Guest Cancels? 50% Charge. Host Cancels? Scot Free.

In summary: how on earth does Airbnb continue to do well? I think they lack integrity. I know they lack sincerity.

Just the facts:

1) We made a reservation with Airbnb three months ago, for seven days over Thanksgiving in a specific neighborhood in LA. We have three dogs, so we wanted a standalone house with a fenced-in yard. That’s hard to come by; that’s why made the reservation three months in advance.

2) The cost of the place was $1,800 for the week. It was a “STRICT” cancellation policy on our end, meaning we would have been charged 50% of the total stay, $900. It was a totally cool policy, as we are also hosts in northern california. We were certain of our plans, so we accepted their “strict” terms.

3) The host canceled on November 2nd, 17 days before we were to arrive, three months after they agreed to rent us the house. The host pulled their listing, so they are gone.

4) We couldn’t find another place on Airbnb in that neighborhood that took dogs, was a standalone house, and wasn’t a dump, so we scrambled to find another place. We did find one using Homeaway, but to the tune of $2,800 for that week, $1,000 more than original place. That is what happens when you are forced to wait until the last minute to book a place. That is why we did what we did three months ago, to prevent from over paying 2 1/2 weeks before the holiday week.

5) We asked and got a full refund from Airbnb for the $1,800, seeing as we couldn’t find a place through them at this late date.

6) The Airbnb case manager assigned to this oh-so highly complicated matter offered us a voucher for $100 for our troubles.

7) I asked him for a voucher of $900 because they canceled on us, and caused us to spend $1000 more than what we wanted to spend. Had we been the ones to cancel, we would have been charged $900 immediately, no questions asked. That is how I came up with the $900 figure.

8) Our double-talking case manager came back and would not give a penny more than $200. A shuffle in the right direction, but hardly a step. He talked and wrote in a very professional and seemingly sincere manner, no doubt, highly trained and polished. But there are many things you can’t polish, and one of them is Airbnb.

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


  1. Very sorry to learn of your headache. It does sound unfortunate and I am glad you were able to find a new place. But just to clarify, if a host cancels a reservation it actually does penalize them on the Airbnb side, and they can even lose their positive status or Superhost status for cancelling something, and Airbnb fees are not refunded.

  2. What they do is pander to hosts on the front end, to do what you say, “bait” them. But then once the guest is done with their stay, they f-over the host on the back end, to pander to the guest, to keep them coming back to airbnb. Devious and deceitful, they are, through and through.

  3. Airbnb needs to pander to hosts because listings are their “baits” to attract paying customers. They give zero shits about anyone anyway, but by pandering to hosts they keep up their endless stream of baits.

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