Unfair Treatment by Airbnb Over Honolulu Booking

On Jan. 3, we booked an apartment in Honolulu for five days and paid the requested 50% payment, 1451.45 NZD. When COVID arrived, we assessed the situation on this booking for May 13-18 but as the airline we had booked on was no longer flying, we cancelled the booking with the hostess on March 19 assuming we would get at least the 50% back — 725.70 NZD, as stated on the booking rules.

Sadly the host only refunded 43.39 NZD… why? There was no explanation at all. What I cannot understand is that she would not even refund the cleaning fees of 372.68 NZD as we had never been there. On top of all that, the service fee of 341.69 NZD will be a coupon waiting to be used. The CEO Brian Chesky also sent a letter to say that Airbnb would repay the hosts the full amount that they would lose, so why would the host not pay us back?

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


  1. I reread your post. I think you cancelled during the Covid19 no fault cancellation period. Continue to push Airbnb for a refund.

    On the host’s side I imagine the odd & small refund was because that was all she received from Airbnb. Hosts were paid a small amount (not charged to guest) for each no fault Covid19 cancellation. (I received $60 for over $1500 in cancellations).

  2. It all depends on the host’s cancellation policy in January 2020. A strict cancellation policy means no refunds. Moderate means refund only if cancelled a week before the booking starts.

    The cancellation policy is disclosed before you book.

    It sounds like you may have qualified for a extenuating circumstances refund which if the guest provides documentation of illness, natural disaster, travel cancellation out of their control and a few other reasons, they may get a full refund. It is up to the guest, not the host, to request it and provide documentation to Airbnb.

    If you provided an email or letter from the airlines about the cancellation, then push for the refund. If you didn’t provide it, that’s on you. You can see if Airbnb will accept something at this late date; but I doubt they will.

    In the USA Airbnb provided no fault, no documentation required last minute cancellations March -May due to Covid19

  3. I lost more money then you guys did $2,700+ and Airbnb and host are not even helping just a little. NOPE We’ve been scammed ?

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