Being told ‘No matter what, I cannot get my money back‘

We are four senior women (over 70) who booked a friend’s vacation back on January 29 for travel beginning on May 11. We paid in full, looking forward to the vacation. Then COVID-19 hit. We contacted the host and explained we were concerned: two ladies had frail husbands and one lady had respiratory problems. We contacted the hosts on March 31 to express our concerns and ask about our options.

The hosts were very understanding but asked that we waited until at least May 1 to cancel. We agreed, but on April 20 we received an email from Airbnb talking about possibility of getting a 100% refund due to COVID-19.

At that point we reached out to the hosts, who said to try and cancel using the Airbnb website. I did but could not find a way to get a 100% refund. It said I would get a little more than 50% back or I could accept a travel voucher for 100%. We opted for this, because we did not believe we could get our money back.

I talked again with the hosts, who said they were going to try and help. When they got back to me, because I had accepted the travel voucher, they didn’t think there was anything they could do to help.

Since then, we have spoken with several hosts who indicated they were refunding their customers 100% of their money without documentation, and I needed to pursue this by calling Airbnb. They gave me a number to call. I called on May 7, explained the situation, was told my case was being escalated to case management and I would get a call back.

I did not get a call back. We pursued calling Airbnb again, explained our situation again, and again we were told we would get a call back. Again nothing… we called back again, waited on hold about 1.5 hours then was told over and over again that they were sorry , but there was nothing they could do.

There was no one that could help me get my money back. Because I had agreed to take a voucher then I could not get my money. I find the entire refund policy unacceptable. I will not be paying Airbnb ever again to stay at one of their properties. I will make sure everyone I know also hears the same story. Shame on Airbnb for stealing some people’s money. How dare they accept stimulus loan money.

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


  1. I wrote to the email address for Mr. Chesky and he actually got a manager to put my refund through, so I am happy with the results. Just not sure why the online agent couldn’t do it to begin with. I guess when it is safe to travel again I will have the confidence to book with AirBnb; but maybe next time I won’t plan so far out . Who would have thought we would have a months or year (s) long pandemic on our hands.? Thanks for the info on the contact addresses…..

  2. I understand your problem completely. We are retirees who use AirBnB often. We had three bookings in the U.K. for May. We went ahead and cancelled them in April when we saw the AirBnB Covid 19 refund policy. How I wished I had reached out to the hosts instead. Now I have travel credit that I won’t be able to use. A few days ago, a host asked if I would be canceling a booking in July. I said my reunion had just been cancelled and I planned to cancel. He said he would refund my money which he did but AirBnB kept the $60. service fee. I have written AirBnB as I have a Drs note saying I shouldn’t travel but have gotten nowhere with them. I’m so disgusted that I plan to use another site for booking vacation homes in the future.

  3. I have had it with these booking sites. I want to be in control of my rentals and my house, the way it used to be. I am listing with SLEEPSOVER.COM. Meanwhile, please include me in any class action suit.

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