Airbnb’s Refund Policy is Absurd

I made a booking using the quick book option a day before I was set to arrive in Nassau, Bahamas (a listing with a lightening bolt). My host emailed me a few hours later telling me the property was not available. I told her to cancel the booking on the Airbnb site so I could receive a refund. That was ten days ago and the host has given me nothing but excuses as to why she can not cancel. High fees, Out of town, money already sent to her PayPal account, etc. Clearly the host is a liar and a fraud but I have contacted Airbnb’s customer service via email and they told me to go to the resolution center, fill out a form, wait three days, escalate it, and then someone will make a decision regarding my refund. I’m certain I will get it but Airbnb tells me they will not refund the fees. How can this be? I did not cancel; the host did. Also, how can this be avoided in the future? If hosts do not actually cancel reservations from their end it leaves guests having to scratch, claw, and fight to get their money back. If hosts take the money and use it, Airbnb is the one who would have to pay me back out of their own pocket. Seems like this type of thing can happen frequently… Anyone have any info?

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


  1. I had a similar incident where I booked a “hotel life 30 seconds from beach” with positive feedback and a communicative host until I arrived. The address was very clearly under renovation with massive construction. My taxi driver called the number given to me, and took us to a home many blocks back into a residential area on a dirt road. That is not what I paid for. The host made us very uncomfortable (and being two young women) we walked down the dirt road with our phone flashlights and left because it did not remotely match the description of what I paid for, and the host even told us what I booked was unavailable. Airbnb told me that was not a reason for a refund. I filed a claim with my credit card company. I know the male I booked with has a female business partner, and I wonder if they are the same.

  2. Same thing happened to me. I cancelled with my host and she said she would “gladly refund” and to notify here when I have left. She said she would talk to airbnb and cancel. Then 2 days later she told me I had to call airbnb. I cancelled with airbnb, but because it was not within the 24 hours of leaving, they will not refund. This was after my host said she would advise me of what to do, but did not get to me in a timely manner. It is hard to manage these things when you are not traveling with a computer and are very busy. But airbnb puts it on the guest. It sucks, and I cannot get a refund.

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