise, but I request a booking and it is quickly accepted. I am asked to go through a “verification process” which includes a lot of personal questions, and it is my understanding all is well and accepted.
    o Day 0 – notified that our booking is cancelled due to “We’ve discovered that the payment method used for reservation XXXX isn’t valid.” I check with my credit card and there are no issues, so I have no idea what this means or why I am now without a place stay. I have sent several emails asking what happened, and have yet to receive a reply.
    o Day 0 – try to login to AirBNB help center to see if any other support is available, and find out my account was disabled. I requested that the account be enabled, and I have never received a response.

    So, I am left stranded the day I arrive in a city in a foreign country by Air BNB with no access to account support, no place to stay and no answers to questions. Thank heavens for Expedia and free wifi.

    Question: my credit card was checked and was clear. This was my first booking with Air BNB. I am very confused about my account inactivation. Was my account inactivated because I complained about fraud?

    My biggest concern: Air BNB, to the best of my knowledge, has never investigated or made any effort to remove the fraudulent host that requested a wire transfer of funds, since the only follow up I received from them was a suggestion that I post comments on the host site. I find this very concerning since the host is likely perpetuating fraud through their site. Since my account was inactivated, I cannot post a negative review. I believe that it is likely that AirBNB has done absolutely nothing about this thief posting as a host.

  18. Airbnb ripped off my money and host compained that i took the key where they charged 200$ they have done multile fake transations on my account please dont rip money the place where i stayed was such a dirty place worst than anything since i had no alternate i had to stay for 2 nights and vacated.

  19. Contrary to those stories above, I have had nothing but good stays in Air BnB accommodation. I have stayed in 1 place in Western Australia, 2 on the south island of New Zealand and 10 in Europe ( Venice, La Spezia, Florence, Naples, Rome, Athens, 3 in the Pelopponese , Santorini)Maybe I’ve just been lucky.

  20. This Company doesn’t work properly. As an owner you have very few information on the guests, no copy of ID, no postal address once somebody want to book your property.
    You don’t know who is coming in your property, you don’t even have all the names of all the guests… so Airbnb just ask you to say “YES” to your guests without any informations. Once the booking is accepted, most of the time guests are reluctant to give more information , even just a copy of ID or the postal address. You don’t have any contract signed by the guests, if you have pb with him, it’s complicated to call Airbnb. By experience I called them on time when I guest did not come for check out and did not give back my keys… the answer of the call center was “I have to close this phone call because you don’t give me the right 4 last digit of your bank account number” which BTW was wrong. They have a pb with their IT apparently… I had my bank statement in front of me with the credit transaction AIRBNB…
    Anyway no help at all from Airbnb , when you have a pb, don’t count on them… no help at all… and as they have the deposit … so if you need to be reimburse of damages by the deposit … just nothing, no contract, no deposit, no help from Airbnb. Very bad experience. I was obliged to change 2 lockers at my charge…
    I must say also that the most of the time Airbnb provides bad people who wants travel discreetly without giving their ID and basic information about them. I had guests visited by several prostitutes. This never happened before with other websites… Airbnb does not care, they manage the payment and the deposit and you just have to shut your mouth…
    If you don’t want have pb, or you care your home, believe me avoid them…

  21. Booked a place. Expected to pay in miles. It came back and booked us in an exorbitant amount of points. Is bullshit. Don’t use them. Too much difficulty. Can you say vrbo?

  22. We booked a place in Omegna for 3 nights, on Lake Orta in May this year. Looked nice in thephotos but was a dump. It advertised a private beach on the lake and the photos, (apparently photo shopped) showed stairs which appeared to lead down to the lake. In fact the Private beach was several kilometers away.. the place was nothing like the ad overlooked a railway line, old and worn out dark and dank appartment..all AIRBNB would do was refund one night so we lost 2 nights fees, plus AIRBNB fees plus cleaning fees all pre paid and then had to rent a hotel. They obviously never check to see if the place being advertised is real or if it is anything like what its supposed to be and when you need them they are uncontactable. Yiu cant do a review once you cancel and you cant get your money back either..DONT USE AIRBNB, use reliable and genuine sites who do give a damn about the customer!

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