No Seizures Allowed According to Airbnb

My husband and I were looking for a place to take the kids for the summer and found a beautiful summer home in Arizona. It was perfect: pool, three bedrooms, big property, the works. We booked it.

After the 48-hour window had passed and I really started to read the reviews I realized that the wording on the post was an outlandish lie and that the owner’s son would also be on the property in the detached house. One of the reviews also stated that when one of the guests was about to operate something around the house, they would get a message telling them how to operate that devise. There were cameras everywhere and someone was watching.

After reaching out to the host, she refused to cancel and stated that the 48-hour window had passed for a full refund and that at best we would only be able to get a refund amount for half of what we spent. Having plans for a summer vacation, the thought of losing ~$800 was not ideal so we decided to bite the bullet and go instead.

As a good gesture, and because we had gotten off to a rocky start, my husband reached out to the host and apologized for getting off on the wrong foot, reassuring her that we were happy to be coming to such a beautiful home (despite having an unknowing guest). The next day, as a common courtesy, he let her know that we were bringing his seizure service dog. The host said that no pets would be allowed, even service animals.

After pointing to Airbnb’s policy on assistance animals, she said that having the dogs present would impede the safety of the owner of the home whom I was lead to believe would not be present while we were there. She then went on to say that having the animals there would be a life or death scenario for the owner who would be present and that if we brought my seizure service dogs, the police would be called on us and my family and I would be escorted off of the property and arrested.

I wasn’t totally clear on Airbnb’s policy on discrimination or the Arizona laws on disability discrimination but it seems a bit extreme to call the police to have Airbnb guests escorted or arrested because of the need for a service animal. I even told the host that if it was going to be a big problem, she could cancel the reservation and we would find somewhere else to vacation. She said she would not be cancelling, and the police would be waiting for us.

Having spent about 12 hours on hold with Airbnb for the past several days, I was starting to see that their anti-discrimination policy is nothing more than a webpage set up to look good. Now to make the final decision, lose $1,600 (as the host now stated that she wouldn’t be paying back anything) or have the police called on a man in a wheelchair.


Airbnb Refuses Refund Amidst COVID Measures

In February 2020, our family booked an Airbnb in Capetown, South Africa checking in on July 12 and checking out on July 19. The pandemic hit in March and we still held out hope that we would be able to take this dream trip in July. At the end of May, Delta cancelled our flights to Johannesburg.

At this point, it was obvious that we were not going to South Africa because we could not get there and the country has not opened its border. At this time, Airbnb’s policy would allow us to request a refund but 100% was only guaranteed for travel through June 30. You could cancel, get a portion back, then fill out an extenuating circumstances form and request the rest back.

I cancelled at the end of May because we could not get there and South Africa will not allow us to enter the country due to a pandemic which is an extenuating circumstance. At the time I cancelled, I reached out to my host who said he would review it and I have never gotten a response.

The Airbnb rep at the time told me they would probably extend the travel dates because of the pandemic. Well… the dates were extended to accommodate people checking in during July but then they said if you cancelled prior to June 1, you could not be considered in the extenuating circumstances policy. This is ridiculous. I cancelled as soon as Delta cancelled our flights.

At that time, I wanted the host to know we couldn’t come. Airbnb rep’s tell me they were “sorry” and “their hands are tied”. This is BS. They owe us $1,000. I only got a portion back from the host. Airbnb said they reached out to the host to no avail. Again, BS. Airbnb can let them know that they need to refund us or they will no longer be allowed to be a host.

A worldwide pandemic is an extenuating circumstance. I didn’t cancel this trip of a lifetime for the hell of it. I cancelled because we cannot get there and are not allowed in the country. I have emailed the CEO of Airbnb who publishes his email address so you can always get in touch with someone. We should get the rest of the “rent” and all the fees back from Airbnb and then they can fight with the host that is clearly not an ethical business person not refunding us our money.

Thank you for having this forum to express the stories.


Cancellation Refund Trouble Over Pre-Wedding Property

I booked a small house for my bridesmaids and I to stay in the night before my wedding. Considering the state of the world right now it’s pretty easy to assume our plans changed and we have postponed the wedding for a year. I cancelled my reservation just fine. I even accepted the fact that almost 50% of my deposit would not be returned to me.

My issue is that I have never received my refund. I was supposed to have a refund sent to my card and it’s been three weeks. Every person I contact says they are escalating my case and an agent will get back to me. Three separate agents have said this. I need my money back. I have called the customer service line and have been on hold for about 30 minutes so far. I feel I will not be seeing my money back anytime soon.


Heartless Host After Cancellation in Barcelona

We had a terrible experience with a property in Barcelona. Due to COVID, we had to cancel this property in which we were meant to stay until July. We cancelled early in April to give the host plenty of time to rebook it and despite giving plenty of time, they used the same cancellation policy as though we were not in the middle of a pandemic. Airbnb also refused to help cover the other part of the refund.

We were a group of young girls celebrating our good friend’s hen do and despite many conversations the host was heartless and unwilling to help us receive a full refund, which was important to us given the financial state of the world. I am appalled at the lack of consideration during such difficult times worldwide and do not think anyone should book this property.


Airbnb Won’t Refund Cancellation Due to Coronavirus

In September 2019 we booked a place in Bozeman, Montana for a family reunion for July 2020. Due to COVID-19 we were forced to cancel at the end of May because we have essential workers and people at high health risk in our group.

Our hosts said they would refund us 75% of our cost, but did not. $341 that they said they refunded us never came to our credit card account. I believe Airbnb used it to reduce the full cost of the rental so they didn’t have to refund us as much of the “half” of the payment we still owed. We have paid $1103 even with refunds and with 75% should only pay $863 so they owe us at least that difference.

As of June 1, Airbnb policy states that any reservation made before March 2020 that was occurring through July 15 would and could be refunded. Our Airbnb agent has been unable to refund us any additional money, claiming that because we cancelled in May, the original cancellation policy applies.

Originally we tried to cancel in May at the request of our hosts in good faith that they would refund us our money and so they might be able to rent again. We deserve the terms of the COVID-19 exception policy, the Airbnb fee, if not the full refund of $1103 that has not yet been refunded to us.


Airbnb Hung up When I Asked for a Refund

My daughter and her friend were going to go to Santorini and I paid for the reservation. We fit right into the COVID-19 extenuating circumstances policy with all of the dates. I tried to get a refund through AMEX because I could not get through to Airbnb in early April.

I tried again today but could not get through. I called this afternoon. I had tried through my daughter’s account to find the cancellation button but could not. There was a 45-minute wait. I asked the rep if should could refund the amount. She would not give me a simple yes/no answer.

I asked for a manager per this site. She said I had to be verified. Then she said I had to go through my daughter’s account. I told her I wanted a manager as I had paid for the trip. She said she would need to hangup on me. I again asked for a manager as I had the reservation number dates, etc. She hung up on me. That is not customer service.

I went back online and found the cancellation button. The only option was a refund on half or full travel credit. Never again. Airbnb is the worst. This is our second horror story.


Being told ‘No matter what, I cannot get my money back‘

We are four senior women (over 70) who booked a friend’s vacation back on January 29 for travel beginning on May 11. We paid in full, looking forward to the vacation. Then COVID-19 hit. We contacted the host and explained we were concerned: two ladies had frail husbands and one lady had respiratory problems. We contacted the hosts on March 31 to express our concerns and ask about our options.

The hosts were very understanding but asked that we waited until at least May 1 to cancel. We agreed, but on April 20 we received an email from Airbnb talking about possibility of getting a 100% refund due to COVID-19.

At that point we reached out to the hosts, who said to try and cancel using the Airbnb website. I did but could not find a way to get a 100% refund. It said I would get a little more than 50% back or I could accept a travel voucher for 100%. We opted for this, because we did not believe we could get our money back.

I talked again with the hosts, who said they were going to try and help. When they got back to me, because I had accepted the travel voucher, they didn’t think there was anything they could do to help.

Since then, we have spoken with several hosts who indicated they were refunding their customers 100% of their money without documentation, and I needed to pursue this by calling Airbnb. They gave me a number to call. I called on May 7, explained the situation, was told my case was being escalated to case management and I would get a call back.

I did not get a call back. We pursued calling Airbnb again, explained our situation again, and again we were told we would get a call back. Again nothing… we called back again, waited on hold about 1.5 hours then was told over and over again that they were sorry , but there was nothing they could do.

There was no one that could help me get my money back. Because I had agreed to take a voucher then I could not get my money. I find the entire refund policy unacceptable. I will not be paying Airbnb ever again to stay at one of their properties. I will make sure everyone I know also hears the same story. Shame on Airbnb for stealing some people’s money. How dare they accept stimulus loan money.


Host and Airbnb Contradicting Each Other


I booked a five-month reservation with a Superhost through Airbnb. After 24 days, I cancelled the reservation for multiple reasons: the dirty TP in the bathroom; my food being eaten; and when the host said one of his employees had been exposed to someone with the virus.

The host said there was a 30-day cancellation penalty, which would be about $1100. Airbnb says that the amount of the remainder of four months’ time cut in half is how their system calculated the cancellation, for roughly a $3200 cancelation penalty.

I messaged the host who said, and I quote, “Again: you are not responsible for any cancellation fee. If they try to pay it, we will refuse it.”

After two months of trying to get Airbnb to respond to my calls the host is now saying they are charging a cancellation fee. This comes down to the host directly lying to me and to Airbnb. Airbnb refuses to even read what the host says or respond to me.

Thankfully I have had legal advice that said to save all messages and if Airbnb tries to do anything, I am completely covered. Airbnb says the original case manager is no longer with the company, and a new one is assigned but still not responding.

I have reached out over a dozen times over the past two months and still am being ignored. A representative the other day said that when a case is opened it could not be closed without a resolution. The helpbot closed my case the other day, after two months of being open and no resolution.

Not a good place to stay and Airbnb is hiding reviews on them so they can remain a Superhost.

Airbnb Refused to Give Full Cash Refund

Airbnb’s COVID-19 cancellation policy says I will be offered a full cash refund, as my situation fits the criteria. I am eligible for a full cash refund. Was I offered a full cash refund? No.

I was offered less than half my money as a cash refund, or I could accept a credit of the full amount. As I was confident Airbnb would fix this error, I took the credit. I was living in a dream world. They have all been rude, dismissive, disdainful, from the juniors to the ‘senior’ consultants. One was decent enough to tell me the truth, but did nothing.

They have completely ignored the topic that the system made a mistake to not to offer a full cash refund. They say they will never give me the full cash refund. They have the gall to quote the policy to me saying that I took the credit, so I should shut up and crawl back under a rock.

The next indignity is that someone fraudulently used my credit. Who or how they used my credit, I don’t know. There were no apologies, just a new credit reinstated, but not the full value. They decide to ‘round down’ the credit amount.

Isn’t that theft, to take money off someone without their permission? Yes, they let someone steal my money, then they stole some of my money. Unbelievable. How do they feel about it all?

I asked the ‘senior’ consultant to ring me. He completely ignored me, and sent me one of the endless generic emails saying the same thing as the last fifty emails. Thankfully it didn’t contain the ‘slap-in-the-face line,’ that they will now close the case as they feel it has been dealt with sufficiently. They sent that one to me one too many times.

I have asked the NSW Fair Trading department to help. They are kind and supportive. As yet we have had no success in getting Airbnb to abide by their own policy. They have shown themselves to be incompetent, but worse than that, dishonest and completely dismissive and disrespectful of their customers’ feelings and rights.

The true test of customer service is how the company responds when things go wrong. When things go well it all looks good, but my situation has tested these people and they fail in so, so many ways.

I am sorry to all the lovely hosts who have made our Airbnb stays so memorable. You make Airbnb look good, but it is rotten to the core. There are plenty of other accommodation websites that offer the same style of accommodation and service. I hope you will all join me there, and we can again enjoy our carefree holiday travels.

Not Happy About Airbnb’s Cancellation Policy

My son was due to be married in NY in August. I had paid $3800 to secure an Airbnb accommodation. I am in Australia. The wedding has been postponed for one year and travel is not allowed.

The host has been lovely. However, as I cancelled, Airbnb is holding $901 in fees. They say this is fair, as my cancellation is not covered by extenuating circumstances. The host is also angry, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I regret not asking her to cancel the booking as I feel perhaps I would have been better situated? Message after message, case manager, phone call but no refund from Airbnb. I am devastated.

Any suggestions?