Airbnb Nightmare: Cancelled ONE MINUTE Before I Arrived

I was traveling with my family (myself, my wife, and my three-year-old daughter) in Los Angeles where I had booked a nice cottage for four nights. Everything was ok until the day of our arrival at the host house. The same morning I receive a message saying she had to postpone her departure and thus the house was not available on the first night. Instead of cancelling the booking she offered to book us an hotel room for the first night at her expense. I obviously accepted and started my trip to arrive there. Later in the afternoon, around 5:00pm, just a minute before arriving at her home (without any news from the host about the hotel), I received a cancellation notification from Airbnb.

The rest of the day was a nightmare. We found a hotel for the night that cost a LOT more than the Airbnb, but had a lot of problems booking it as our credit card was maxed out due to the Airbnb reimbursement not arriving promptly. Only in the late evening did we get the money we needed to let our daughter sleep in an hotel room instead of a car… worst afternoon of my life… I think most of this is linked to the very low penalty fees ($100 as far as I know) Airbnb enforces on hosts cancelling their bookings. This should be changed such that the host is strongly discouraged from cancelling a booking in the last few days before check in. Furthermore, Airbnb provides a 10% bonus to guests for the inconvenience – ridiculous: the longer you book, the less you receive in case of cancellation? – ONLY IF YOU SPEND IT AGAIN ON AIRBNB?

Anyway, this was my first experience using Airbnb, and for sure it will have been the last…

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