Airbnb Cancels 3 Hours Before Check in for a 17-day Stay

Now that I am home from my trip, the time to post a bad review has expired. Zero stars for the performance of both the Airbnb host and Airbnb. I made reservations for my stay and flights to Paris five months in advance. The apartment was in a good neighborhood and was a good price.

After 15 hours of traveling, I arrived in Paris. Two and a half hours before I was supposed to check in, I got a call from Airbnb. My accommodations had been cancelled. I was staying for 17 days. It is almost impossible to get a hotel in Paris at twice the cost with zero advanced notice. Airbnb had five-some options at twice the price a mile or more away. Location is everything in Paris.

Beware, a last minute cancellation of a long stay is disastrous. If you dare, make multiple reservations and cancel on them within their cancellation rules. They did refund my money and offered a $200 discount with a three-day expiration for rebooking a more expensive place. My alternate accommodations cost $1800 more than expected.

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2 Comments

  1. “If you dare, make multiple reservations and cancel on them within their cancellation rules.”

    That makes you REALLY UNPOPULAR with hosts…..

  2. It is always hard to see the real story with no details! What was the listing number? Is it still listed? Did airbnb remove the hosts listing? Did the host cancel or airbnb? How did you get a 17day rental in a popular area? This is very unlikely and a red flag that this host has problems!. Making reservations over a year out, for what might be a new, experimental rental business is also very risky. Peer 2 peer (P2P)services in a shared economy have more risks, but you get a better deal … if that is what you want.

    How about at least suggesting a solution! It appears that the host could have flaked … and this type of behavior does usually get you removed from the platform or hidden by poor ranking. Shit does happen and it is unreal to expect double payment in damages when no services are received. There are all kinds of valid reasons for a host to cancel. Death, loss of utilities, road closures, hurricanes, floods, fires and etc.

    Keep in mind that hosts take risks on each guest, to show up. Receiving 1/2 costs for a cancellation made 14days before reservation is still likely a loss for a host that could have made 100%. I have never had even 50% bookings in a month occur 2 weeks before dates of stay. The average time between booking date and reservation is about 2-3 months. So keep in mind that the P2P system has losses on both ends, and it promotes good players on both ends to “get a good deal” or “create a job” outside of the cooperate hotel monopoly.

    As a host I just discovered a new hidden traveler cancellation policy for “extenuating circumstances”. The recent traveler had a friend in her group that had a husband (not in the rental group) that required emergency surgery (3 weeks out) and care via a doctors note. The whole reservation was refunded 100% by airbnb due to questionable extenuating circumstance of a friends husband! The other questionable part was that this friend of the airbnb traveler only lived 1 hr away from the rental, making the extenuating circumstance even more questionable since travel and distance of commuting was not really a burden. (not requiring air travel or out of country travel) This resulted in $3000 loss due to no last minute replacement booking.

    I only see a partial solution here … with the assumption that airbnb was about service as much as profit …. which is NOT the case currently. Airbnb claims to be a platform for “connecting peers”, not a hotel! One solution is to VERIFY HOSTS that have a record of maybe 100 rentals with no cancellation and offer a real guarantee with higher replacement services. It is complicated and not really a fit for maximum growth profits on the platform. It is much more easy for airbnb to give all 5 star reviews and hide others that might reduce profits. They already fudge numbers and do NOT use math based averaging on reviews. I still think there needs to be a cut off, like 2-3 days of replacement. The problem here is that there is not so much transparency in AIRbnb reviews or verification. How do you figure out if the host canceled or airbnb canceled? How do you prevent scammers other than a limit or “advanced host status”?
    Super hosts are much more of a marketing tool than for character/performance scores. I have seen terrible new local listings become a super hosts or Plus listings with only 10 reviews! The super host is not even part of the ranking status in searches … but just something to make travelers feel more secure or spoiled when it is more of a scam.

    There is another solution for P2P platforms for services in the future! It is not going to be perfect, but much more effective! This new solution is called the “value based internet”. It will replace our “information based internet” along with all of the useless institutions that currently profit for no services and typically use “unverified/nontransparent actions”. It will be like a 100% automated airbnb, but with full transparency for verification, rules and reviews. It will still have risks, but they will be more visible and disclosed for those who choose to read about what they purchase. The fees will be in the order of 5% vs 20%, and include some sort of real travel insurance options/cost. The disadvantage of this new system is that things will probably be UN-reversable and UN-refundable but instead work more like travel insurance for known typical problems. The plus side is that more players/users evolve to be better travelers and hosts at less cost. The fees for banks, and fake services like Airbnb customer service or guarantees will be removed. Payments would be by crypto-coins and not even need a bank. The best part is that a personal id/history with only the pertinent information could be verified but still remain private! It would require a private records/history/credentials “black box” component that is bio-metrically verified. It is possible for each individual to own this personal “black box”, but currently we give it away to corporations like Google and Facebook to use for profits. The biggest freedom and prosperity we might see in the future is to own rights to control our own “black box” or destiny! These new technologies based on blockchain code and architecture can offer democracy, prosperity and truth as never seen before. It is likely to divide future generations as acceptance occurs more rapidly on the younger more tech savvy.

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