This was first, and will be my last, Airbnb booking. I planned a three-week trip to El Dorado, to visit family and friends. In November I put the trip together and chose Airbnb to rent an apartment for the extended stay rather than a hotel. The booking was just around the house where I grew up and was well reviewed.
Fifteen days before traveling, three months after I made the reservation, I received a notice of cancellation, with no explanation. The Superhost responded when I contacted her:
I am so sorry for the canceling. I have someone in the apartment till the end of March. You booked in November and I thought I had all of March blocked off. I just saw the reservation on the March calendar.
I asked how this happened.
I do apologize. I have never in three years had to cancel a reservation. In December I had a guest reserve the room from Jan. 3 to Mar. 28. When I was blocking those days off on the web site, I just enter on the top page to block all days from Jan. 3 to Mar. 28. Airbnb has change up the website. I did not see that you had your reservation in the middle of the other guest stay.
I made a reservation in November and you take a conflicting reservation in December. Then rather than advising the December reservation you made a mistake and have to honor a previous reservation from March 7th to March 28th made prior to their reservation, you chose to cancel mine? I don’t think that is honest or right.
I did not hear from her again. A complaint to Airbnb got a response saying they were sorry. Great. I made an unacceptable and more expensive hotel reservation and paid the flight change fee to shorten my trip.
While she claims this was an honest calendar mistake, I received confirmation and paid the 50% deposit. I would guess this is the kind of cancellation discussed on Airbnb Hell. Though I made the reservation first, for three weeks in March, she had the opportunity to take a much more lucrative three-month reservation.
Even if it was an honest mistake (very doubtful), I would expect her to explain the mistake to the three-month reservation, tell them they have to vacate for my reservation, which predates theirs. I travel several weeks a year within and outside the United States. I have used other rental services without issue.
I will never consider Airbnb again. I have deactivated my account. How can this be permitted? As with the other horror stories, all the investment and planning for the trip and my family is ripped apart.
The other part that angers me is that an automatic review, not from me, was placed for the listing with the notification of the cancellation. As the reservation was canceled, the website does not allow me to review my experience with the host and the property. Nice for Airbnb. Never again.