Airbnb Guest Stories

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

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Disgusting Conditions. How Can Airbnb Stay in Business?

To date, I’ve had only four Airbnb experiences. One of them was excellent, the other was okay, one was bad enough with the smell of mold and everything filthy that I was forced to check into a Holiday Inn Express, and now the one at which I’m currently staying seems to be okay for four […]

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Host Tried to Extort Thousands from Me

Here was my email reporting a case to the Airbnb Resolution Center: Hi, thank you for mediating this case for us. Unfortunately, our host never met us face-to-face to deliver the apartment key and give the proper introduction of what furniture and amenities were included in our stay. In this case, she left the key in a […]

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Bad First Time Experience in Vancouver

My husband and I planned a vacation to Vancouver in August 2016. We had never gone the Airbnb route, but knew friends who had good experiences. We decided to book a studio apartment in the heart of Yaletown. This was in May 2016. Reviews for this place were excellent. The pre-booking responsiveness from the host […]

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Airbnb Charged my Account without any Bookings

My PayPal account was charged over £669 on September 3rd, 2016 by Airbnb: £422 from my bank account and £247 from the backup credit card listed on my PayPal account. I was not a guest and I had not booked or tried to book anything via Airbnb, but they still charged me. Fortunately, I had set up […]

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Airbnb Tries to Con me out of 1000 Dollars

Our host cancelled on us when we were literally on his doorstep. After that we spent a good deal of our vacation trying to unearth some contact information for Airbnb. They don’t seem to want to talk to their customers. Meanwhile, the host offered us half our money back, which was transferred to my account. […]

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Black Mold is Considered Clean and Sanitary to Airbnb

This was my first experience with Airbnb and it went terribly. I really wish I had researched the company a little more before committing to a four-night stay in Myrtle Beach. I thought I had found a great deal and was excited about my trip. Unfortunately, the condo reserved was covered in mold and filth. There […]

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Airbnb Charged Me Twice, Still No Reservation

I was trying to make a reservation for three nights at a location that would have cost me $35/night. I started working on this around August 26th. My ID couldn’t be verified as it wouldn’t link to my Facebook account, despite the fact that I’m very active on it. I have 339 friends which they […]

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Not My Blood on that Airbnb Host’s Duvet

I needed a break. I had work on a business plan that needed to be done but I was distracted and my apartment (and the city) were loud; I wanted silence. A friend recommended a cabin in the woods and the idea took hold. With somewhat limited time – an earlier planned vacation fell through […]

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My NYC Nightmare: Building Doesn’t Allow Airbnb

My daughter and I booked an apartment on the Upper West Side of New York City several months in advance of our September 1st visit. I was in touch with the host via text several days in advance, who told me to tell her when I was landing, and she would give me directions on […]

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Outright Theft by Airbnb Discovered in Chile

So, my story begins when I showed up to the door of what was supposed to be my Airbnb in Santiago, Chile. I called and emailed my host several times until I finally got a response. Her response was shocking to say the least. She told me she never accepted the booking and, in fact, she wasn’t […]

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Arrived safely, but no one was home?

We had a horrible host who did not prepare for our check in even when we confirmed the arrival time weeks in advance. We were supposed to have a nice stay and a nice place. What we were met with was absolutely nothing. Check in was set for 12:00 PM, so we were there at 11:40 AM. We waited until just […]

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Airbnb Customer Furious over Refund Policy

Before I begin, let me say that I am staying in a very nice Airbnb right now as I just moved to Tampa. Last weekend I looked and saw a reasonable studio apartment in Tampa that was less than I am paying now for a room in a residence. I put down $1,431. Later that […]

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Airbnb’s Model is Designed for Scammers

We booked and confirmed a two bedroom apartment in midtown Vancouver four months in advance. Everything seemed fine except the host told us she did not have “front desk” privileges and access would be via the side entrance. The host’s name was Ashleigh P. A few weeks before leaving for Vancouver, I noticed her listing had disappeared […]

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Crazy Host POUNDS on the Door for a Simple Message

Airbnb sent me a review reminder stating clearly that I had through September 9th to post it; I tried to do so and the website wouldn’t let me post a review. When I spoke to customer service on the phone the agent said that there is absolutely nothing they can do to help: the company’s […]

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Airbnb Representatives Ruined my Vacation

What a nightmare I had with this company. I had guests flying in from Atlanta and we planned on spending the weekend in NYC. I live in central New Jersey. The original house we rented was in Bayshore and totally misrepresented on the Airbnb site. There were holes in the walls, trash on the floor, […]

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Three Months in Costa Rica. When did the Price Change?

I’ve been planning a trip to Costa Rica for three months, from January to April of 2017. I started looking for places a couple of weeks ago. I found a home for just over $1000 per month. It seemed like a good deal so I booked it. The entire cost with Airbnb fees was $3215. I […]

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Crazy Airbnb Host in Bologna Keeps Calling

Recently my boyfriend and I stayed in an apartment in Bologna, Italy. We had a rather unfortunate start with poor communication from the host about arrival times and confusion about who would be greeting us, leaving us stranded outside the apartment block for over an hour in 34-degree Italian heat with no water, no access […]

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Listings on Airbnb Can be Deceptive. Whom can you Trust?

Airbnb’s concept is fair, but you always take a chance. How do you know that the host is a decent, law abiding person? How do you know that the host believes in keeping his place clean and as advertised? I recently spent four nights in the Bay Area, and I can tell you that I […]

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Airbnb Screwed us out of our Security Deposit

We stayed in a villa in Bordeaux for seven nights in June. We had a good time and took good care of the property. However, after we returned to the United Kingdom, we were contacted by the host who claimed we had damaged the furnishings in his property. We were not aware of doing this […]

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Unstable Host and Airbnb Turned my Vacation into Hell

My first and last experience with Airbnb pointed out a fundamental flaw in their business model: hotel, motel and even most B&B operators are professionals; Airbnb hosts are amateurs. Because of that, they may not understand they are in the hospitality business, and Airbnb guests can be the unfortunate guinea pigs. As soon as our family […]

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Airbnb lost my trust. Where do we go from here?

This is a story about an unpleasant experience but more so, the entire loss of trust in a like home sharing platform like Airbnb. To me, it raises questions regarding the future of the sharing economy. My girlfriend and I stayed in a private room in a house in a large southern California city. All […]

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Red Wine Damages in Beautiful Penthouse

We checked in the late morning on April 4th. On April 8th, we checked out early as we all had morning flights. We called the housekeeper to collect the keys from us as the owners were not available. We left everything as we found it but did not take out the rubbish as we weren’t provided […]

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Reservation Cancelled Last Minute in NYC

So, I had this wonderful, romantic trip planned for my girlfriend and me: tickets to a Broadway show and a “fantastic” room right in Times Square that I booked through Airbnb. However, less than two weeks before our scheduled trip, I received an email from Airbnb that simply said: “Unfortunately, your reservation has been cancelled.” […]

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Family Vacation in Airbnb Historic Hell Hole

Our story begins like so many, an innocent Airbnber looking for a place to stay for our six-month working holiday. We made arrangements for what seemed to be a charming cottage with three bedrooms. We are a family of five with a one year old, so having an entire home with three bedrooms appealed to us. Upon […]

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Horrible Host in Lecce Left us Homeless

After informing our host, Angelo, of our arrival time at his place, 11:30 PM – well in advance of our trip (even in the first message) – we called to check everything was okay and he claimed he was not in the area. We could not access the accommodation until he arrived, four hours after our […]

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22 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.

  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!!

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