Last-Minute Cancellations are Schemes by Hosts

I made my first Airbnb request for my bosses staying in Orlando for a conference. The host confirmed the reservation and sent me a written confirmation. I paid the full amount for the reservation.

At the last minute, he called me to say the unit was suddenly not available, even though I have a written confirmation in hand and I paid the full amount. There’s a conference in town and he obviously got more money from someone else and cancelled on me. To get my money back, I had to “cancel” the reservation, but didn’t get all my money refunded.

When I contacted the host, he said I cancelled, not him. So now it’s a matter of he said/she said. Since Airbnb holds the money and doesn’t send it to the host until you check in, this is a great scheme for the host. Who has the money that wasn’t refunded to me?

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


  1. A host just tried to do this to us in Brazil.

    If the host says they cannot host, make sure you make them cancel the reservation. Otherwise you will not get all your money back.

    If the host cancels, they can be fined by AirBnB, lose their superhost status and have the dates in question blocked so they cannot put someone else in for a higher rate. It is in the hosts interest to try to scam you as they did. They have nothing to lose if you cancel, so don’t fall for this trap. We knew about this scam and got all our money back plus a credit for the inconvenience.

  2. This does sound like a host scam. He got you to cancel so that he didn’t get penalized. He contacted you by phone instead of e-mail or Airbnb message so that you have no proof of his actions to show Airbnb.

    Still there are two things you did “wrong”:
    1. You booked for you boss. This is not allowed on Airbnb unless it’s an official “Airbnb for Work” booking and based on what you’ve written, it isn’t.
    2. You are booking and cancelling without really making yourself familiar with Airbnb’s policies. I know it shows you how much money you’ll get back before you finish the cancellation process. Didn’t you notice this?

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