Last Minute Cancellation Justified, but still Frustrating

We booked our Los Angeles Airbnb property several months ahead of time for a February 2019 stay. We had booked the entire place (three bedrooms) for a full week with a Superhost who had many five star ratings.

24 hours before we were scheduled to arrive, we received a notification that there was a minor roof leak and that we’d be offered a free night if we agreed to go ahead with our stay. The leak story was believable as Los Angeles had received over nine inches of rain the day before (that is a lot of rain). We agreed to go forward and went about our day.

Two hours later, we received a full cancellation. I actually believe the story and have empathy for the host. Fortunately, everything worked out for us as we found another property in a better location for less money.

Now, having said that, I am hugely frustrated by the process; Airbnb takes zero ownership. Sure they offer help and minuscule financial assistance, but in the grand scheme of things we were completely on our own trying to find a place to stay on 24 hours’ notice – talk about vacation stress.

My second issue is that the system is completely one sided. If a guest cancels at the last minute, for any reason, we have to pay a huge penalty. If the hosts cancels, they are held blameless. This is not an equitable situation and the absence of balance can and does lead to abuses of the system. Even though we had a good Airbnb experience in the end, I am not sure we will ever use them again… who needs the stress?

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

One Comment

  1. Actually the host gets penalized too + loses Superhost status + receives automated notice ‘host cancelled within x days’

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