Lying Host Leads to Last Minute Scramble in London

So we have been using Airbnb for a few trips and all went quite satisfyingly until my husband, my 70 year-old mother-in-law, and I booked our trip to Europe. We always plan our trips a few months ahead just to avoid any unforeseen circumstances so we can sort everything out with the host earlier if something unfortunate should happen. The guy with whom we booked has a few properties listed with Airbnb and has remarkable reviews so we thought this one shouldn’t have any problems. Exactly a week before we arrived, I messaged him regarding exchanging the keys. He replied straight away saying he will give us the keys face to face. Then my husband started to realise that the address he put on Airbnb is actually not detailed, only showing the street name and the suburb. So I messaged him again requesting the address two days after our last communication (which was five days before we were set to arrive).

There was no reply for three days. We messaged him again… nothing. Obviously, we thought he was probably too busy to reply; we had his phone number so we thought we could call him when we arrived. While we were transferring from Dubai to London, we were informed that our Airbnb in London had been cancelled. Without a reason, without any messages from this host. We couldn’t do anything as we were about to take off. I honestly cried for the whole flight as we also booked a few other places with Airbnb for the rest of our trip in Europe. We called Airbnb again and again at the airport, seeking an outcome. Nothing. They only provided us a few links to similar properties (but cost much more than the one we booked) plus a 10% credit, which could only be used with Airbnb.

We eventually booked a hotel that cost much more, as around Europe in July everything cheap had already been booked. I was furious as my 70-year-old mother-in-law was extremely exhausted after the 25-hour flight so I messaged the host and asked him the reason he cancelled. He replied after my repeated not-very-nice messages, saying he found out Airbnb double booked him a week before we arrived and called them straight away to cancel but Airbnb got delayed. He wasn’t sorry. He also tried to make it sound like it was my fault blaming him during all communication (or should we say arguments). I then called Airbnb again but they told me a completely different story, saying that the only phone call they received from him was the day before and he asked to cancel without any explanation or reason. I cannot afford anything like this to happen again so we just cancelled my rest of our trips with Airbnb and deleted my account. I would rather pay the penalties than deal with these dodgy people. Such a relief. To anyone who is seeing this: please do not use Airbnb. Please also pass this on to your friends and family.

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