Left Out in the Cold After Instant Booking Fails

In 2017, I was touring Europe with my bicycle. I camped most of the time, but it was quite cold and rainy during a week in September. I decided to stay with Airbnb. The first night went quite well, so I made another booking the next morning. It was 60 km away, in a small village in Germany. Instant Book was enabled, so I immediately got a confirmation.

I set off and reached the address around 5:00 PM. When I rang the bell, there was no response. I messaged the host. After approximately an hour, the booking was canceled, without any explanation. It was cold and getting dark fast, so I headed to the nearest hotel. It was only five kilometers, but with the rain and the mud, it took me another hour to get there. At 75 euro, it was much more expensive than some of the other hotels I could have stayed with. Later Airbnb messaged me, saying the host enabled Instant Book without realizing the implications. They kind of blamed me for choosing a host with little experience and did not offer to pay part of the hotel bill. They have much more data on the host than me. They should not allow inexperienced hosts to enable instant booking.

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


  1. There are a lot of air b n b apologists on here but I did the same thing when I went to Germany and I also had bad experiences with air b n b there. All the places I stayed in were dumps and they were too far from the town centres. To add insult to injury, I couldn’t believe how expensive air b n b was compared to local hotels in the area. This seems to be true wherever I travel. Whenever I hear people tell me how great of a deal air b n b compared to hotels I have to laugh because often they are the same or even more than hotels. Save your money and go someplace that will at least give you clean towels and sheets. I’ve seen a few of your comments on here from the apologists who I think either work for air b n b or their teeth are turning blue from all the coolaid they’re drinking. Many people including myself are writing off air b n b for the scam that it is and going back to hotels. Booking.com usually has good deals. Air b n b is a silly fad.

  2. I had a similar experience with instant book. Except that the listing was completely fake. I was left stranded on a busy weekend and had to book an expensive last minute hotel room. When I complained to Airbnb, their response was that they do not guarantee that listing are real and claim that risk is on the customer. They also stated that at any time up to 5% of listing are fake.

  3. Sophie, you obviously work for Airbnb or just are not a professional, responsible person. The host should have been held responsible for setting up and accepting instant bookings, it is not the guest fault that this host did not know how to operate/manage their Airbnb account. If one cannot read and understand the guidelines for being a host they should not be a host.

    Perhaps you need a reality check.

  4. Hey you’ve got hotel expectations but want to pay peanuts for an Airbnb? There’s a little discrepancy here. Time for a reality check!

    • To the Sophie troll, Airbnb prices are hardly “peanuts” especially with the extra 15% Airbnb tags on, so give it a rest.

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