My husband and I went through a horrible experience via an Airbnb listing near Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Without any description in their listing, the host notified us in person that they actually lived 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) away from the listing upon our arrival and warned us it will be difficult for them to come on-site to resolve issues.
If we had been aware of this, I would have chosen a different option from the very beginning. Unfortunately, we accidentally locked ourselves outside without a key on the last day of our stay as we were still jet lagged and rushed to a tour site we booked in advance. To note, the door automatically locks when it’s closed so we had no chance to re-enter the property once the door was closed.
We contacted the host immediately once we found out about the situation at 4:46 PM. The host responded at the moment saying they weren’t sure if they would be able to come and help because it was too far of a drive for them to come on-site. We were asked to wait for them to find a solution so we went to a coffee shop near the listing to wait for an update.
However, we didn’t receive any responses for nearly four hours even we sent them messages requesting updates on the issue. Meanwhile, we offered them financial compensation for their time lost if they could help. After a long wait with no updates, we were not sure if the host would actually come and help. Since we had a reservation at a restaurant in the Gothic Quarter, we had to leave for dinner.
At 8:50 PM, the host finally got back to us and asked us where we were and he didn’t convey to us when he would be at the apartment. We just placed the order in the restaurant and couldn’t leave at the moment so we asked if he could meet us near the restaurant or let us know when he would be at the apartment to meet. We received no response from the host again.
We later on received a message from Airbnb support notifying us if we didn’t meet the host in 15 minutes, we would lose access to the listing for the night. It was impossible for us to make it back within the timeframe (we needed at least 30-40 minutes since we need to walk 10 minutes from the restaurant to find a taxi and it took about another 20-30 minutes to get back to the listing) so we asked the host if he could wait slightly longer.
Again, we received no message from the host but another message from Airbnb support stating the host had waited longer than 30 minutes and had to leave. We tried to explain the situation to Airbnb support personnel multiple times but she kept saying the host had warned us and tried their best to help so it was our responsibility not being able to get in. She stopped responding to us afterwards.
We didn’t receive any information directly from the host in the meantime besides a confirmation on the scheduled check out time at 8:00 the next morning. We ended up wandering in the street for two hours at midnight trying to find a hotel to stay for the night. Without passports and since most hotels were fully booked by then, we were almost left to be homeless for the night.
We are extremely frustrated at both the host and Airbnb support personnel. Airbnb’s terms and conditions state that “Before and during the Experience, Hosts should be available, or make a third-party available, in order to try, in good faith, to resolve any Guest issues.” Being unavailable for five hours and leaving the guest unaware of the situation cannot be considered as “good faith”.
As an accommodation service, what Airbnb does is to throw people onto the streets of a foreign country without passports in the middle of the night. Sorry to say but this is totally against the ideas they have been promoting over the years.