Cancel a booking and get the death sentence

I’m so over it!!! Things happen in life … eight months after a guest books … Like you get another job and move to another country. But do not cancel your booking or else you will be handed the death sentence by Airbnb despite nearly killing your self for them for the last 4 years to make sure you commit to every single booking. So now I may not be a superhost for a whole year now as punishment. It’s just ridiculous. Try getting hold of them for help … that’s like finding a needle in a haystack. I feel so ripped off by them … the 200k plus I turn for their business every year and this is what I get in return. Over it!!! Should I just move to trip advisor ?

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Happened to me too. 6 years a host and I cancelled once last November. I did it for a guest who needed help doing it. Tried pleading my case to no avail. Airbnb is not the friendly neighborhood company it once was.

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Makes me so furious. Did you leave them?

No. They are the best game in town that I know of. It doesn’t affect me so much because I do mostly long term bookings. I’ve got all 2+ month bookings from now until September. Then I’ve got a 3+ month booking beginning in September. This will take me past the 1 year mark.

With all the headaches I read of here I am so glad I can do long term bookings.

I appreciate your frustration but I can also see it from the other side too. Cancelling on a guest is absolutely The Worst Thing you can do, from every conceivable perspective. For starters:

  1. you are impacting on someone’s travel plans and leaving them worried and scrambling to find somewhere else to stay
  2. it impacts MASSIVELY on the trust people have in the whole platform. If people think that their booking can be cancelled on the whim of the host, bookings will go down…
  3. …therefore it impacts ME and my business.

I fully support Airbnb penalising hosts that cancel without good reason. They are bad for business and should go elsewhere.

Having said that, of course there are extenuating circumstances and shit happens. That’s when having some good contacts in your area is a life-saver, other hosts who can help out in an emergency. Just cancelling without trying to help the guest find somewhere else is, imo, wrong. Just wrong.


You’re equating not being a superhost for a year with a “death sentence?” There are plenty of great hosts on this forum who aren’t superhosts. It’s not that big of a deal.


I think you are overreacting.


I didn’t actually cancel the booking, all that happened was that I was unable to offer them breakfast as I used to last year in November, because subsequently I have been offered a job in Kenya so I am in the process of relocating. So I didn’t accept bookings for this property after December of this year. It is 2 weeks away from the guests stay and I thought that I would be able to manage to do the breakfast for them but I then decided I can’t do it as I have too much else to do. So I offered them a 50% discount that they could have used to go and have a meal anywhere else in the village with … there are plenty of places here. They were not happy with that. So then I offered to find them other accommodation like mine in my area for them and book it. They were not happy with that. Then I explained to them really nicely that if I cancel the booking it will affect my superhost status, so please may I refund them the money directly. They didn’t want to do that either. I really feel like I went out of my way to try and resolve the situation. These are first time users as well on Airbnb so they don’t understand how something like this can affect everyone. I do understand canceling on someone is the worst thing you can do that is why I tried everything to fix the problem. The guest then sent through this thing and it said ‘x requests that you cancel’ which I did thinking they were cancelling, only to find out that it was actually me who was cancelling and getting the penality of the superhost thing.
Life changes all the time, I think people could be a little kinder to each other, that is why I have become so specific now with who I accept as a guest on Airbnb especially first time users I’m very weary of them now. People complain who are first time users as to why they can’t get accepted by any hosts and it is because of reasons like this, a first time user can ruin your profile because they don’t understand the Airbnb concept which is sharing your home with other people and inviting them into your social space. I think Airbnb needs to relax their rules slightly on cancellations or they need to have a fully operational 24 hour phone assist line if they are going to so strict, where a consultant can help in a situation like this

What Dusty said, all day long. Search the forum on this topic and you will find a Big Meh in response to being a superhost and whether or not that really plays a significant part in bookings.

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I lost Super Host status this time too, and it was ABB’s fault. I had a listing where I had blocked the calendar for the rest of the year as I had rented the unit to a regular LTR tenant. ABB unblocked my calendar for a week and sure enough, I got a booking. I was able to accommodate the guest in another of my listings so the guest wasn’t inconvenienced. I should have called ABB to do the cancellation but, frankly, I just don’t have the time to burn waiting on the phone and figured they wouldn’t believe me anyway since there was no way to prove it.

I am disappointed in ABB and their amateur software glitches. They are too big of a company to have these issues.

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They refused this?? How peculiar :open_mouth: Yes, you’ve had an unfair outcome on this case and that whole ‘x requests that you cancel’ thing is particularly sneaky because, as I understand it, you’re not made aware of the penalties at the time.

I’ll add my voice to those who say don’t worry too much about being a superhost. I’ve never seen anyone say that it makes any difference to anything. In fact, it can attract picky guests (particularly other hosts!) who think they’re going to get a Ritz experience. I just made superhost and frankly I wish there was an option to reject it because I don’t want it.


Interesting you say that because I was certain I had blocked the dates I had to cancel for. I was out of town.

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This bug has been reported on this board and on the airbnb community pages repeatedly. So far, it has not been fixed.

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What if you had simply allowed the booking, but not provided breakfast? They may have given you a bad rating for it, but probably would not have severely affected your SH status. Just a guess. I realize this suggestion is too late. Hind-sight is 20-20 after all.

Come on. We are talking about Airbnb, a company that was founded just ten years ago by some former students just out of college. We are not talking about IBM with almost 100 years’ experience. For the first couple of years, Nathan Blecharczyk apparently did all the programming, on his own, and even today, they don’t have that many IT engineers.

Yes, there are some amateur software glitches. I totally agree with you.


I have contacted air bnb and they have removed all the penalties in this instance, as they read back on all the correspondence with the guest and I, and they agree that I did try to offer as many solutions as possible. So a positive outcome then. They have contacted me several times today to resolve the matter. So I am happy again and glad I pursued the matter :grinning:


That’s great news! Good to hear that they (air) get it right sometimes :slight_smile:

That’s great news @Lucy

Hi duanemitchell, I noticed your comment and wonder if you would share how you encourage or market to get more long-term listings? Thank you ~

I wish I could claim some sort of deliberate actions that I’ve taken but I can’t. It’s evolved by chance. If anything it’s the pricing I offer for the long term stay. My pricing is less than a one month rent for a one bedroom apartment but a little more than if they were going to share an apartment. It’s also furnished. If someone needs long term accommodations I am a good choice price wise. I try to make it homey and interesting by roasting my own coffee from green beans and baking fresh bread. I’ve also been experimenting with making cheese.

I’m in a residential neighborhood of Boston about 35 minutes by public transit to the center of the city. It’s a nice place to work and live but it’s not such a good place for the casual traveller. I’m very close to a major medical area, some educational institutions, and the financial areas.

The biggest reason is that Boston is growing at an enormous pace, the economy is good, and people from around the world want to come here.

Don’t know where you live but you could contact hospitals and educational institutions who have departments that refer their visitors to temporary housing.