I am writing this message on a serious issue of racial discrimination by a “Superhost” on Airbnb. I require Airbnb’s support or I will report this to mainstream media and trigger a public discussion on the Internet.
I made a reservation with this host for a trip March 29 – April 3. The host contacted me after the reservation had been confirmed, and asked me to cancel: “If you are traveling from China, just so you are aware, our government has imposed a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country.”
I told him that I was not traveling from China and have been staying in Canada for over three weeks. He insisted I cancel the booking. I found the official guidance on Airbnb: the host should initiate the cancellation on his end, otherwise the guest will lose half of the refund and service fees.
I followed this official guidance and asked the host to do so since it is his intention to cancel this booking, or he can contact Airbnb for help. Soon the host became rude, and said if he cancelled he would lose his “Superhost” status.
On the refund, he said: “It’s Airbnb that will take your money. We don’t handle the money.”
On the confirmed reservation, he said: “You will not be allowed to check in.”
On the cancellation policy, he said: “Let Airbnb take your money. I’m not cancelling.”
He keeps sending me messages like: “You need to start taking this pandemic seriously! For the health and safety of everyone.”
I am very confused. He accused me harming “the health and safety of everyone” just because I have an Asian name. My family and I are all German citizens.
Are such racist opinions from a “Superhost” tolerated in the Airbnb community? This kind of racist speech will damage the reputation of Airbnb and the trust from all its members. All the messages are on Airbnb as proof.
I ask for your support. I need a full refund because it is the host who wants to cancel but refuses to do so on his end. This host should not keep his “Superhost” status for his dishonest intentions. For that status, he blamed and pushed a guest to cancel a confirmed reservation.
Lastly, but the most dangerous issue: racism on Airbnb, a global community, should not be encouraged. I have been a member of Airbnb for five years and traveled a lot using it every year. I meet wonderful people and have good memories.
I treasure their work to build up a global platform to communicate with people around the world, to let people know each other better. So, please, do something to stop racism on it.