Airbnb Automated Cancellation Problem

I made a reservation through Airbnb for my upcoming spring break along with my friends and booked it at the start of January. The policy stated two divided payments, but when I checked back on March 11th, five days before the check-in date, it was stated that my reservation was automatically canceled.

I tried calling Airbnb and they said that the second part of my payment didn’t go through, so they tried to reach out to me through my email address. The problem here was that I’ve never received an email regarding this problem. So the first option they offered me was that they were going to contact the host of my reservation and talk with them to refund the first part of the transaction and make me re-reserve the place for the exact same date with same amount of money.

Since it was hard for me to find another place within five days and I didn’t want to lose out the money, I requested they contact the host. However, they came back to me saying that the host already was filled with another guest staying at his/her place so it was hard for the host to give me the refund.

I decided to talk with Airbnb about why their notification wasn’t delivered. They investigated the issue, but later came back to me saying that they sent out the notification. I double-checked all of my emails, but wasn’t able to find any single mail that was sent from Airbnb. I tried to ask them to compensate me for this issue because clearly, I did nothing wrong and I was the one who was going to lose out on approximately a thousand dollars without any clear reasons behind it.

It wasn’t my fault that Airbnb’s notification didn’t reach me, and so I asked them “wasn’t there another way to reach out to me to help make the second payment go through?” All they replied was that all they can offer me is a 100-dollar coupon for my next stay, and they just decided to close this case by themselves.

I was so outraged at their customer service and ended up losing 1000 dollars without doing anything wrong. Is this something normal that happens? Why isn’t Airbnb being responsible for the mistakes that they clearly made?

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Your card declined and they emailed you to resolve, sounds like they acted appropriately.
    On the other side of the transaction is the property owner/manager. They expect a prompt resolution so they can re-list the property if needed.

  2. File a dispute or charge back with your bank or cc. Banks will almost 100% of the time side with you since you’re their customer. Close your Airbnb account and don’t look back.

  3. “clearly, I did nothing wrong and I was the one who was going to lose out on approximately a thousand dollars without any clear reasons behind it.”

    You can’t blame Airbnb here. Also it is not true about it being difficult for a host to refund—-I’m a host. This kind of refund would require the host authorize it and
    Airbnb customer service process it. However you breached the rental terms of service so technically you are not due a refund. Also the host can only refund up to the amount paid to them, so Airbnb fees at this late date are non-refundable

    This is no different than the hotel I booked next weekend for a trip. If I breach the terms of the reservation they keep the cost of the reservation

    I feel for you and hope you can talk the host into a partial refund.

  4. The split payment policy is clear when the second payment is due.

    Do you also have your profile set to send you texts when messages are sent to you? (I will bet you do -spring break so probably young & tech savvy).

    Also the message would go to your Airbnb in-box

    You knew when the second payment was due and if there was adequate credit or debit/cash to pay the bill on your card (sounds like there wasn’t)

    Airbnb messages go to email, text & Airbnb in box. I would think you would’ve gotten at least one of those.

    The best you can do is throw yourself on the mercy of the host to allow you to rebook or perhaps give you a partial refund if they are able to rebook your days.

    Sounds like a painful lesson learned. I hope you can find another venue.

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