Airbnb: Nothing More than Sanctioned Extortion

Twice I have utilised Airbnb to secure accommodation whilst travelling and been ripped off both times. The first time I utilised their services was in 2018, when I travelled to Dublin. The host was terrible, to the point I had to leave after only two days into a three-week booking. I tried to retrieve my money from Airbnb but they sided with the host, who lied about the circumstances of my departure, and so failed to reimburse me my money.

Now, I have just experienced another difficulty with this organisation. I was booked in with one of their hosts to stay for a month, again in Dublin, from November 2019, when I had to cancel my booking, due to circumstances beyond my control. Airbnb then refused to reimburse me my money, saying the host had a “fixed cancellation policy” that prohibited refunds.

Never again will I use this organisation. They do not support the traveller under any circumstances, instead taking your money, without allowance for taking into account your side of the story, and effectively “stealing” your funds. They are crooks of the highest order.

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


  1. In this case I agree with the guest. I ran a traditional bed and breakfast for 3 decades and NEVER charged a guest because they were too ill to come and stay (would you want sick people around?) nor did I EVER charge someone because of something they didn’t like about my place and they decided to leave early. No matter what the reason. Never. I certainly wouldn’t want a guest in the house that was unhappy and forced to stay.

    Keeping the entire amount of the stay months prior to arrival is horribly wrong to me. I had a seven day cancellation policy with a one night penalty. Hotels are often 24 hours. Again if someone was ill or their dog died I certainly wasn’t going to charge them a cent. Usually they would reschedule with me because of my kindness and understanding.

    Just another way Airbnb has ruined a business that was my life for so many years. They have become the disgusting greedy corporation they initially set out to defeat. Disgusting.

    Why is it that VRBO existed for years before them and remained relatively scandal free?

    • The lack of details on the first rental make me think there is more to the story, and even if it’s really the fault of the host, this guest probably didn’t read the terms and conditions and didn’t report whatever issue they had to Airbnb soon enough and therefore were denied a refund.

      For the second rental, Airbnb recognizes extenuating circumstances, and given that this guest didn’t say why he couldn’t come, it’s likely that those weren’t met. Again details left out and again, the guest didn’t read the agreement he signed up for.

      There have always been short term rentals (including hotels) with strict cancellation policies. Guests don’t read, and they don’t buy travel insurance, then they expect Airbnb and/or the host to be their travel insurance. The analogy to airline tickets is exactly spot on.

      This is another case of the guest creating their own “hell”.

  2. “the host had a “fixed cancellation policy” that prohibited refunds.”

    If you bought a no changes, no cancellation ie use it or lose it plane ticket and you couldn’t travel because you became too ill, ie circumstances beyond your control, would you expect a refund? Would the airline be crooks of the highest order?

    Is it the airline’s or the host’s fault that you did not protect yourself from such circumstances by neglecting to take out travel insurance?

    I agree with neill.

  3. hearing one side of story here, you decided to leave and YOU are responsible breaking the cancellation policy on both counts. take ownership of your problem because you are just coming across as the usual entitled type that has been ruining the guest quality recently.

    Airbnb clearly is not for you so stick to the hotels sunshine!

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