And so I cancelled the booking

Just to mention (since it seems like I come to the forum mostly to vent :)) I had a string of really sweet guests.

So this is about my next booking and a bit of Airbnb assistance experience (positive I’d say).

This guest booked a 1 night stay about a month ago, 2 adults, one kid, 2 dogs.
2 weekends ago I started a landscaping project (paved patio, some stairs). Most of the work is done (excavation with heavy machinery etc) but unfortunately the rain last weekend threw us a bit off the track so the workers are coming back to finish this coming Saturday when the guest will be here.

I informed him yesterday (Monday) that the landscaping project under the patio is not done and there may be some noise, possibly dust, and if he thinks they will be bothered by it to cancel the stay and I will refund the money.
Wow, he replies today that it is too late to re-book at his price range, and that it would be great if the workers are done by 4pm, when they would arrive. I say probably not, sorry, it would be more likely 6pm. Here he goes, that will not work, he is so disappointed, we had an understanding (what understanding? that the unit will be ready says he - the unit is not affected it is a landscaping project), he is respectfully requesting the work to stop at 4pm, he is not being a jerk (his word) and is “Just hoping we can come to a fair understanding here”.

After some less pleasant hosting experiences, I am a bit less inclined to cater to every request the guest can make so on the phone with AirBnB I go. I am uncomfortable with this guest I say, and they tell me it’s ok to cancel the booking and there will be no penalty (I allow IB). Not sure if the penalty-free would be this easy if I did not have IB.

All in all, I decided it is not worth the money to put up with the guest that will come here already unhappy. Very polite person, but at the same time (my feeling) demanding and bossy. So his stay is cancelled, I can have workers here not tiptoeing around, no danger of bad reviews.

Is this going to affect my SuperHost status? I am not sure and honestly I do not care. As many of you said, do not let the guest walk all over you. The income is nice, but not stressing out over the guest’s behavior and/or review is even nicer :slight_smile:


No, the penalty free cancels with IB are one of the little rewards they give you so you’ll use IB.

I really don’t understand why the fellow was so unreasonable. Good luck finding another place, jerk. LOL

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You know, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I even feel really sorry for him.
I tried to give him heads up for a little bit of noise, at this point mostly aligning the pavers and a knock here and there with a rubber hammer. He blasted me basically telling me to stop my project so he and his family can rest.
I really don’t have it in me to deal with him - as you say, good luck finding a whole apartment for under $100 now.

See, I wonder, if he booked a hotel, they would not even tell him about possible construction noise would they? And the odds are he would complain and accomplish nothing, right? And stay in his room.
But, renting from a homeowner somehow gives him the right to think he’s in charge and make demands. Sorry Sir, this is my house after all, I am the one in charge here.

Thanks to everybody on this forum for your most valuable advice! Without you, I would most likely try to balance between the guest, the workers, my sanity :slight_smile: You taught me it’s ok to say no to the guest and I really appreciate what I learned here from you.


Exactly. I stayed in nice hotel near Wrigley Field a few years ago and there was a street fair in the street the hotel was on and outside and below my window. At 11 pm on Sunday night the bobcat was out there scooping up the truckload of dirt they had trucked in. So much for a good night’s rest before my early flight. I did complain but there wasn’t a room on the quiet side of the hotel available. After complaining bitterly I got some bonus points in my rewards account balance which I never used. Oh well.

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I want to shout this from the rooftops! This sums it up perfectly!!!


The guest is not being polite at all. The use of the phrase ‘we had an understanding’ is a massive red flag and a load of passive aggressive bs. He is way out of line and deserves an honest review which calls him out as someone who tells you how to manage your property!


It just struck me as I read this post - I wonder if people understand just how much the review-driven process dives what we do as hosts. No one wants to accept someone that might give us a bad review. We don’t even want to say “no” to a request, for fear of a bad review, so we end up cancelling on them.

I do think AirBnB is going to start pushing against these “I’m uncomfortable” cancellations. If I were the guy, I’d scream bloody hell to AirBnB about getting cancelled on because I wanted the noise to stop at 4 pm. Perhaps it’s unreasonable, but a hotel would never stop the work or cancel on the guy. They’d just apologize, give the guy a drink coupon from the bar, and go on with their business.

I’m not supporting the guy’s actions, and I’m not saying we are hotels. But AirBnB is pushing us in that direction. Too bad they can’t find a different option for us so we don’t have to do extreme actions like cancelling. Perhaps they could allow us to have one bad review removed at our discretion every six months, or give a guest a travel voucher when the guest complains of a minor inconvenience, etc.

Oh well, a gal can dream, can’t she?

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Interestingly he has 9 good reviews. I think he’s just one of those people that are very nice when everything goes their way and gets in a tizzy when something does not. I cannot review him as I cancelled his stay, otherwise I would.
I really do not understand why did he get so upset about the possible noise - it is outside, with the windows closed I could barely hear them. I am in the country where the sound carries and when my distant neighbor chops his trees I will hear that. Maybe he misunderstood the message, but if that was the case he should have asked to clarify, instead he acted up :slight_smile:

It’s also possible that other hosts are not reviewing honestly. I canceled a woman’s reservation who now has 21 reviews but only 12 hosts “recommend” her. Several reviews talk about a white powder left all over, tp and paper towels used in abundance and left on the floor and request for late check out. Yet other reviews say she was fine, respectful and welcome back. This is all here in my city over that last 2 months. I honestly don’t understand why anyone would accept or keep her booking. I guess they (other hosts) don’t understand about cancellation policy or checking reviews.

I agree that we as hosts are driven by reviews. Theoretically, there is nothing wrong with that, you try to do your best as a host and are rewarded with a good review (or study hard to get a better grade ;))
On the other hand, as the current review process is setup, we do not have a way to remove unfair or retaliatory reviews. That is what causes anxiety in many hosts and makes us go overboard to please the guests.

People are people and being in a hospitality business (if I may call it that) we certainly have our share of pleasant and not so pleasant encounters. If there is one thing I learned from my hosting experience, it is to manage the guest, and not let the guest manage you. I am not running a hotel, I do not have damage funds, excessive insurance and a team of lawyers to protect me. I have an empty apartment and my own self to manage it.

As for this guest - well, unfortunately, he did it to himself. If he did not start being passive-aggressive after I honestly and politely informed him there may be some noise on the day of his arrival, he would still have his booking. The moment he started throwing “I am not a jerk but I request” I was done. I will not put myself in an uncomfortable situation due to someone’s attitude. I realize that losing a booking is very inconvenient, but I also reserve the right to protect myself and my family from any kind of unpleasant encounters.

As you say, a hotel would offer him a free drink, but a hotel also has a security that would kick him out if he became too annoyed (or annoying). I opted to not hosting him at all.


People who are very nice when things go their way and get in a tizzy when they don’t are the worst kind of manipulators. The nastiest guest I ever had was like that, real dark triad stuff.

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Hi there, just to update you on the latest airbnb shite. Today, I had to cancel a 4 day booking due to me already having a booking through another site which I had not updated my calendar. Why you may ask? Try having 4 weeks with a 86 and 90 year old in laws with Dementia. Anyhow, 10 minutes after I accepted the new booking and checked my diary, I realise I have double booked. So I cancel, first time in two years. No they did not charge me a cancellation fee, but on my reviews it is going to say I have cancelled a booking and our Super Host will be cancelled for one year!!! What the heck is going on with this company, it seems like they like to p…off all of the hosts that make them good money. We are $500 a night and have amazing reviews…Not happy Jan

You should have explained to the guest and had them cancel. I can’t imagine the guest not being sympathetic with a few minutes of making the booking.

This is terrible and I do feel for you having to deal with this. You surely must feel overwhelmed.

However, this is not “Airbnb shite.” This is on you and you didn’t handle it well. It doesn’t matter how much your room is per night you need to be able to handle the responsibility that goes along with the income.


I didn’t know that IB has penalty free host cancellation. I had to cancel for the first time this month and now it’s a big black mark on my record. What is the best way to contact Airbnb?


I called them. 855-424-7262 in the US.
If you need the phone number in the other countries, there is a pinned post at the top of the forum main page.
Hope this helps.

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I did not know that I could ask the guest to cancel. Secondly, this is actually Airbnb Shite Mate…One cancellation in 2 years, 10 minutes after guests book instantly when we don;t have instant book…and so now we lose our super host status. These guys are not looking after their gold hosts, the ones who make them the most money…

Yep I think a fine would be more appropriate for a first offence, not losing SH for a year.

This will make you feel even worse… you could have called Airbnb and begged for mercy and they would have canceled free as a one time courtesy. How do I know? It happened to me!

I can’t even fi d a number to call them. That is what annoys me the most. I can call homestayz and they answer and fix up any issue. They also pay you the deposit when its lodged and the rest way sooner than airbnb. We all need a more host friendly site.

The numbers are clearly posted at the top of this forum, country by country. I don’t know how long you have been using this forum, but you say you are a superhost. The only benefit that I can see of SH status is that you have a dedicated customer support service which is usually staffed by more knowledgeable CS staff.