Airbnb making up their own cancellation policy determination

Has anyone else experienced this? A new Air user requested to book for next day and the reservation was pending based on ID verification. While waiting they booked a second location which, of course, was also placed on pending. Myself and other host both accepted. As soon as verified, both places booked. Guest requested that I cancel. We all know what happens when hosts cancel. I pointed them toward cancel button. I told guest to take up issue with Air. Of course, no customer service of any use… No word from guest. I pay cleaning service extra to clean for next day guest to get ready. 2 hours before check in time still not cancelled. I send message to see what’s going on. They state they will not arrive. Reservation is still active, dates blocked, well within 24 hour cancellation window so no refund. Oh well for them. I do my due diligence as a host. Guest then opens up case in resolution center requesting full refund. I decline. Well within written air cancellation policy to do so…
3 weeks later Air calls and says they’re refunding no show guest out of MY future payouts because they never arrived. I object. Air points to fine print in the service agreement that they have final call to do whatever the hell they feel like. I have no ability to fall back on their cancellation policy. WTF! Why have policy if it means nothing? Has anyone else been in this situation?


they make up their minds and that is that.


I didn’t think it was possible for 2 reservations for the same person, same dates, to occur. This is a glitch/lag in the Airbnb system I would think.

I’ve had messages from Air saying “the guest has made other plans, found other accommodation”…or something to that effect. Otherwise, like you, I’ve told the guest to cancel and they have.

To avoid any problems I always contact the guest a day or two before arrival. I’ve got the least restrictive cancellation policy. Forgot what it’s called. Anyway, I send a message: “Hello. Will be seeing you soon…blah blah blah…” If there’s any problem, thoughts of cancellation, whatever, I’ll catch it before I end up getting screwed like you did.

It’s very frustrating to realize the bottom line is: Airbnb is not really on our side when it comes down to it.

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I suppose due diligence would have been picking up the phone and asking air to cancel. I always feel a bit uncomfortable with hosts who feel it’s sufficient to just tell the guest to cancel when the guest has clearly expressed they don’t want to stay.

In this situation I would have taken 5 minutes out of my day to call an agent and get my calendar cleared.


Escalate this on twitter if you haven’t already.


Zandra. I still don’t understand how a guest could make 2 reservations in the Air system–even if they weren’t the exact dates–if there was “overlap”.

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This sounds like another of those one sided stories where we don’t have all the information.

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For sure :slight_smile: …like the one unfolding now about the NYC apartment…

I agree because I’ve had instances when I’ve had a flurry of requests and the Air system handled them. When I accepted a res the calendar was set and other requests were gone.

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any reason you think an overlap isn’t possible ? I’m willing to bet you can book as many places to stay as you wish…

Hmmmm. I don’t think it’s possible. I recall seeing messages like…“those dates are not available…”

Should we conduct an experiment?

But that’s your calendar. That’s not showing whether a guest can book in two different listings at the same time… Which I expect they can…

They can make many requests I believe, but not multiple reservations, huh?

Because if they can, then it’s Airbnb’s responsibility to fix any conflict by refunding whomever gets the short end of the stick. :slight_smile:

I’m not even sure what the full story was. All I presented were the facts. Mayne I should have called on behalf of the guest to cancel. At the time I didn’t think it was my responsibility to clean up someone else’s self made mess. To some extent I have a feeling the guest was shopping other places for a better rate. No way for me to know. Either way, policy was followed (or not). I would have expected a cleaning fee refund, not a full refund when the guest blocked my calendar and never bothered to call air, just asked me to cancel (and accept reprecussions) which I did not, not feeling it was my error nor responsibility. Just curious if it happened to anyone else and maybe give a warning to others. That is all…

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Maybe I should, have my card charged, then cancel. Since cancellation policy appears to mean nothing…

You can’t be sure what the reason was, but they obviously found another place. And your credit card wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Airbnb just sucks the money out of your next guest’s payment as you found out.

All you can do next time is make that call, probably better if you text on the Air platform so you create a trail, and touch base as they say with the guest. “Be seeing you in x number of days. Looking forward to…”

You’re not expected to make multiple requests.

The reason I’m sure it’s possible is that when I made multiple requests as I was stressing out in Berlin over whether I’d get anything, there was a warning that came up informing me I’d be responsible in the event of a double booking. (I think…there was a warning but I can’t exactly remember what is said.)

I therefore mentioned to hosts that I had multiple requests out and that if they were able to accept to let me know before accepting.

In any event I ended up having to go with an instant book. But that experiences convinces me double even triple bookings are possible.

Zandra my dear. You can make multiple requests, but they all cancel out after you’ve made a reservation. I get the message sometimes, “Guest has made other arrangements” and my calendar opens up. Or after 24 hours the request disappears. Not so with a res of course.

Ya think we could research this on the Air site?

I’ve had the guest has made other arrangements message too but so inferequently that I am not sure when the system sends the message and when it doesn’t.

Stories like this double booking suggest it’s not impossible …

I have 3 rooms, 3 listings and often have someone book more than one.

For concurrent dates?