Free Cancellation in 48 Hours that Doesn’t Exist


I looked for a month’s rental through Airbnb and I found one that I wanted. I read the cancellation policy carefully, stating that it could be cancelled within 48 hours for a full refund. I clicked first because I didn’t want to miss the rare room and figured if in two days I found it was something I didn’t like, e.g. the exact location, I could cancel.

It was a lot of money – 3000+ USD – and I suddenly thought that maybe it was better to find a way to be able to escape the long-term cancellation policy. I just cancelled it within hours. The refund was kind of a process but something they didn’t mention in the cancellation policy was that my payment method would be charged on March 26th for 600 USD. This amount was never mentioned.

I wanted to make sure before rebooking but it seemed like Airbnb just ignored me. That made me scared to proceed to any other booking; I was afraid of the fraudulent listings. Agoda and Expedia have never had this policy and the 30-day fine for advance notice was quite unfair. I then tried to figure it out by separating the booking into two periods. It’s more difficult but it should be more flexible.

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


  1. To Book an Airbnb & keep “shopping” with the intent of cancelling isn’t fair to the host. Most Airbnb hosts have 1 or 2 listings and depend upon the rental revenue.

    If you book then cancel you’ve taken their listing off the available list so they possibly missed a real booking.

    Btw-I had a guest who booked, promptly (within 3 hours) cancelled with the comment they had found a better place cheaper then 2 days later requested again to book my home. I declined the request. I didn’t trust them to not cancel again.

  2. Guests who book a month already thinking they are likely to cancel after a couple of days would not be welcomed at my property.

    As for the rest of the post, I don’t understand it.

  3. Based on what you said, Airbnb kept their service fees from your booking. They tell you on your website that guests can get the fees refunded 3 times per year, but you have to call and request it. They don’t refund the fees automatically if you cancel online, which is of course because they know some people (like you) won’t know or won’t bother to try.

    The last paragraph you wrote is indecipherable.

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