Airbnb Refund Confirmed then Rejected

I booked a stay in Vegas over Christmas and New Year’s back in April and paid a deposit of £710.60. The host’s cancellation policy stipulated “cancellations must be made within 48 hours of booking to get a full refund. Otherwise a 50% refund will be given if cancelled one week before check in date”.

Unexpected events last week meant I needed to cancel, and I thought I would be courteous and give the host plenty of advance notice so that they could get another guest in over the holiday period. I submitted a refund request through the resolution centre for 50% of £710.60 (minus service fees, etc.) which was then rejected by the host, stating that the refund should in fact be for $774. I then received an email from Airbnb advising that I was to be refunded £593.29 and that it would clear on my card within five working days.

Five working days later and there is no refund showing on my card. Apparently, Airbnb has been communicating with the host and he has now refused any refund whatsoever. The last communications I have just received from Airbnb state that if I had paid the full amount (£1,303.89) I would then be entitled to a refund of 50%. Nowhere in the host Ts and Cs does it stipulate this.

Airbnb had apparently “reached out to” the host and he has “refused to give any partial refund and wants to stick to their cancellation policy.” I have screenshots of said cancellation policy and all the notifications back and forth confirming refunds.

Basically, I am now out of pocket by £710.60 and the host has ample time to get another guest in. If I’d paid the full balance and cancelled a week before arriving, I would be entitled to a refund of 50% of £1,303. It actually wasn’t worth me being courteous to a host and cancelling so far in advance. No idea where to take this further. Any suggestions, anyone?

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


  1. Hi 🙂
    I’m afraid you have misunderstood the cancellation policy. If you cancel you are suppose to get 50% back of the ENTIRE amount. You chose to only pay half of the amount when you booked so you are not refunded anything. Airbnb cannot refund you something you didn’t pay. A guest are of course allowed to cancel whenever he/she feels like it and when the guest press the cancellation button you are refunded according to the cancellation policy. It all happens automatically. You don’t have to contact the host or airbnb.
    So no one cheated on you. You only paid 50 % and cancellation policy says 50% refund.
    Kind regards Sandra

  2. Hi Brian – It was a privately-owned apartment in Vegas which could not be booked direct. It was not my first stay in Airbnb private accommodation, and I have met some lovely people and stayed in some amazing properties over the years, and as a guest, have some glowing reviews. I submitted a request via the resolution centre first and the host initially agreed to a refund of my full payment, which was then overruled by Airbnb who informed me I was entitled to nothing – not even cleaning fees which equated to over £250. The full details of the complaint including screenshots of the host and owner T’s and C’s can be found under the Airbnb community thread entitled “host won’t issue refund”. In my case, the owner T’s and C’s were ambiguous – which is why I raised my initial complaint above. Airbnb were also refusing to refund cleaning costs and service charges, and yet the T’s and C’s I had received were saying that these were refundable. After lots of communications back and forth through the Airbnb App and forwarding lots of screenshots of T’s and C’s, a settlement was reached. For such a big company, no-one should have to remind them of their own T’s and C’s!
    It is a shame as I have met some genuinely lovely people through Airbnb, but I will not be booking through them again and have deactivated my account accordingly and requested that their DPO delete my details.

  3. What was the cancellation policy of the listing (flexible, moderate, strict, etc.)?
    Did you actually cancel the booking before requesting a refund via the resolution center?
    Why didn’t you call Airbnb in the first place?

    Just FYI, Airbnb has your money, not the host. Hosts don’t get your money until 24 hours after your scheduled check-in. It makes no sense to ask the HOST for a refund before then and you should not expect any refund from a host before then.

    Another question, if this was a hotel, why book it through Airbnb? Airbnb’s fees are 12-20%, would it not have been cheaper to book direct?

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