Airbnb Host Refuses to Cancel After Changing Rooms

I know my complaint pales in comparison to others. However, I am frustrated that I cannot review the host and want to warn others. I booked an Airbnb about six weeks before our trip. According to the booking, we would get a private bedroom with a king bed. About a week before we were to leave I reached out to the host to inquire about changing the length of our trip. At the time she informed me the room was no longer available and had been taken by someone else. She told me that we could sleep on a queen bed in the common space beside the kitchen.

When I saw the common space, it looked like we would be sleeping on a pullout couch. She didn’t even offer a reduced fee and was not willing to accommodate us regarding our request to change the length of our stay. Of course I was frustrated and told her that she, as the host, can cancel the reservation, as per the policy on their website. She refused because she didn’t want to get penalized. In order to get an resolution on this I had to phone Airbnb multiple times until a case manager called me back. Airbnb ended up cancelling it for both of us, which meant the host got off free. In the meantime, I was scrambling to find another place less than week before our trip, in the middle of summer vacation season. Be warned about this host. She may have positive reviews, but that may only be because those who may have given negative ones were not able to do so.

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


  1. I will give a bit more clarity around my post (Its always tricky making things clear when writing a complex situation). As Jenni commented above, the host double booked the room. I am not sure how it happened, but she clearly stated that someone else was staying in the room now. And it was NOT a 2nd bedroom that she was offering as an alternative. It was the common space by the kitchen (i.e. living room), which I had never agreed to stay at all- so I am sorry if I gave that impression in my post Donna.

    And Mike, according to Air BNB, if the host can no longer provide the accommodation you originally booked, and what they offer instead is not acceptable to the guest, the host is to cancel the booking. It is very clear on their website. So if a host does not want to lose their status- I would suggest they don’t double book rooms. And that was the situation in this case.

    And finally, I will be more clear the date change. I recognize how this complicated the story. My apologies. I was asking to move our reservation down to one day, from 2- not adding dates. And it was not critical for this to happen, as many hosts require 2 day minimum, which I know. Our plans were not changing, I was only asking the host just to see if she was willing for us to stay for one day instead of 2.

    I included the date change in the story, as it was the reason I reached out to her ( I wonder what would have happened if I had not reached out to her) . As well, it was surprising that she was strict on the 2 days, despite double booking the room on us.

    The whole experience was very unprofessional. I have had some lovely stays with incredibly professional hosts. I am not giving up on AirBnB just yet- but I am bit more cautious of the reviews. And I like this site, as it gives an opportunity to provide a review or read possible reviews of future places I may stay. Hope this additional info help to make the situation more clear.

  2. I read it that the room she had originally booked was not available, like the host had double booked and the guests could not stay longer in either room

  3. Maybe she has positive reviews because she is a good host. It is not the hosts responsibility to cancel a reservation YOU no longer want. This sounds like poor planning on your end. Take responsibility for your actions. As a host I deal with guests like you all the time. They want to make last second changes that are impossible to accommodate then demand that I lose my super host status and pay a fine because they feel they should not be penalized. Sorry, you should start using hotels

  4. So, let me get this straight. You booked Room #1 six weeks in advance. Five weeks later, you requested additional dates that had been booked by someone else at some point over the course of five weeks, which is unsurprising given that it’s the busy summer season. You say you’re upset that the host refused to accommodate your request, but what was she supposed to do? Cancel someone else’s reservation that had probably been on the books almost as long as yours had?

    Instead, she had Room #2 available for all of your dates, and offered you the option of changing rooms. While I do agree that, if your description of the difference in quality of the two rooms is accurate, she should not be charging the same price for both rooms and should have refunded the difference, but she didn’t do anything wrong by refusing to cancel someone else’s reservation in order to accommodate you, nor should it be on the host to incur a cancelation penalty when a guest requests date changes that are impossible to accommodate without displacing other guests.

    Maybe there’s something I’m not understanding, but I’m under the impression that the host still had Room #1 available to you for the original dates you had booked – double booking isn’t possible, unless the host has the room cross-listed on other sites without syncing the calendars. It was your plans that had changed, so it should be on you to cancel in the event that the changes aren’t going to work for everyone involved. Or you could have kept your original reservation and then changed locations just for the additional dates you needed.

    Your only (potentially) legitimate complaint here is that you had paid for the (allegedly) nicer room and the host refused to refund the difference when you agreed to the other room instead. As for the rest of it, I’d be more inclined to “warn” others of a host who was willing to cancel some guests’ reservations in order to accommodate the unanticipated whims of others.

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