Airbnb not honoring cancellation policy

I had a guest book 4 nights over Thanksgiving. The cancellation policy was Strict. They cancelled three weeks before so they should have had to pay 50%. Initially Airbnb paid me the 50% or $586 (less all their fees, of course). I didn’t rent over the winter. Then this spring when I rented again, Airbnb deducted a further $300.

I just called customer service to ask why. I got a woman who doesn’t speak English clearly, and there was tons of background noise. She gave me the run around at first, then said she would look into it. When she called back she said it was because I had a partial-pay setting on my listing. When I asked where that was, she tried to help me find it, then realized that it’s not something the host sets; rather it’s something the guests can choose.

She said that since the guests had a partial-pay setting, they only paid half of their total fee. And that I was getting half of that! So for a booking that would have earned me $1300, I ended up getting $288. So much for a cancellation policy.

I am so aggravated with Airbnb. This isn’t the first time they haven’t honored what they post on the website.

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Well, I would be aggravated too.

According to Airbnb’s own example the guest would lose their entire payment if they had paid 50% of the total and the reservation were subject to a 50% cancellation penalty.

Please go back to them with this example. They should not have deducted that $300; that is an error. Do it in a written message and ask that it be escalated because the incorrect initial determination had been made.


The CS rep doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Not only doesn’t the host have anything to do with the partial pay option, if the guest used that, it means they lose the 50% they paid upfront, and it gets paid to you.

Don’t call CS, message them. Keep it simple- write the pertinent details in bullet point form and quote the strict cancellation refund policy, including the part for guests that explains that they will not receive anything back if they only paid half up-front.

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Don’t give up, keep working on getting what you are owed.

Thank you very much. This is so helpful. I did just get the $300 they deducted returned.
In the future I will contact them with messages.