Paris Disaster, Airbnb Useless for High-End Travel

We paid over USD 3000 for three nights in a large centrally located penthouse in Paris. We booked this on February 22, 2017 for our stay July 2-4. We received notification from Airbnb that the host (represented by “Caroline”) cancelled the booking around midnight on June 29. I am traveling through the Scottish highlands with my family with limited internet and have now stopped in at Inverlochy Castle to try to book a hotel for ten people in Paris tomorrow. I’m upset enough to write this complaint.

Customer service has been of no help; one representative said his manager would call us back. Over a day later, and there has still been no call. I just spent a hour talking to customer service with a sympathetic person who couldn’t help. None of the suggestions fit our requirements. We’re flying into Paris tomorrow with no place to stay. I am now left with no options but to book hotel rooms. Airbnb will have cost me over a thousand dollars in extra costs, several hundred dollars in phone calls, and loss of peace of mind on this vacation… not to mention the fact they have held my money since February. The asymmetry of their policies is incredible: if a guest cancels 48 hours prior, they are liable for 100% of charges. If a host cancels, they are penalized by Airbnb. However, when a guest suffers losses because of Airbnb, they provide no compensation in damages or assistance. I will send them my estimated hotel charges as soon as I have them. Let’s see where we go from here…

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3 Comments

  1. This has happened to me today & I was booked for a wedding next weekend, now left with no place to stay as every place booked. Would never never book with Airbnb again and certainly would not recommend them. Have been promised a call back over an hour ago and still no call.

  2. That is definitely an annoyance and logistically a nightmare trying to accommodate 10 people this close.

    However I believe the fault lies at the hands of the host who is obviously a flake and should have a very good reason for cancelling and leaving you scrambling to arrange something else. Hosts absolutely should be penalised in much the same way as the guest cancelation policy.

    I don’t think I would travel internationally and use airbnb, it seems too risky. Sorry this happened to you.

  3. Airbnb is only a platform, it has become so popular that people are using it without fully understanding they are not in the customer service or hospitality business in the traditional sense.

    Fair policies and attentive customer service don’t exist. They have created a way for guests and hosts to create connections but their customer service is pathetic at solving problems when they arise when normal businesses would have rectified the issues much quicker especially a real hospitality business which Airbnb is not.

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