I booked a two bedroom apartment in Melbourne for myself and my mother a month before our trip. We were coming from New Zealand for a Bon Jovi concert.
The host had good reviews and several other properties listed with Airbnb so I felt pretty secure with the deal. I did start to wonder though when it got to three days before take off and I hadn’t heard anything from the host. I sent an email asking for directions or some sort of acknowledgment that this was all good to go ahead. There was no reply.
The days ticked by and there was still no communication at all. The anxiety crept in but I thought I had the confirmation, it was all paid, and it was going to happen. We were flying out at 3:30 PM as I was working the early shift from 5 AM.
I woke up at 3:45 AM for work, only to find an email from Airbnb an hour earlier stating that the host had cancelled the booking. This asshat cancelled it literally hours before we were due to leave. No explanation, no personal apology from the host, just a “here are some similar listings”, which were all one bedroom places.
Obviously I was steaming and trying to find a place before my shift started, but here’s the clincher that put me off for life: when I expressed my annoyance (I use the term lightly), the help desk lad replied with “I understand as I have had the same thing happen to me.”
What? So this is a common occurrence? We were flying out in ten hours and eight of those I was working. When I pressed for an explanation, the help desk guy said the host had “trouble getting access to the apartment” and that he would “absolutely be reprimanded” (but only once I asked what action would be taken).
Upon speaking to my sister, she said the same thing had happened to her in Ireland. Luckily I found an awesome apartment on hotels.com, my usual go-to and where I should’ve gone in the first place. Airbnb said they would refund me but it took over a week; lucky I had the funds to book something else. Never again.