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Another cancellation - another huge loss

This guest booked for 3 months (yes I know, desperate) and said wouldnt cancel under any circumstances because she had to start Uni. I have a strict cancellation policy. No mention of any debilitating illnesses ref C-19. So then want to move dates without penalty because of travel difficulties from USA to UK. So I said only if reduce to one month. Then of course, a guy stayed for 2 weeks - FROM USA. So he didnt have a problem. Now of course, OR COURSE, two days before meant to arrive wants to cancel without penalty.

I have not had a single (on strict) cancellation penalty honoured by Airbnb. Do I want to take this womens money for a whole month? Not really. She hasnt offered a week penalty, or even a day, so no give and take, just take. As always happens.

I like many others have lost thousands. Really tough going, and for the people who service the flat financially (I would share with them - and have been all through).

What to do??

STOP BEING NICE! Take this woman’s money. Never, ever, book more than a two week stay again. NEVER EVER refund money. If Air does given them a refund fight it all they way to the top-- get on the phone and stay on the phone until you get the resolution you want.

We’ve ALL lost thousands. Pandemic or no pandemic, If you have depended on Air for the major portion of your income, you should have remembered the old aphorism “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.


Thanks KenH. I think I just needed a boot up the whatsit. The message from Air says, if you do nothing (ie dont respond to the request) then ???. Beats me why these people dont get insurance. Then see what happens. Airbnb is not the major portion of my income luckily, but its not as though I had a lot left over when it did contribute.

Just tell air that you intend to stick to your cancelation policy.



Pre-COVID I had a woman book for a month and cancel because she found a place closer to her temporary job. It as a prime month so I stuck to my 50% return policy and she didn’t whine. I also knew from the nature of her temporary assignment that she wasn’t exactly a budget traveler.

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I hear you, thank you for support. I told her from the start she would have to deal with Airbnb for cancellations and I would stick with my policy. But Air has not honoured my policy with any guest since December 2019. (Fires, then COVID). If the guest had reached out, with something, I would have been receptive. Of course, my concern would be that airbnb refunds, but keeps my booked month blocked. This is what they said:

" If we don’t hear from you before Feb 16 at 8:54 PM , the request [THAT IS THE FULL REFUND REQUEST] will expire and the reservation will stay the same."

If they give me the full amount and block dates, fine. In any event I would share some with the workers. Anyway, stressing it out. Thanks though.

@sarah1 as your in the UK you’ll know it’s always a risk to take bookings during Covid, as we’ve been in and out of lockdown and tier restrictions for the 11 months.

Airbnb can and do offer full refunds to guests as we are in lockdown and there are only limited circumstances under which guests can stay with us.

It will really depend on whether her bookings meet our lockdown exceptions as to whether Airbnb will refund her in full.

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In my off season Nov-April, rentals of greater than 30 days is my bread & butter.

I don’t know the intricacies of your area’s C-19 restrictions. They may override all of the following.

Airbnb’s LTR cancellation policy is different than for STR
“If a reservation is for 28 nights or more, the long-term cancellation policy applies. If a guest changes or cancels a long-term reservation”
In otherwords, according to their policy, Airbnb should pay you for the first 30 days since you have a strict cancellation policy. However, your area’s Covid restrictions may override all of this. If they don’t, push Airbnb for payment.

Because in my area after 28 nights, a guest is considered a “resident”, so I get the supplemental rental agreement described here:

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IT’S A BUSINESS. If you can collect, take the money! Why would you give money away?

Yes, this time of year (Jan thru March) is all about new University year, and new students or professors etc. Also middle of winter so it is low season for us. So LTR is great around now. Usually, that is.

Now just o finish this post. We had weeping and nashing of teeth, and accusations of bias, not being decent, not listening, not helping, then several threats of a horrible terrible review. Quite abusive about me. (line up honey!!) I didnt back down. Very polite. I had helped her often (shifting dates without penalty, entry to UK etc), made various suggestions, and each time she had gone her own way (which was completely fine with me). Long story short, she was meant to move in yesterday. She hasnt. I have not heard anything further from Air. She is still on my calendar. And I am hoping that I will receive the payment for that from Air. A month - cancellation penalty. Thank you for your help.

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If she made this extortion threat in an Airbnb message, make sure to report it to Airbnb. If she hasn’t cancelled and doesn’t show up, she’ll be able to leave a review.

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