Worst Possible Reaction from Airbnb in Puerto Rico

I spent the last 15 months working with my extended family to arrange a trip to Puerto Rico where my wife’s family is from. If you can imagine the time it takes to get three families, their children ranging from 2-14, and your in-laws to settle on a date that all can miss work, school, sporting event’s, doctor appointments and save you know this is no small task. That being said, we worked hard at it as my in-laws are aging and we felt it was important for our children to experience the island with them and share stories.

Finally the date was set and as we drew nearer to the trip the excitement increased for all involved. Then the hurricane hit and our mood quickly changed. Our thoughts changed to concern over loved ones that we could not contact and overall remorse for those on the island. My attention turned back to our plans and it was evident that we would not be able to make this trip with small children and aging parents that have some medical concerns.

When I reached out to the host about the cancellation I was told that they had strict cancellation policies and I would lose half of what I had paid. this was escalated to Airbnb as a extenuating circumstance. The site states that “valid extenuating circumstances include: significant natural disasters or severe weather incidents impacting the location of destination or location of departure and urgent travel restrictions or severe security advisories issue and reason after the time of booking, by an appropriate national or international authority (such as a government office or department).”

Both of these reasons were valid in this case. I was told by Airbnb that this did not meet the definition and they suggested that I rebook with the host or try to work it out with her. It amazes me that this was their response and that they provided no assistance whatsoever. It is disturbing to know that both the host and Airbnb are will to risk the well being of their guests to make money. The current state of Puerto Rico is still a disaster area and the money I lost is small to what they are suffering. I do wish I could have that money back to spend time with my family but it would have been even better to be able to donate it to my family still in Puerto Rico. Shame on them.

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


  1. The situation is that many guests think the situation is bad in the island because of what CNN sells them, there are a lot of small business owners attached to airbnb. Small host that only can stay afloat with airbnb. If you cancel a reservation for february just because you are scared that host is loosing money in a much time of their need as well. With very little time to resell the cancelled reservation you are making a bad economic situation worse. Things in the island are not as bad as the news sell it. Weather is great, beaches are beautiful, utilities are back and things are normal.

    Supporting hosts makes the situation better for islanders, it employees cleaning and maintenance jobs. Would recommend to reconsider your thoughts and pay airbnb properties a visit.

  2. I am wondering if there was ever any resolution to this. I am in the same boat, with an upcoming trip to Puerto Rico scheduled for February 2018.

  3. More people need to report Airbnb to BBB in SAN FRANCISCO. They have a rating of A-plus, just as all their hosts. TAKE TIME AND REPORT THEM. Also, contact CBS and ask that they do a segment on the negative aspects of AIRBNB since they let Brian Cheskey do a segment about how great the company is. I’m sorry you had this experience. I’m still dealing with my own nightmarish BEDBUG experience that happened at HEIDI’s Granny Cottage in Daytona on August 7, 2017.

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