Held Hostage and Extorted on an Airbnb Boat Rental

We booked a sail boat on Airbnb with the promise of sailing. The listing was named “Sail the Eagon” and promised a trip to different beaches. We booked two nights.

Once we sailed into the ocean the host asked me for an extra €200. What for? He stopped the boat and explained the €400 I paid was for accommodation only (a four-star hotel in Kas was €70 a night) and sailing cost extra. That was why he kept asking if we would be staying more nights. From there he went on about how he is in trouble financially and needed the money. I didn’t like him being this strict when asking for either money or agreeing to book an extra night so he could pay some of his debts.

He made it pretty clear we would not be sailing back unless he got the €200 extra that he asked for as Airbnb wouldn’t pay him for a few weeks. I eventually gave him the €200 so we could be taken back (it was me, my wife, and two-year-old child he was blackmailing), where we left immediately despite the days booked and paid for and stayed in the €70 four-star hotel in town instead.

I contacted Airbnb the next day. First they said the host has agreed to refund the €200 of the €600 if I removed my bad review. I then said I would rather lose the money so others are warned. A week later they emailed me to say my review has been removed for violating guidelines I can’t get them to point out. Anything to protect their scamming money mules. Airbnb could not care less about the customers. It looks like the hosts are their priority as this is where they get their “fee” from.

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


  1. Sounds like a scary event. I’m glad you & your family are safe.

    A couple things to know. Airbnb pays hosts after the guest has been happily in the rental 24 hours. Payment processes next day or soon after.

    Airbnb has strict guidelines for reviews. Only if violated will they remove a review. After a review is posted neither host nor guest can have it removed. https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2673/airbnbs-review-policy

    I suspect in your effort to warn others you may have violated the content policy.

    How did you contact Airbnb? Telephone? Twitter-@Airbnbhelp? Or Facebook? If your trip was less than 30 days ago, try contacting Airbnb on Twitter @airbnbhelp. You can report problems for up to 30 days after the trip ends. Keep asking for help so they can kick the thief off their platform.

  2. As a former advocate of Airbnb, host leader and guest, I believe the platform in its infancy was a great idea. People who had genuine hospitality skills and appreciation for people were hosting and the guests were very appreciative. They often brought host gift from their native land and a tour of the neighborhood and perhaps an evening of cocktails in or out of the residence was standard. Now, both sides are shady as hell and true hospitality professionals steer clear of the platform because of dishonest guests and scam artists “hosts” reign supreme. I WILL NEVER USE OR RECOMMEND THE PLATFORM AGAIN.

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