I booked a stay on Airbnb for a family funeral but had to change my reservation. the host assured me that a cancellation was fine based on the circumstances and that she would provide a full refund even though she posts with a strict cancellation policy. I received (via Airbnb) less than half of my payment but have been trying to get the remaining amount refunded. Airbnb has not responded to any of my inquiries and the host is unable to communicate with me about sending me a refund check because all communications are encrypted; we can not share phone numbers or addresses. This is a nightmare and I feel that Airbnb should take more responsibility in supporting our efforts to communicate.
The host can refund you through the Resolution Center. http://Www.airbnb.com/resolutions.
In your case, call Airbnb, provide documentation. This case would be an Extenuating circumstance. It has to be an immediate family member though
The foundation of Airbnb is: take no responsibility. Their whole business model sits on that 1 pillar.
Easiest way is to get host you refund you separately without getting AirBnB involved.