Rejected by a Host Because I’m from Taiwan?

Yesterday I asked a host in LA a few typical questions about housing conditions and parking, and I stated that I’m from Taiwan. The host, without asking further details, simply replied that she’s afraid of the coronavirus situation, and said she couldn’t help us. She rejected my request to book her place.

Now, of course, I’ve lost all interest in this host, but I feel very insulted that she assumed the virus situation in Taiwan (which is fairly safe at the moment) is the same in China (which is much worse). If the health inspectors at LAX let me through, why does she have the right to reject me just because I’m from Taiwan?

What’s more, my friend, who is Japanese and will be traveling with me to LA, also contacted the host and mentioned she was from Japan. Strangely, she was accepted. I’m not sure what’s on the host’s mind here. Either she can’t tell the difference between China and Taiwan or she is hostile toward Taiwanese guests.

Since I can’t book this place so I cannot leave a negative review for this host. I want others to know exactly who the host is and be aware of my encounter. I want people to be aware that there is more and more discrimination on Airbnb based on guests’ background due to fear of the coronavirus. I highly recommend others who are considering  staying at this place to look elsewhere.

Who knows? Maybe as the virus situation gets worse, she will cancel your reservation out of fear, especially those guests from Taiwan.

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

3 Comments

  1. I’m sorry to hear of your situation, but at least the host was upfront and at least this didn’t happen after you’d booked a place. Although I’m from the UK, I lived in HK during the SARS outbreak in 2003, and I was also rejected for a couple of things based on people’s fears about SARS. It was annoying, but I could understand the other people’s point of view. They just wanted to be cautious in an uncertain situation. Unfortunately, I’d also say that unless western people have lived in Asian countries, they often don’t have much of a clue between the likes of North and South Korea and China and Taiwan, etc.

  2. If it’s a shared apartment with other guests or without it’s reasonable to refuse reservations on basis of health risks. Especially if you are staying in someone’s home, the host has no obligation to accept any reservation he / she feels uncomfortable with, or other guests might potentially feel uncomfortable with. It’s all very subjective and sometimes irrational but hosts have zero obligation to host any guest. This has consequences on their occupancy but still, it’s their right.

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