Showed up to apartment, was told it’s not available

My first and last Airbnb experience. I reserved an apartment for 30 days. Heard nothing from the host. I contacted him and he told me to pick up the keys at the desk when I arrived.

I showed up, the hotel management said there were no keys for me. They called the host who had forgotten to make the reservation and they told me to try again some other time. I dragged my suitcase through the streets of Bogota, Colombia at night looking for another place to stay. I contacted Airbnb and they refused to honor their refund policy.

Sure some people have had good experiences and maybe I just had bad luck. But ask yourself: do you really want your travel plans hooked up to a wheel-of-chance? Do you want to arrive and find you have no place to say and you’re out all the money you spent? Do yourself a favor: pay the extra 25-30% to stay in a real hotel where they do guest lodging as a profession. Don’t chance it on some random idiot. They guy had all five-star reviews so you can’t count on that either.

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


  1. Reviews used to be a very powerful (and truthful) thing but with Airbnb that has all gone out the window. Try posting a truly negative review and you will have it removed PRONTO by Airbnb who wants the world to think that they are truly a 5 star thing across the board. Especially since they are trying to puff themselves up in preparation to go public. I was in the hospitality business for decades and it simply is not possible to be that fabulous without some “manipulation” of the truth.

    I agree that a hotel is far superior in many ways. Of course they do overbook occasionally but pretty hard not to help you when you are on the other side of the desk staring them in the eye.

    Go on Airbnb Facebook and read the comments sometime. This guest is just one of the countless people swindled by the company on an extremely regular basis. Airbnb in their current form is garbage. I wouldn’t invest a dime in it.

  2. You contacted Airbnb and told them that the host did not have a room for you and they refused to give you a refund? I’ll be blunt. Either you are LYING or you are leaving out a some very important details of this story.

    Did you wait several days to ask for a refund? Since this supposedly happened on the night of check-in, you can write a review for the host and let future guest know what happened. Did you do that?

  3. That sucked big time. Yes it is a chance that you are taking but I do my best to read reviews (especially reading between the lines sometimes), check the neighborhood, read about the host.
    I know even then its a chance I am taking but it certainly beats hotel stays.
    Since I have discovered Airbnb, I don’t like the confinement of a hotel room anymore and the fact that someone is in your room every day.

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