Frustrating Lack of Response from Airbnb

I have really liked the Airbnb platform and had a great response so far with them. However, I now have a problem, finding it a little the opposite. I am getting quite frustrated with the lack of help from the Airbnb team in relation to a booking during the festive season that I feel needs to be cancelled.

A booking was made before March 4, but travel is for later in the year between Dec. 20 – Jan. 21. I have a family who have booked our home for four weeks over the Christmas period and are travelling from the U.K. to Australia. Our government currently has Australia in lockdown from overseas holiday travellers unless they are returning citizens or permanent residents. No tourists are permitted.

Our government has stated that they can not see any overseas travel allowed until the end of the year or until next year as of Sept. 3. I have been in touch with the guests and they do not want to cancel as they will be charged over half of the booking by Airbnb. If I cancel, the dates are blocked and I also get a cancellation review and get charged a cancellation fee. It defeats the purpose of cancelling as I want to have the dates open for local guests to book or I will ultimately miss out both ways.

I’m feeling very disappointed with Airbnb response to this matter. I have messaged through their portal and had very limited if any response: all generic and have asked for documentation. What documentation? Is there anyone else feeling this frustration and does anyone have any other way of contacting Airbnb? They really are not very helpful at this time. I feel they should be extending their extenuating circumstances cancellation policy. Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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One Comment

  1. Just a thought: As long as your guest is on board, you could mostly work around this problem by doing an alteration request that reduces the four week stay to an overnight (preferably at the most off-time you can find).

    Obviously doesn’t totally solve the problem (or Airbnb’s stupidity), but getting most of the time back sure beats the heck out of waiting for Airbnb to do nothing and losing all of it.

    This would probably help the guest out too since the large reduction in booking cost should result in Airbnb releasing a bunch of the guest’s money from whatever escrow account they keep it in before paying out.

    If you really wanted to game the system, you could even try sending your guest a special offer of $1 for that one night. Then they could cancel their reservation after accepting the alteration request and the money they’re out should be negligible. I’d double check Airbnb’s fee policy before trying this, though, since I don’t know if they have any minimum fees that would make this not work.

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