Host Reviews Always Seem to be too Good to be True

We just returned from a really poor Airbnb experience in Chamonix, France. I looked at her reviews as host and they all were too full of sunshine. This makes me think that guests are afraid to tell the truth because then they will be reviewed negatively. So everyone says “It was great!” I’m tired of being lied to like this. The woman who rented to us was clearly crazy, micromanaged every moment of our stay, disrespected our privacy, told us what to do constantly, drove us out of the house the day before she left, gave us the bum’s rush about when we were leaving, had an infant grandchild stay in the small apartment who cried and awoke us, and smoked cigarettes. It was so difficult to relax and enjoy our vacation time. I am about done with Airbnb. It’s all roses in reviews then the reality is different. I do not trust the reviews at all. We were kind, quiet, clean and courteous guests and all we got was grief. We arrived an hour earlier than the 5:00 PM check in time and was greeted with disdain and freak out… how lovely. In addition, we thought it was a private attic apartment, not shared with her and a baby. I would have never booked a place with a baby in the house. Before we went to bed, I asked her to turn off or at least turn down a loud electronic baby toy next to the entrance to our room and she snapped and said “wear earplugs!” We were not allowed to touch anything in the kitchen due to an earlier guest. She should have stated that in her listing. We paid dearly for this crappy treatment and experience. It’s hotels or private accommodations from now on. Airbnb is not worth it anymore. There are too many flakes.

Silk Purse Description for a Sow’s Ear in San Diego

The photos on the Airbnb website of this full apartment on “Golden Hill” were outstanding. When we walked in, it was a very clean full apartment. However, after we had been living there for four days, it was clear the fresh paint and cleaning were bandaids on a poor foundation. There were so many problems with this property that this has to be a long review. Sure, the cosmetics were all attended to. The cleanliness was excellent, but things went wrong at every turn.

We arrived in the rain at 2:00 AM due to a red-eye flight. As we approached the apartment area, only ten blocks away, we encountered a tent city of homeless people. There were people walking around, in the rain, at 2:00 AM. This was discomforting. As we approached the residence, there was a liquor store on the corner. Turning onto a side street, there was a tattoo parlor. It was a neighborhood we totally didn’t expect from the polished guest reviews. In front of the tattoo parlor was a large black beach truck. Again, the fact people were walking around at 2:00 AM was disturbing. Across from the property was a disabled van in the driveway. The property was lighted. What struck me immediately was the heavy metal fencing and gates – unusual for a supposedly safe area.

Two days before the trip, we had a change in transportation and decided to rent a car rather than hailing a cab. I sent the owner a message asking about parking. He didn’t reply. Going back over the description, I found a statement that said, “There is ample street parking available.” The problem was when we got there there was no parking for blocks in every direction. Because of the neighborhood, I wasn’t going to leave my partner alone with the luggage or walk alone from where I parked. We both pulled our luggage in the rain for two blocks. The next day, I sent the owner a message asking about this. His reply: “There is ample street parking available. Yes, its very available around there. No one has complained about lack of parking.” Since I knew this was a lie, and the condition of the property wasn’t as described, I decided I couldn’t trust anything he said anymore and stopped contacting him except for the confusion with the gate.

We found the yellow gate mentioned on the listing. When I tried its handle, the gate opened; someone had already defeated the security system. I was also concerned when the owner gave me the codes to the gate and the apartment. He said they were the same and presented this as if it were a convenience to memorize. What it actually meant is that every apartment dweller or guest (for at least four units) also had the code to our apartment door. Why? Because they all needed the gate code to access the laundry. Going through the gate we entered a long completely dark hallway. It was dark because it had a motion light, a mercury vapor type which made it take a very long time to get bright enough to light the hall. We waited almost a minute in the rain for enough light to see.

The second night and all during the day, the gate lock was opened. I thought it might be broken. The third night, as we came back from dinner, the gate was locked. I tried the code. It didn’t work. After three tries it would no longer take new tries. We were lucky that the dinner included business, so I had all the rental paperwork with us. It provided three contact numbers. The first was the owner; I got his voicemail and left a message. The second was a female voice: also voicemail, left a message. I called the third number and got a live person who said he was the property manager. He said the code had been changed and he gave us the new code (which was not the same as the apartment code). The implications are bizarre: if the gate had not been open the night we came, we would have been stranded outside the gate at 2:00 AM because no one would have answered their phones.

Entering the apartment, our first impression was positive. It was clean, but there was clearly a big problem; it did not have a bedroom. The photos had been taken to make it look like there was a bedroom. The bed area was simply a screened-off section of the living room. The screen didn’t go all the way to the ceiling or across the room. This caught my attention because the description said: “When cooking, close the bedroom door as the smoke alarm is sensitive and will go off.” There is no bedroom door, because there is no bedroom. The lack of a closed bedroom isn’t a problem for a couple alone, but for four people, or if there are guests, it’s a big limitation on privacy. It also doesn’t allow a quiet space for someone sick or who wants to sleep. There is also no clothing storage in the bed area – just a night stand and a chair. Clothes could be hung at the far end of the living room. The other clothes’ storage was in a dresser in the living area. The bed area was very small.

The bathroom appeared bright and clean, but when we tried to use it, the problems became apparent. In front of the shower was a thick rug. The bathroom door wouldn’t open enough to get to the shower unless the rug was folded back. Even with the rug pulled up, the door stop was the wrong kind; the door wouldn’t open all the way so the rug could be folded back down. There were signs on the wall talking about conserving water: “turn the water off while soaping your hands”, etc. The old single handle water tap was defective; it wasn’t marked for hot and cold, so we had to guess and turn it to one side or another and let it run to find the hot water. Not knowing how long it takes for the hot water to kick in, it can run cold water for minutes before you try the other side. Once you find the hot-cold direction, setting the temperature is almost impossible. The valve jumps between hot and cold with the smallest adjustment of the dial you can possibly make. If you finally get it right, and then push it off, when you pull it on again, it doesn’t come to the same temperature. So, you spend a lot of time freezing trying to get it right again, all the time defeating the idea of saving water.

The floor mat in the shower has nothing like holes to let the water drain. If you leave it down, the water doesn’t drain. If you take it out, you slip on the tiles. The toilet is the smallest I’ve ever seen. It looks like a child training device. It appears they recently put on a cheap new plastic seat, but the material is so flimsy that anyone over about 120 pounds will make it slide. Every time you sit on it, it seems you’re going to fall in. If you close the cover and try to sit on it, it bends in the center, seemingly like it’s going to break and you’ll fall in. The sink is a simple pedestal sink. That means there is no surface area to spread out toiletries. The towel holders are positioned poorly. If you use the “hand towel” holder, the towel falls either into the sink or blocks the limited surface space. There was only one hand-sized towel (which means none for the kitchen).

The area partitioned as a living room was both the living room and dining area. The way the furniture had been set up, the roll-out couch faced the dining table. The TV, however, was on a dresser to the left of the couch. We didn’t even try to use it. To do so, you either have to always look to your left (which would cause neck pain) or rearrange the room. The clothes closet was in the living area at the opposite end of the room from the “bedroom”, but it wasn’t really a closet. It’s a walk-in cupboard. To go into it, you have to climb up an 18″ step and go through a small door. It was helpful and had plenty of hangars, but was “unusual”.

There are not enough power strips to plug in electronics. The wall plugs were behind the couch, or far from the couch. I couldn’t find an extension cord. There were plug strips already plugged in, but they were totally full already.

The kitchen floor was not on the same level as the living area. It had a steep six-inch drop off. Since the floors were both dark, the drop off wasn’t clearly visible. All three of us (including a visitor) fell off this ledge. It’s a serious tripping hazard and clear code violation without markers like railings. The refrigerator is defective. During the night, it started making a loud buzz. When I got up to check, there was water on the floor. That’s when I noticed rust stains around the legs. It turns out the floor under the refrigerator is also uneven. So by rotating the refrigerator, I could temporarily find a way to stop the buzz. It took three tries to find a place where the buzz wouldn’t come back after awhile. By then the refrigerator had been rotated so much, it was hard to access and someone would try to straighten it. The opening lines for the listing say, “There is a separate full kitchen… decorated and stocked to be your home away from home.” Well, the decorations are great. The only stocked part, however, was a good array of spices. We found a coffee maker and coffee filters, but no coffee. There was an open box of tea bags with only two left. There was a basket mostly full of sugar – no Splenda. No hot chocolate. This hardly counts as “stocked” – and we were only looking for the basics that would be found in motel rooms.

A number of comments mentioned the high fees. A $90 cleaning fee is extreme for such a small, sparsely furnished two-room (actual count) apartment. Initially assuming it was reasonable, that implied a large space – misleading and unjustified. Seeing an additional management fee show up was also a surprise, especially one that high. You don’t see that in motel charges unless they try to scam you for parking. As a first time Airbnb user, I was very disappointed. I’ve heard many stories of fraudulent situations, including one in the apartment complex where I live. I wanted to believe otherwise. This was not a good start. Furthermore, I sent this same review to Airbnb and never got a reply. The listing for the apartment is now gone, but the renters have a number of other places in the area as well.

You be the judge: Who is at fault, the host or guest?

My experience with Lane & Elizabeth was absolutely awful. As I reached out to Lane attempting to meet at the house at 3:00 PM to check in, he could not make it at that time and it wasn’t convenient enough for him; he pushed it to 4:00. The second I walked into Lane’s place there was an overwhelming smell of chemicals. Lane spoke to me as if I were a child being given a lesson, as he barely showed me around, handed me the key rudely, and left. I already felt uncomfortable. As I began cooking dinner I could hear the neighbors walking around above me and clearly hear conversations from the hallway, outside and through each of the walls of Lane’s place. It was already an issue that the walls were so thin and if I would have known they would so easily let sound pass through I never would have rented the place.

I continued my evening with a few friends. I made sure they kept their voices down to avoid any noise complaints and sure enough after Lane responded to my question about how to set up the television he mentioned a noise complaint. At first he explained how clearly the neighbors would hear anything happening on the balcony so I warned my guests. Soon afterwards I received another text demanding “the party be shut down”, labeling my gathering as a crazy party Lane was stressing over. He said the neighbors were angry and he didn’t want to have to drive over and leave his pregnant wife at home. This is Airbnb, an official business under a professional transaction. Although I understand Lane’s complaint about having to deal with his nine-month pregnant wife it was very unprofessional and did not concern me as the cause of the stress he was experiencing. He continued to text me that the “Party needs to end now. The party needs to end.”

Receiving these texts was beyond annoying because there was no party happening. On a Friday night at 10:00 PM I was being told to send my few guests home and make me feel like we were being extremely loud when it was truthfully not loud at all. Next an Airbnb manager called and spoke to me about the complaint purely being about loud voices on the balcony and nothing else. By this time I had completely silenced the music and had minimal friends over who were all just talking and eating. It was extremely frustrating to be yelled at by Lane over text when I had followed all his instructions and kept the noise to a minimum. This still wasn’t enough. At this point we were over the night and extremely disappointed to have been bothered multiple times, complained about when I had been responsive, and in communication with Lane and the Airbnb manager who had called twice. The Airbnb manager was very polite and understanding and completely willing to accept a compromise in the end.

Five people did sleep over, which I honestly had not known would cost extra or be an issue, but I did agree to pay an extra $25 per person. This was my fault and I just wanted to compromise in some way. This $705 will not be paid to Lane because my experience was just as unenjoyable as his. He complained that there was a balloon stuck in the fan which would cost $100 to fix. We had meant to remove it but no one was tall enough to reach. It was not tied in or stuck at all, it was simply wrapped around and an easy fix for any of us. It is crazy how angry Lane was the next day. He texted me saying his place was trashed which was completely not true. We had taken out all the trash, washed all of our used dishes and cleaned all the trash and food. Anything we had brought was removed from his unit.

I paid a $45 cleaning fee and all we left for Lane’s cleaning crew – himself and his nine-month pregnant wife – to clean was the floor which had chip crumbs on it. Lane also complained that we had left a phone and bullets, which was innocent enough. A friend of ours came from the army and left them with his phone, there was nothing more going on with them. I do understand how this was probably scary but I assured them it was an innocently mistake and we could provide any proof if necessary. My friend was not able to retrieve his phone right away because Elizabeth held it hostage in exchange for her blanket, which we mistakingly took because I thought my friend had left it. She sarcastically responded to us finding it saying: “Oh, all of a sudden you now have the blanket”. She was extremely rude, and harshly accused my friends of trying to steal it.

The last complaint Lane left was regarding burns on the sofas and carpet. These burns were there when I had first come into his unit. I saw them myself and asked Lane about them because I clearly read that one of their few rules was no smoking whatsoever. There was no one smoking at my gathering and I can assure you that I am being wrongfully accused and attacked. I do not feel it is right to charge me $705 and unprofessionally handle this situation due to the anger and rage Elizabeth held towards us, someone to whom she had never spoken.

Expensive Bedwetting Accident in Airbnb

My first Airbnb experience was so awful it was nearly my last. Unfortunately for me I endured an embarrassing accident on the second night of a two-week stay when I wet the bed. It wasn’t just a little bit that could be hidden; everything was totally soaked through the mattress to the bed base. I was burning with shame but had no choice but to get up, shower, and change the sheets. In the morning I took the mattress out to dry in the sun and explained the situation to my host along with a thousand red-faced apologies. She wasn’t happy in the least but what was done was done. I remade the bed the next night and tried to put the embarrassing situation behind me. I’d forgotten about it until two weeks later when I received my review and a damage bill for $1200 for a new mattress. My review (which is public and has my photo) said something like “Joel has problems controlling his bladder at night and was made to pay the full cost of replacing the mattress he ruined when he peed on it.” I overheard the host telling two of her friends and a customer service lady from Airbnb. I learned a valuable lesson that stay and every time since I bring my own waterproof mattress protector… just in case.

Airbnb Nightmare Before and After Christmas

I didn’t want to repeat my entire nightmare, but I do not wish this drama upon anyone. This was the nightmare before and after Christmas. We feel very upset about all the effort we have made to try and accommodate this family. So here is the letter I have written to them instead of an entire story.

I hope you are having a wonderful day. From the beginning you have made it very difficult for us, firstly by arriving earlier than the time you said you would. When we tried to reach you to confirm what time you would be arriving, we were unable to get a hold of you and then you arrived two hours earlier. You left your bags outside for my friend and I to carry inside even after we told you it would rain. We have driven four hours both ways in traffic to come and remove a field mouse from the house over Christmas and our only holidays. As we have stated before, we do live in the Kogelberg Biosphere, a very sensitive and fragile environment. We do have animals passing through our property, including three-striped field mice, baboons, leopards, mongooses, and many species of birds. This has always been something our guests have loved about our home. For you to have put poison down disturbs this natural habitat (and risks killing our endangered owls). When traveling to Africa, things like this happen. These animals’ behavior are beyond our control. This is why people choose to live in my home – to be closer to nature. We do not have vermin in our home as you have suggested. We have a little field mouse that frequents the house.

This is our second time hosting with Airbnb and we were not prepared for these circumstances: namely, your son’s musophobia. You have insulted our home, and accused us of having vermin. You have ruined our Christmas with your complaining and making us drive back. Each time we have driven back to the house, you told us repeatedly that you are happy in our home and all we need to do is remove the mouse (which we still haven’t seen). You have caused us to damage our own property in search of an invisible “mouse nest”. We have cracked a hole in to my cupboard to show you that there is nothing there. We have offered as much help and assistance as possible and each time you have told us everything is fine.

We are very upset that two days before you have to leave, you now suggest that we must refund you or give you a discount. When we asked whether you were satisfied you answered “yes”. Had you brought this to our attention earlier we may have been able to come to another arrangement. However, we are very close to the end. You have stayed over peak season in our home, we have gave up our Christmas to come, help you, make sure everything is okay, and spend a lot of our time and money in doing so. We are not talking about a dirty rat, vermin, or a plague. We are talking about a little field mouse that has never before caused any problems or made himself visible when we or other guests have stayed in our home. We are happy for you to contact Airbnb as we will be doing the same. We do not wish for anyone else to endure what we have over their holidays or festive season. Unfortunately, we cannot poison the animals that live in the garden as we are at the foot of a nature reserve and with this come animals that may come into the house by accident. I have suggested that if you are so unhappy, we can collect the key. You have chosen to stay on.

What has happened to Airbnb? Why are guests so bad?

I’ve been hosting for three years. The last guest turned up at my house drunk, took his shoes off to release a cheesy foot odor that I could taste but still declined a shower and drank another bottle of wine while I sat with him. Then within one hour after I went out, he broke my ceramic toilet lid, left his light on, went out, and wouldn’t respond to calls. Unfortunately, I have to say, though this person was a little extreme, most guests lately are just rude and horrible. Is it because Airbnb encourages through their advertising that people ‘make themselves at home’ at another person’s house (read, hog the bathroom and splash water everywhere, sit around in the open-plan kitchen all day, help themselves to condiments from the cupboard, get packages delivered that hosts have to pick up because it’s their address, get drunk in their room, slam doors while people are sleeping, etc)? What is the solution? My house rules are comprehensive. Should Airbnb politely ask guests to mind their manners while they are in another person’s home?

Guest from Hell’s Complaints Neverending

I accepted an instant book for six nights starting in a few days time. I have hosted on Airbnb for nearly two years with great reviews (even from other hosts). My mobile home is based in Florida and is offered for sole use. Recently a guest brought in some bugs not native to the US and we had the unit treated several time to kill them. The guest that arrived started complaining the moment they walked in the door: “It’s dirty, the locks didn’t work, there were hairs on the sheets, the light bulbs weren’t working, the sink was blocked.” The list went on and on. However, as soon as we “corrected” an issue, even if there wasn’t one, suddenly there was another. We then got an email from Airbnb saying the guest wanted a refund! That’s when the resolution center came into the picture. I requested the guest leave, with Airbnb’s permission (she said). It took two days to get her out. I still have not been paid and now I have to deal with a case manager who has no supervisor to whom I can speak. I am so disappointed that Airbnb is so bad at customer service. I am thinking of cancelling all future bookings, telling the guests why, and getting them to contact Airbnb.

Airbnb Resolution Centre is a Lame Duck

I prefer to not even recollect the awful experience with a past guest, but I’ll try (above all mine is a criticism against Airbnb). Basically the guy started complaining from day one. He seemed to be bent on finding any hidden cracks and obscure issues – a truly nasty character who refused to provide the time he was arriving and then dared to complain he had to wait in his review (like it was someone else’s fault?). However, that was only the start. After three weeks I was left with two broken appliances (cooker and washing machine) and for the very first time I decided to use Airbnb’s Resolution Centre (after having about ten guests and very positive reviews).

The documentation they requested was nearly impossible to provide. The appliances had been there for nearly 20 years (but Airbnb wanted the receipts). Secondly, I wasn’t in the property and most of the documentation requested was out of reach; I was miles away from any “useful” documentation, but I posted the bill from the technician and the receipt for the new washing machine. The technician was paid the day my nasty guest left, as he didn’t notify me of the issue (the cleaners found out) and I had to fix the problem for a new guest arriving the next day. So I had to order a new washing machine just the day after receiving confirmation the old one was properly broken.

The other problem – the gas cooker – we discovered later on (remember: I wasn’t there and couldn’t verify these issues on the spot) that there was no cooking involved. The guy took some pictures of the burned knobs but no picture of any meal he made? A burned chicken? Or any dish ready to enter the oven? Nothing whatsoever. The cooker oven (electrical) was then turned on and left unattended for how many hours? Days? That’s a very good recipe to burn any cooker! It’s called inappropriate use or negligence, but the guy clearly omitted this fundamental detail (of course, I’m not there) and blamed me for being irresponsible for not providing an extinguisher and access to the gas canister and assembly.

Now, I’ve been a guest in certain properties advertised on Airbnb and I can assure you none had facilities which are common in hotels (would you paint an escape route in your house?). So basically the guy wanted the professional approach of an hotel at a fifth of the price. In my opinion we have a typical opportunist who deliberately stays in Airbnb properties (many like mine) where he knows there is no extinguisher to be found and he knows there is no escape route marked on the wall, then deliberately uses these issues as weapons whenever he files a complaint with Airbnb.

So the company is a lame duck; they can’t see this guy for what he is and boot him out of the system. Let’s face it: Airbnb can’t check all these properties and can’t compete with hotels in terms of a professional approach to guests (in general, certain hotels lack that too). This is the root of the problem. When first approached, Airbnb staff seem reasonable; they promise you a full investigation. The truth is that they don’t really want nor need to find out. I’ve received two calls from their headquarters in California during the period of the investigation. The phone rang only once and as I tried to answer, they hung up (so they can safely say, “look we tried to contact you but you didn’t answer the phone”?)

Their task is simple, to discourage complaints and break down any attempts at compensation: you start complaining and they put you under immense stress. It reminds me of the origins of eBay – does anyone remember the reviews? On paper you might have the advantage but Airbnb has the perfect solution: they encourage your opponent to escalate the matter (even without any evidence) and they too are allowed to ask for compensation for issues which were never ever mentioned during the whole stay. For example, my guest never complained about the Internet or noisy neighbours but all of a sudden these and other issues were presented and the guy is encouraged to request the full amount he paid back into his pocket? What kind of mind game is Airbnb playing here? This is the cheapest trick, the kind kids do in kindergarten. The guy shouldn’t be credible (not if there was no previous complaint), so how can Airbnb fall for it? They aren’t failing to investigate, they are just at the mercy of nasty guests like mine. Enough of Airbnb.

Airbnb: Might as well Flush your Money down the Toilet

My boyfriend and I used Airbnb for a place in San Diego, CA. The place was not like the listing seemed. We contacted Airbnb and they only gave us $140 (one-night refund). We still had to pay $400 for a crappy place that we left at 1:30 in the morning on the first night we got there! We lost money, lost sleep, and lost time. There was no real refund. We will never use or recommend Airbnb ever again. It’s not fair we should lose so much of our hard-earned money over this (we are in college and could barely afford our vacation, let alone paying for a place we didn’t even stay in on top of a nice hotel). Stick to the chain hotels because at least they’re concerned enough about their customers to right any wrongs that happen, and give refunds where they are due. Don’t use Airbnb unless you aren’t concerned about your own protection.

I want to make sure I also include the complaints we had with the place we stayed, as we can’t even leave a review for the host we had when all this happened. This is the message we sent the host:

“You have two complaints about street noise in your reviews. We had to hear the noise as it was well after 8:00 last night, and your fan barely functioned. We knew about the lack of AC, but the fan was completely useless; even at its highest level it was still extremely under powered. While I realize you cannot control the weather, we expected that the fan would at least be somewhat useful. As for the spider, I am not sure what to say. At roughly 10:00 pm Ashley closed the window (as we would rather be hot and uncomfortable then have to deal with the cars outside) and lay back down. At this point she felt something crawling on her, picked it up, and threw it on the floor. I turned on the light and found a large brown/black spider (looked like a wolf spider) on the floor. I killed it and flushed it, but have a bite on my arm now. I would be glad to provide pictures. There was sand all over the bathroom floor and the shower. Ashley wouldn’t take a shower unless it was clean so she cleaned it with Lysol and water.

Concerning the sprinklers: we came back from our family’s house at 9:00 pm. We stepped out of the car and got completely soaked. We should not be deterred to come back to the place before 9:00 pm. This also left water spots on our car (would be glad to provide pictures) and soaked my shoes / pants.

Concerning your neighbors – the people directly above us, anyway – around 12:00 am there was a really loud squeaking noise, like a bed above us. While we could deal with this and understood it happens, not a minute later we heard some really loud moaning that lasted roughly ten minutes. This made both Ashley and I really uncomfortable, and was the final straw to us leaving. The bed was extremely squeaky and firm as well. The heat that could not be beat from a useless fan + being bit by spiders + sand all over the floor + getting soaked by sprinklers and water spots on our car + people having loud sex upstairs + a terrible bed completely ruined our first time experience with Airbnb.

We left at 1:00 am as there was absolutely no chance of us being able to sleep there. We did not do a thorough investigation of the apartment as soon as we got there. Either way, it would have resulted in the same conclusion: leaving. For what we got we would have had a much better experience at something even as cheap as Motel 6 for much less money. While I do not mean to come off as rude, this was an extremely frustrating experience. Especially as we do not have much money (in college) and had to find another hotel room at 1:00 in the morning.”

Our host then replied tough luck. Never again.

Airbnb Does NOT Respect Strict Cancellation Policy

My family decided to vacate the house they live in throughout the year during the summer to rent it out and help pay the bills. The property is located in southern Europe in a region that’s highly sought after during the high season. After accepting reservations booked by guests months in advance we had to turn many away, including requests from other guest on alternative booking sites. We had many added expenses getting the place ready, including cleaning as well as check in and check out fees.

Two consecutive guests decided to cancel their booking at the last minute for medical reasons. (for two separate reservations); the second guest cancelled his booking days AFTER he was supposed to check in. In spite of us having a “strict” cancellation policy, Airbnb agreed to reimburse them for the full cost of their booking leaving us with an empty house at the last minute in the midst of the high season. To justify their decisions, Airbnb only sent us the link to their extenuating circumstances policy, which lists a very wide variety of circumstances left broad and vague on purposes. In this instance, given that both guests had emailed saying their cancellation was due to medical issues, we asked Airbnb which objective criteria had been applied and the list of documents provided by guests to justify the fact they had to cancel at the last minute. In spite of our repeated queries, Airbnb refused to provide any objective criteria used to determine the circumstances of the cancellations. Of course they make these arbitrary decisions without losing any money themselves. Hosts end up losing money without having any say in the decision. These cancellations should be handled with a strict process similar to those applied by travel insurance policies. Hosts are NOT protected by Airbnb and this certainly doesn’t feel like a community.