Airbnb Not Honoring Policy, Screwed out of $1017

I was not given the refund outlined by Airbnb’s COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy at the time of cancellation. When I cancelled, my host instructed me to go to Airbnb customer service.

I went round and round with my customer service agent for several weeks when he would take 24 hours between responses. He gave me three different excuses for not getting my rebate.

The first excuse was that the booking dates/location were outside of the policies in place at the time of the cancellation. This was not true since my reservation was made before March 14th and for March 17-20, well within the COVID-19 affected dates.

The second excuse was that the cancellation occurred before March 14th. However, Airbnb posted a note on my reservation saying this was in a COVID-19 affected area and they would honor a refund.

The third excuse was that they said they needed to see a message from me asking for a refund within 24 hours of canceling. I asked to have this policy shown to me but they refused to do so.

At this point, I think customer service was making up stuff to get rid of me. I paid $1836 for a reservation that was not fulfilled because of the virus shutdown. My host gave me a partial refund of $820 based on the standard cancelation policy set in place before the policy. I am owed $1017 from Airbnb.

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


  1. Just a perspective from a host, I have facilitated over 14 cancellations and have managed to get all my guests a full refund including airbnb reservation fees by adhering to the extenuatiing policy and despite having a strict cancellation policy.

    • Right! Hosts are even planning to sue because Airbnb gave refunds when they weren’t supposed to, overriding host policies. Not really sure what that is about.

  2. This is what happens when you have to deal with a company that has essentially removed customer service. They use automated messages to appear as an agent. That is why actions have little to do with questions and individual situations. On top of this many “case managers” that sometimes intervien in the automated conversations to solve problems are clueless about policy and just make it up as they go!

    The default for refunds during an emergency has been to give 100% refund when no access to property is allowed due to local road/area closures under lockdown status. This was the case during many wildfires in California … and Australia. This does not address the issue of travel or conditions other places than the reservation … like the departure airport or stay at home orders.
    I think STRs will eventually be an essential business in that they do not bring poeple into tight shared quarters as hotels tend to have in lobbies and restaurants.

    We all need to remember that part of the reduced price in the shared economy mean you are also sharing more risks. AIRbnb is continually hiding this fact with fake guarantees and false verification’s. Long term trust in a P2P platforms require that accurate reviews and risks be communicated.
    This is coming from a super host going on 5 years.

  3. Same runaround as me. Info changed w each text.Nothing from the host. Persistence paid off in the end. Full refund in the bank.Keep copies of every answer and point out the inconsistencies.

  4. These stories make me so angry. My goodness why all the run around if everything was done within their own posted rules. I am starting to wonder if anyone at all got a refund.

    • As stated before, I got a full refund yesterday for early max. I got a full refund for late march before. And I have an offer for a full refund for late max, from Germany to Paris.

      But I always strictly followed the rules of the web interface to get this refund.

  5. I just cancelled a booking vor early May, which was booked before March 14th, within Germany

    no problem at all, full refund

    I just did it via the suggested web interface. worked like a charm

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