On Jan 14th, I booked a house for my family in New Orleans during Jazz Fest (last week in April). We booked and were accepted for a 3 bedroom townhouse from a “Superhost” with 37 positive reviews for $1120 (not including the service fee). That’s $140 per day. I should note that there was another 3 bedroom house in the area for almost the exact same price when I was trying to book (you’ll see why that’s relevant later).
On Feb 17th (a month later) I received a message from him saying that there was some error on pricing on AirBnb’s part and his house actually cost $250 per day. He asked me to cancel the reservation. If I had done this I would have lost the $102 service fee.
I politely messaged back explaining that we had bought plane tickets, taken time off work, bought tickets for Jazz Fest etc. I also said that since this was AirBnb’s pricing mistake, perhaps he should talk to AirBnb about covering the difference.
He then messaged me back later and said that he had contacted AirBnb and that they would not cover the difference in pricing. Furthermore, they were going to allow him to cancel without penalty since the date was far out (about a month and a half away). He stated that he could simply not forgo the $1000 in lost income by allowing us to stay at his house for the original price.
I contacted an AirBnb service rep by phone and they told me that I was “in good hands” and that AirBnb would not allow him to cancel without penalty. Also, if he did cancel on me, then they would find me another place for the value of the original booking plus 10 percent. Right now all I can find in New Orleans for $140 per night is a single bedroom. I can’t fit 6 adults in a single bedroom. If this had happened a month ago I could have found a decent place.
So my questions are:
- What can I do at this point?
- Are they going to let this “Superhost” cancel on me, then rent out the place to someone else for more money that week, and suffer no ill consequences?
- Was this guy lying about the pricing thing or has this happened before with AirBnb where they’ve messed up the pricing?