Last Minute Cancellation for Formula 1 Weekend

I had already had an Airbnb host cancel for the Formula 1 weekend in Montreal, so my choices were limited. I picked someone despite evidence of recent cancellations and a 2.5 cleanliness rating. Communication was minimal but the host said she was busy at work; there were no major worries. I sent a reply through the Airbnb site on Thursday to let her know I would arrive at around 5:00 PM and would text once we knew our exact arrival time. There was no response. We flew into Montreal, met a friend, parked near the apartment, and then went for lunch. While eating, the text notification came up: “Your host has cancelled”.

She did not have the common courtesy to provide a note or reason. We were stranded in the middle of Montreal on its busiest weekend. I phoned Airbnb but could not get through. I knew they would not do anything (their 10% credit if you rebook is a joke) so I headed to the race. I tried to find acceptable lodgings but there was nothing in the city under $250 per night. In the end, we found a bar beneath a flophouse and I went in to charge my phone and look for places far away. On a whim, we checked the flophouse and there was one room left. With no other option, we took it. One of us slept on the floor in a room with no aircon, and a fan that would turn off with the light. Prostitutes use this place for an hour at a time. It was not pleasant.

Airbnb is only as good as its hosts, and there are many good ones. However, it just takes one useless piece of garbage like this to ruin the whole experience. This host also removed the listing, but I’m sure she’ll be back under another name to ruin the weekends of more travelers.

Airbnb Disaster Avoided: Almost Homeless in Seville

A month ago I reserved this house in the Jewish quarter of Seville, happy with the price and the location and reassured by more than 30 positive reviews. The host was quick to reply and easy to contact, at the beginning. Five days before the beginning of my journey, I wrote him a message on Airbnb to ask him about some facilities and the check-in procedure. After more than 24 hours of waiting for news from him, I tried to call him on the “verified” number, which turned out to be wrong. As a consequence, I called Airbnb customer service to inform them of what was going on.

The guy from Airbnb told me that he would try to get in contact with the host, who – according to the reviews and to his profile – used to be quite active on the platform. After 36 hours, the host eventually replied to my questions about the facilities, but he eluded the question about the check-in time. I asked again about checking in, and also demanded he provide a proper working mobile number. After some hours, he gave me a new number and told me that he would contact me via WhatsApp straight away (but of course, he didn’t).

Late in the evening, Airbnb customer service called me, saying that they had finally reached the host over the phone, and that he intended to cancel my reservation. Obviously I didn’t know a thing about his intentions, and that happened three days before I was supposed to arrive. When things started to sound weird after contacting customer service for the first time, I reserved another place (not the house of my dreams… but what can you expect with a very last-minute booking?) with flexible terms, in order not to find myself homeless in Sevilla.

Since the host just “announced” his intentions to Airbnb’s staff, but didn’t really cancel the reservation, customer service did it in his place. I got a full refund from Airbnb. I don’t know what this guy had in mind… if he wanted to scam me, or if he is just an awful person who for whatsoever reasons wanted to leave me without a place to stay, ruining my holiday in Seville.