In October of 2018, I booked an apartment in Cambridge for the weekend of the Boston Marathon in April of 2019. As I was preparing to fly to Boston, I realized that I had not heard from my host. I sent an email and then a text message the next day.
On April 11th, before I was to fly to Boston on the 12th, I unearthed a telephone number for Airbnb, called and asked for help. They contacted the host and told me that the listing had been withdrawn. I was in total freakout. They gave me a $60 credit to help find another listing.
Seriously? Everything in Boston had been booked for weeks or months. I posted something on the Airbnb Facebook page and their customer service was calling me with new listings and higher credits. Well, all of the listings were for “Boston” but were actually in towns like Salem, miles away from public transit and Boston proper. It was like planning to stay in NYC and being offered lodging in Connecticut.
Finally, one of the reps who called got it: that location was critical and that Boston lodging had been booked for months. I was lucky enough to stay with the daughter of a friend of a friend. I will never again use Airbnb when I have to have guaranteed lodging.