Airbnb Left My Family in the Desert without Air Conditioning

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My brother, sister and I booked a luxury property through Airbnb for Father’s Day Weekend. The booking was made in May 2021 for a stay from June 18-20, 2021. The day before the trip, I learned that the owners fired the property manager who accepted the booking and the new property management company had no record of my booking.

A few hours before the trip, I was contacted by a representative asking me for my personal information so she could make a reservation and grant me access to the property. Although reluctant, I acquiesced. When we arrived at the property, it was 115 degrees outside and 90 degrees inside the property. There were huge lizards over the entry door, spiders and bugs throughout the property due to a cracked foundation, inadequate seals around the windows and doors and no working wifi.

After a couple of hours of trying to restore the wifi, I called property management and my sister attempted to reach someone at Airbnb. I started receiving text messages from one of the representatives who walked me through everything we already tried. After five hours in the extreme heat, they sent out a technician. The technician was able to restore the wifi, but could not get the air conditioning to work.

Airbnb provided no valuable assistance by phone. We made the difficult decision to stay overnight, because it was pitch black in the desert. I came from Moreno Valley, my sister from Los Angeles and my brother from Big Bear. We spent most of the night outside, unable to sleep well due to the overwhelming heat, an influx of spiders and the smoke detector going off at 3:00 AM. We got up at 6:00 AM, called The Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage who generously accommodated all of us with an early check in and attempted to salvage our trip.

I have spent the last month attempting to get resolution. As of today, Airbnb and the property owners are withholding my money for the first night’s stay. They did not provide the accommodations that were advertised, but are charging me for what was the worst travel experience of my life. The property management company is refusing to take any responsibility even though they accepted the booking, were responsible for managing the property, provided failed technical support and left my family in an extremely unsafe situation.

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Airbnb Host Warns of No Air Conditioning During Heat Wave

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I had planned on having a fun, relaxing weekend for my husband and booked a cute cabin in Flagstaff, AZ for Father’s Day weekend. It was listed that there was no AC but that it is cool in Flagstaff and not needed. Based on the reviews, I didn’t think twice honestly.

I booked his airfare (I was going to drive to Scottsdale to stay with family with our two boys) to meet us in Scottsdale and researched hikes in Sedona. Upon checking in to the cabin, it was cute and had everything we thought we’d need for the weekend. It was 86 degrees F upon check in, but noticed that the host had left the largest window opened and it was 101 degrees outside. I was a little annoyed but figured once we left the windows open all night and immediately closed them upon waking up that it would in fact stay cool as the host left his “stay cool tips.”

Well, the joke was on us. It finally got to 71 degrees F at 4:00 AM. We couldn’t sleep comfortably at all. The kids tossed and turned (ages 1.5 and 8) and it wasn’t until 4:00 AM that I was able to finally fall asleep for two hours. We got up around 6:00, closed the windows and headed for Sedona. After hiking for a few hours we headed back to the cabin. It was 86 degrees F in there, again.

I reached out to the host while nursing a migraine and dealing with three very very grumpy and miserable boys. He basically told me that it was a heat wave and outside his control. Which yes, I understand he could not control the weather, but I mean come over and check out how hot it is. Bring over fans or a portable AC (we paid him enough), get us a cheap hotel with AC, give us a partial refund… anything. He could not have cared less honestly.

I ended up having to take a cool bath with our baby to just calm him (and myself) down. My husband had started packing because we couldn’t imagine staying another night like we already had. I messaged the host again to let him know it was now 93 degrees F and there was no way we could stand another night there with it being that hot. I asked for a partial refund (we checked out with 24 hours of check in) and was told no, that his cancellation policy said no refunds.

I can’t imagine treating anyone like that but especially knowing how hot it truly was. To expect us and kids to stay in that is infuriating. It was mostly disappointing that someone could be that selfish and cruel. After reaching out to Airbnb, I was ghosted for two weeks. I decided to just call and was told “unfortunately the host said he won’t issue a refund.” I explained the situation to the gal and she was very nice but not very helpful. I was told she was going to reach out to the host and see if he’d change his mind basically. I told her it was unlikely and asked if I’m basically out all the money even though we checked out within 24 hours and she said I could escalate it to some Airbnb team and go from there.

Well, now I’m being offered a $100 coupon. All I want is my partial refund for the night we couldn’t stay. We didn’t even ask for a refund for the night from hell. I can’t believe the host and Airbnb just wouldn’t do the right thing.

Excessive Temperature Enough Reason to Leave Early?

I’d like to share my complaint regarding my Airbnb reservation in Vancouver the week before last. Here is the full letter I wrote to Airbnb after I moved out of the condo and moved into a hotel.

In the end, the result was I got less than a $400 refund from the host and Airbnb out of my full payment of $860. I had booked Airbnb several times. My last experience was really the worst. Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

To whom it may concern, I want to report a Travel Issue regarding my reservation. In general, the hosts of the apartment misrepresented the condition of this place, which is unfit for anybody to live in, and they refused to solve the issue in good faith. To sum up the problems and the damages:

1. They did not mention the hot temperature in the listing even though they knew it.

2. They did not mention the loud noises and the lights causing distractions, especially for young kids.

3. They didn’t want to take responsibility when questions were put forth, only some ostensible and ineffective means.

4. This was a family trip with good expectations. Now, my family, including my cold-catching wife and two-year-old son, had their feelings hurt and wasted almost a full day of energy dealing with misdirection and the aftermath of moving to a hotel at midnight while coping with a three-hour timezone difference.

5. The extra money I had to spend on the hotel. Here is what happened. We arrived at the apartment at around 5:00 PM on March 21st. When we entered, a heat wave welcomed us. The room temperature must have reached 30 C (86 F), while the outside temperature was about 15 C (59 F).

The noise from the street was pouring into the rooms through the non-sound-proof single-layer glass windows. There were three windows in the living room. Only two of them had the parts that allowed them to be opened, which was totally not helpful for getting more cool air to lower the temperature.

At first, we thought that the heat was caused by the sunset. My wife, who had a cold then, opened the windows to get more air in, which made the noise even worse. We even turned on the fan in the living room, not improving the temperature at all – the fan is an important detail; let me get back to it later.

We hoped the heat would dial down when night fell. I went out to do some shopping, and my wife tried to tuck my two-year-old son in. When I was at Safeway, I got a message from my wife saying that it was still sweltering, and the noise, plus the light from the street, were so severe that they made my son too excited. This can be found in my wife’s message history, in case you need any of it.

I rushed back to the apartment. The most obvious feeling was: it was cool outside, but the hallway of the apartment building felt hotter. The space in the apartment even hotter. The worst part was in the two bedrooms and the living room. The temperature might not have been as high as it was at sunset, but it was still making me want to run out of the building after staying more than five minutes.

By then, my son was still awake, and he kept getting distracted by the lights and the noise from the streets. The curtains of the windows did not help at all because they were too small and too thin; one layer of the curtains was red, which made the light coming through them even brighter.

Around 10:30 PM, while trying to comfort my son to get him to sleep, I contacted the host, with good intentions, asking the possibility of switching to another place. The answer was no. They offered to talk to me the next day morning. By then, the heat in the two bedrooms made it impossible for us to sleep, and we had flown more than five hours from Toronto.

All of us were exhausted. We really need to have a good sleep, especially my son. In Toronto, he usually goes to sleep around 9:00 PM. Now it was almost 2:00 AM, and he was still pretty hyped due to the light and noise, and couldn’t help but go to the window every three minutes.

I decided to move the family to a hotel. It was clear that none of us would get any sleep in the apartment. I told the host our decision, and we agreed to meet at 10:00 AM the next morning.

When we were trying to get my son to the car and stripped him to the car seat, he was really upset and struggled a lot because he was so exhausted, but you can’t expect a two-year-old toddler to understand this. It took us about 40 minutes to get him bundled. Even on our way to the hotel, he was still crying and twisting. My wife used a lot of strength to keep him in the car seat.

Before we arrived at the hotel, he finally settled down and fell asleep. We checked into the hotel about midnight, while my wife was holding my poor son and wrapped him in the blanket to keep the light from awakening him. This was all because of the unmentioned conditions of the apartment: the heat, the light, and the noise.

At 10:00 AM this morning, after five hours of sleep, I drove to the place to meet the hosts. One of them showed up, moving in an old A/C unit. I tried to reason with him in good faith, but he started emphasizing three things in an icy voice and with a poker face:

1. No refund whatsoever.

2. All your opinions can be feedback for Airbnb, I’ve got nothing to say.

3. We’ve done everything we can. The fans we have here are the proof. We know this place is hot.

Please take the last point into account; he knew the problem with the heat but didn’t mention it in the listing at all, except for a ridiculous claim: room-darkening shades, which did not help with darkening but lighting.

Seeing that there would be no agreement, I left the apartment and got back to the hotel. My family was trying to recuperate by resting today. After my son finally was able to go to sleep at about 8:30 PM, I sat down to contact Airbnb to report this Travel Issue and ask for a refund.

Per my understanding, the money was not the biggest problem. The reservation cost about CAD860. I had to pay almost CAD1500 for the rest of our stay in the hotel, which I believe is not unreasonable if they are required to pay for part of it. The biggest problem is that they refuse to acknowledge the problem.

Even worse, since spring and summer are coming, more people will be duped into booking this place and regret it. It is easy money for the hosts. I’ve summarized the problems at the beginning, and I’m pretty sure you can see our communication in the messages. It’s a shame that I can’t provide any proof for the heat wave. If I could, I would.

New Airbnb Policy: Believe Hosts’ Lies

I booked an Airbnb recently that claimed to have air conditioning. I showed up to the place, and inside it’s hot, steamy, and muggy. I called the host to ask how to turn the air conditioning on. His reply to me was that it was broken and to crack a window. I told him I was going to contact Airbnb for a refund.

The agent explained to me she had to verify with the host what I was claiming was true. She called the host and called me back letting me know that the host does not turn the air conditioning on until summertime… all the while it is 80 degrees. I asked if Airbnb condones posting amenities that are not available. Turns out, according to this agent, they do.

She completely sided with the host. By that logic, any host can post whatever amenity they want then claim the amenity isn’t available during whatever season you’re booking their place and let you know after you have paid and arrived.

Airbnb Fisherman’s Hangout Unbearable without AC

We booked a fishing trip via Airbnb at a very quaint cottage on a canal just off the lake we were going to fish. To start off the nightmare, on Monday before the Friday we were scheduled to arrive, the weather report was forecasting a tropical storm “Cindy”, making a direct b-line to the location on the very day we were to arrive. We contacted the host and he acted as if he would work with us if the forecast was correct. Luckily it hit the night before our arrival a little east of its expected path.

We continued with our plans and got to the location on Friday and the weather was not as bad as it could have been. The cabin was very well kept and we were very excited to be there. We unloaded or stuff and while going in and out of the cabin I noticed the three AC units but only two were on. I promptly went to each of the two that were on and turned them down because it was not at a comfortable stage yet in the cabin. I also turned on the one in the bedroom. I also noticed a box fan in the living area pointing into the bedroom which raised my suspicions that something might not be right.

After we got settled down and got our boat docked, we were going to cook steaks, but after looking at the grill it was full of water from the rain. I decided to cook them on the stove. After going into the kitchen I noticed there was no vent hood and with the temperature being already at an uncomfortable level, I told my wife we better eat sandwiches instead, to give the AC time to cool the place down. I went into the bedroom to find it rather warm and after feeling the air coming out of the AC unit in the bedroom I could tell it was not working. Since it was rather late by that point I did not want to bother the host. I was hoping the other two ACs would catch up and with the help of the fan, they might have been able to.

I now knew the purpose for the box fan was there to help blow AC into the bedroom to help cool it down. We spent a very miserable and restless night sweating and experiencing back pain from the very small, very hard, full size bed. It was so bad I went into the living room at 4:30 AM in front of the AC and tried to get some rest on the couch, to no avail. I waited until 9:00 AM to call the host and told him of our issue. When I did I was greeted with the claim that I was complaining without a legitimate reason; the last guests had no problems and the AC was not having issues then, nor did he think there was a issue now. My question to him was then why was there a fan in the living room pointing into the bedroom. He said it was just for circulation.

He would never admit the AC issue and I even offered to help him install another window AC if he would go buy one. His reply was: “I can tell you are fishing for a refund.” I then told him we had planned this trip for a long time. Coming even in the shadow of a tropical storm should have shown him we wanted to stay at all costs. He never offered to fix the problem. Afterwards, I offered to go buy an AC unit and put it in another window; he did accept that offer, of course.

We then left to see if we could get some fishing in. The more I thought about it, the more I decided we should just go back, pack up, and go home. His lack of concern ruined the trip we had so looked forward to, and if he had at least tried to fix the problem or come over to the cabin to verify that the unit was in fact not working, I would have done whatever I could to help him get it resolved. He did not come by because he already knew that it was not working.

The bottom line is he did refund $198 of the $270 for the three nights, less our cleaning fee and the $39 Airbnb fee. I opened a case over three weeks ago and Airbnb keeps telling me they are going to help. So far I have not received any resolution. All I am asking for is the $72 left off my three nights, excluding my $50 cleaning fee and $39 Airbnb fee. All this and if the stupid host would have just shown a ounce of concern and fixed the AC. He would not have had to refund anything.

I am not at all impressed wit my overall experience at Airbnb, but I do think I will give it another chance.