As Host, I wish to cancel a couple of bookings for a 6 month Guest request

I have a request to book for a 6 month stay but I have bookings in Aug and July. From past experience if I cancel, airbnb will block out those dates… The existing bookings are during festivals where there are thousands of people coming to town so I doubt the existing bookings will be willing to give up their bookings.

What would you do? Any recommendations? Help!

FWIW, I’d be so angry if I’d secured a reservation for my festival trip and the host cancelled on me. That’s why I won’t book with any host who has a cancellation on their record. I know legit things happen but it just says “flaky host” to me.

As for what you can do you can cancel and have the 6 month booking person pay you directly for those days or incorporate those days into the price.


Yeah, I remember when I booked an AirBnB for Thanksgiving in New Orleans, and the host canceled on me just a week beforehand. That was awful, and all Air did was give me a $250 voucher (which didn’t even cover the spike in prices because I had to rebook a home that was at least 3bd to accommodate everyone). It all worked out but it wasn’t a fun experience.

I know this scenario isn’t quite the same thing, and there are probably adequate remaining options given that it’s July and August… but it’s still a not nice thing to do.

Sorry, durrrell, wish I could be more upbeat with the advice.

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Another thing you could do is pay the existing guests enough to bribe them into cancelling. If a host messaged me and said something like “I have an opportunity for a long term guest. I’ll refund you and pay you $xx to cancel so you have enough money to re-book another place,” I might not have any issue with doing it.

I’ve had several requests for long term stays. None of the guests actually booked. If I were you, I would tell the potential long term guest that you have certain dates booked already, but he/she is welcome to book the open dates.


I agree with @EllenN you should tell the 6-month inquiry of the already booked dates and they will have to work around that. Cancelling because of a “better” booking is not a nice or ethical thing to do. Also you should remember that the 6-month guest may end up leaving early. They are month-to-month, I think.


I have “experience” cancelling a booking because a disabled Veteran who booked with me, asked me if I’d cancel the booking as his travel plans got canceled for some reason. I didn’t know as that was the first time I cancelled a booking and learned I would be penalized for helping a disabled veteran… Doubt that makes me a jerk as I honor and respect our vets and especially our disabled vets. Airbnb found out about my good deed and removed all sanctions against me…

I’m hesitant bribing the existing bookings as it is airbnb policy that a long term booking guest can cancel their long term stay after 30 days without penalty and if I payout $200-500 for those booked guests, I could be out that money and bookings…

Yes I agree with Ellen and Manoa. They would be booking for the first 3 months anyway, so it would be a profitable booking even with the 40% discount I give for a long term booking.

Yes, we learned about altering reservations for guests too, and so we now always ask the guests to do it.

Again, you should tell the long-term request that they can book, but your place is not available on XX and YY dates and will have to find alternate accommodations of those time periods. They can then decide either to plan around the dates or look elsewhere.


I did have a long term guest that was driving me crazy so I contacted Airbnb and got the booking mutually cancelled. They complained the mattress was too soft, so I brought over a mattress from one of my other properties which they refused to accept because it was a used mattress. So I went and bought a brand new mattress for them. The hubby said wife was a crazy germaphobe and insisted on cleaning every square inch of the apartment and wanted me to pay them $250 for cleaning the house. Every day it was something else… Finally I told them if they are not happy, they should look for another place and I’ll let them out of their booking… When they left, they took all my supplies… 2-3 pounds of coffee, food, a dozen rolls of TP and paper towels, laundry supplies, shampoo, new tubes of tooth paste, etc… I stock each house with supplies so that someone flying in doesn’t need to buy toiletries and there’s food for breakfast and a couple lunches and dinners…

I leave those supplies in the house for my housekeepers so they don’t need to store the supplies for me. But I was just so happy to be rid of the guests…

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Oh my, thatʻs terrible. People can be so strange. I know how you feel. When people are clearly nuts, you just feel lucky they left willingly :slight_smile:

Well that’s stealing and I hope you reviewed them as thieves and germaphobes.

As for the cancellation, you know you really can’t. The options presented above have been good. But don’t do that to a guest you committed to.

I recently had a sweet and dear guest who visited the Hawaiian Islands on the trip of a lifetime and had booked his trip in August for January. Well he was new to Airbnb. He told me upon arrival that BOTH his Air places on Oahu and Kauai had canceled on him right before he left Michigan. It worked out and he was able to find something else but that I was the only place who didn’t cancel, but he said as a result he would NEVER use Airbnb again.

I could not do this to a guest just to take a more profitable booking.

And you didn’t ask but long term guests can be a ton of trouble. After 30 days they convert to long term tenant status in most states and are granted due process as such. This means your Air terms mean zilch if they try to overstay. You will have to go to court to get them out.


Didn’t you keep them locked, then?

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The pool of guests is also growing. Most people haven’t even heard of Airbnb yet and many think they would never use it, but the potential for that to change is huge. I regular have guests who rave about it and say they will never go back to hotels. Anecdotes aren’t good evidence.

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Agree. One bad guest experience is not going to change the overall zeitgeist of Airbnb just as one bad host experience won’t. For what it’s worth he left a fabulous review and high praise. I was just sharing this as an example of what one poor guest endured.

If you think about it, Sharing our homes with strangers is fraught with opportunities for cancellations. It’s not like a hotel. They won’t cancel on a guest. And the guest is left standing homeless in Hawaii wondering where to go and hoping this doesn’t ruin his trip he so carefully planned. Have you ever heard of that happening? A hotel cancelling?

When I worked in hotels, we overbooked regularly which is about a cancellation. Except, the guests that arrived when every room was taken were, of course, late in the evening arrivals. We showed up to one hotel, once upon a time, and they had no water and had not been able to reach us to cancel. These are the perils of travel, and the moments that could convince some folks to never leave their house.

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I agree. I have had several first time Airbnb users recently including one who had an event at my house. They all liked Airbnb much better than hotels/motels or event venues.

I stayed in a Motel 6 once (no choice, everything was booked with softball teams or oil field workers) with two beds though I was alone. I thought a friend would make the trip with me but they didn’t. Checking in ahead of me was a family of 5 from my town. I got checked in, went to my room and found no towels. I went down to get towels and the dad was there at the desk complaining his room had one bed. The clerk was telling him “sorry but we are all booked, it was a mistake, I can give you a refund.” WTH? It’s not rocket science to match the number of beds with the reservation. Anyway, I told them I’d switch since I only needed one bed. But if I hadn’t been there I guess that poor family would have been sleeping on the floor of their room. Although I was not the victim in that case it really turned me off of Motel 6.

Hotels have never bothered to match beds to the reservations. Reservation boards simply change so often with in/out, changes, modifications, you name it… so in the morning, someone is responsible for figuring out the puzzle; matching reservations to rooms. but then, four rooms choose not to leave, or a double moves to the suite, or a checkin complains and wants a new room, and there is never enough time to redo the puzzle.


I think the Darwinian struggle that is Airbnb hosting pretty much guarantees decent accommodation. You just have to go with a host with a reasonable number of reviews. As long as they are all stellar, which many of them are, you’re at least guaranteed a place that is reasonable. Plus there is the Superhost badge. And that’s more than you can say for a lot of hotels. And the kind of attention that individual rooms get in Airbnb - their own reviews - is much more than any hotel would get. And the better Airbnb hosts are doing it at least partly because they like the hospitality aspects of the work. Since there are many alternative and possibly easier ways to make the same money. That’s more than one can say for hotels. My guests have reported almost uniform levels of satisfaction with their Airbnb experiences.

I’ve seen listing here that would put 5 star hotels to shame. And they are priced much less than 5 star hotels. Personally I think Airbnb style accommodation is a boon to travellers. I think more often than not Airbnb itself is the weak link in the chain, and I do have some reservations about acting as an Airbnb ambassador.