I booked an Airbnb for four of us (two couples) in Paris and, having used the platform before, it seemed easy. We were confirmed in a “Charmant appartement spacieux”, and we thought all was well, until about two weeks before we were to travel when I tried to contact the host to find out where we would get the key, etc. I tried every method available for a week, and all communication, both to Airbnb and to the host (if there is such a person) disappeared into a black hole. Panic and anxiety followed as I envisaged four seniors sleeping on the streets of Paris. On careful reading of the reviews (which I should have done before) it appears no one has actually stayed with this host, and three have had the same experience as I had.
I eventually cancelled, because I believe the post is dodgy in some way, and we couldn’t arrive in Paris with no confirmed lodging. However, now Airbnb has kept the $110 cancellation fee, which it should not do, as I don’t think there ever was a genuine product/service for sale, but I can’t find any way to present this argument. All emails funnel you into drop down lists that are not appropriate for this case, and none allow for genuine contact. They keep saying “contact the host” but that was the problem. It’s back to proper hotels for all of us.