Airbnb canceled our guest - Anyone have this happen?

Yesterday, we received a one-night reservation for this weekend. Strangely, after it was booked, Airbnb canceled the reservation and sent us an email that said “Airbnb received quality insurance information regarding this guest.”

No other information was provided, but the reservation disappeared from our calendar, as well as all messages from our inbox.

Unfortunately, before we saw Airbnb’s email, we received another reservation request from her friend, saying there had been a problem with the first person’s reservation. I accepted the second person’s reservation, thinking it was just a problem with the credit card.

After seeing the email, we called Airbnb, but they were unable to provide any information as to why they had banned the guest. However, they agreed to cancel the reservation from the second person on our behalf. So, I figure we’re ok - other than being out a one-night booking.

Anyone know what to make of this?

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They might have a criminal record or maybe had a party in a Airbnb rental and police were called. It could be a number of things. .Airbnb has a system that flags guests that have had issues. It’s happened to us twice and I’m glad they’re looking out for hosts.

Only in Amurica…



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I say count your blessings. You probably dodged a bullet!
The way Air caters to guests its a wonder that they ban anyone.


They weren’t “unable”, they just will never share that information with hosts.


I’ve had that happen and didn’t worry about it.

A few times I’ve had Airbnb cancel reservations. I’ve never asked Airbnb for the reason but I imagine that a) it’s illegal to pass on personal information or b) and more likely, something in the TOS says that they won’t give out that sort of information.

It’s never been a problem for me because it’s always been weeks before the proposed stay but as @murphysranch says, it’s no big deal and not worth worrying about. :slight_smile:

Given that it was only 1 or 2 days advance notice, cancelling the 2nd reservation was probably the correct move for your own protection.

Someone I know had a reservation & account cancelled because of a criminal record. Had to do with a violent event 15 years prior. Was the event that lead to his 15 years now sober, it was his rock bottom…


Seems unfair to penalize a guest for something that happened 15 years ago : (


I doubt that any sentient being at Airbnb reviews the circumstances at all. I assume some type of software identifies a criminal record, with no details considered. Maybe the record screens for violent vs nonviolent crime, but I wouldn’t even swear to that. In any case, I suspect that it’s just a binary “switch” that gets flipped when a criminal record is detected. And that, of course, assumes that the pertinent criminal records are online.


I can understand that the reason Airbnb doesn’t share info about why they blocked a guest to be personal and info a host doesn’t need to know, but they often also refuse to tell a host what they have been accused of when they suspend a host’s listing. Telling someone what they are accused of is certainly not illegal, but the TOS does basically give Airbnb the right to suspend or delete an account without having to give a reason.

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Surely that depends on what happened 15 years ago surely?

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In my belief, Airbnb’s policy relating to criminal record checks (in the US) is discriminatory. They bang on about “Since 2016, we’ve removed 1.3M people from Airbnb for declining to treat others without judgement or bias”, but as a company they themselves are discriminating against someone who committed an offence god knows how many years ago.

You could argue that someone who commits an offence, against person or property, isn’t the type of guest you want, but they also trawl “Moving Violation Reports (MVRs) and Driving Records”,which means someone may be excluded for simply being a shite driver. Their own definitions relating to crimes that warrant exclusion are loose to say the least.

Being totally honest, I hadn’t given it much thought before as information about someone’s Police record is heavily protected in both the UK and Europe. I believe Australia is the same.

Taking aside the Police themselves and government agencies, to access this data (as a third party) there are various criteria that must be met before applying, and being a member of an online accommodation channel wouldn’t even come close.

The effectiveness of the Airbnb background checks is, I suspect, minimal. Even they admit it isn’t done on everyone and:

Although background checks may help us identify past criminal conduct where records are available, they have several limitations, and do not guarantee that all past criminal conduct has been identified or that a person won’t break the law in the future.

And, the most telling, the bold is mine:

We only run these checks on U.S.-based guests and hosts when we have at least the user’s first and last name plus date of birth. We do not have these identifiers for all hosts and guests and therefore cannot guarantee that we have conducted a check on every host or guest. In addition, we are not conducting these checks on additional guests staying with the guest who books an accommodation.

Why am I not surprised.

It could be argued, that denying someone access to a product, because they have a criminal record, is in itself illegal, but only in the UK or Europe.

Bloody hell, that ended up a bit of a rant, when I only meant to agree with what @Ritz3 said!



I had something similar happen years ago when I was a newbie. I am in the U.S. The reservation was removed just hours before the guest’s arrival. He and his wife were grad students from Iran. The issue was surely related to his travel papers and country of origin. Airbnb said they couldn’t verify him. The couple showed up and said it has something to do with verifying their travel paperwork. They were very sweet and my gut didn’t register any suspicion. I let them stay and pay privately. It happened to be the Fourth of July and we had no plans. They asked if they could use our grill and proceeded to cook us a delicious BBQ. We had a great time. Today I probably wouldn’t have let them stay, but fortunately for me it all worked out well.

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And equally, I bet a lot of us would argue otherwise. :slight_smile:

I have had an overnight stay in a jail and an afternoon in another one (in two different countries, a few years apart, many years ago) and I’m a great guest. :crazy_face:


Myself included. Let’s face it, Airbnb are the only OTA to do this, the only checks BDC and VRBO do is to make sure the CC is valid! Hasn’t harmed their business model or hosts businesses.


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It goes back to the American Revolution. Not only were colonists taxed without having any representation in Parliament, but English judges in colonial courts could, and did, hold secret court proceedings. US courts have always been public, except for family courts, juveniles, and special national security proceedings. That means that all court records are public and searchable.

In the past you could go to the courthouse, check the index book or journal, and ask for the files you wanted, and pay for copies. Now you search online, and only have to pay for certified hard copies. It varies in different jurisdictions, but almost all US court records back to the 70s in the US have been online for at least 20 years.

Credit agencies download civil court records, especially debt claims, evictions, and mortgage foreclosures and incorporate that into their database for determining credit ratings.

People who are paranoid about their data being online should worry more about what Google, Facebook, and credit rating agencies know about them than about what the government knows.

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Yes it really does depend!! I have had two guests cancelled, both only a day or two before their stay.

One guy was a host in another city. They cancelled his reservation the night before his arrival. Once his account was reinstated, he actually reached out to me. He had a vindictive guest who accused him and his wife of having “secret cameras” at their listing. And that is one thing that will get your account pulled right away; however, he was eventually able to prove that it was false and they reinstated him. So, oddly, it was actually a hosting issue and not him-as-a-guest issue (technically not even a real issue). He stayed with us the next time he came to town.

The second guy was cancelled 2 nights before his stay. Curiousity got the best of me and I enjoy a good internet search. I found him on sex offender lists in two different states (both the city on his profile and his current city that he told me he was traveling from) as well as some mugshots he had in my own state. His offenses were listed as “under 10 years old” and I live behind a school so it wouldn’t even be legal for him to stay at our listing.

It is actually illegal for me to house a sex offender next to a school, whether for short term or long term, I am legally obligated to discriminate (but would anyway, without a blink). Are there no restrictions on these types of criminals and where they are allowed to live in Europe?

So, I was grateful for Airbnb’s “catch” on that one. If it means that a few other people with lesser records have to stay at the Holiday Inn instead, it’s fine with me. I am not running a public service and I don’t feel that anyone has a right to stay in my home anyway.


UPDATE: Our guests are supposed to arrive in a couple hours and Airbnb has not yet canceled the reservation. And to be honest, at this point, I’m uncomfortable with Airbnb doing so without knowing more about their reasons for canceling the first reservation. I’ve looked up both people on social media and - in addition to having mutual friends who I respect - they seem like decent people. Is it possible that someone can be banned based on a previous host’s complaint?