Cancelation hours before checkin / What to do?

"2:13pm - mar. 13, 2017
_Hello guys, something came up here so we will have to stay a few more day, is it ok to cancel the booking and once we get the rights dates I’ll rebook please, sorry but this was very unexpected :frowning: _
Hope you understand"

This is from a MisterBnB booking. The guest was nice and open in his other communications. We are on a strict policy: Since it’s the day of the checkin I don’t think they would be refunded anything.

What to do?
What to refund?
What would other people do?

Hello @GutHend

Have a look at Airbnb’s help section for guest cancellations to understand how they work.

Just tell your guest to contact Airbnb to cancel their booking and any refund will be in line with your cancellation policy.


Hi Helsi,

Cancelation policy is one thing, but I was more asking for “What is the right thing to do?”. I probably didn’t make that very clear :innocent:.

These are guests that have been overall open and nice in their communication. They have suffered an “inconvenience” (unclear what it is), and they are expressing the intention to stay with us at a later date. If they are unable to prove “extenuating circumstances” to MisterBnB (It’s not AirBnB), they will probably lose all their money.

So I am wondering what other hosts would do? Just go with the cancelation policy? Refund them?

I would follow my cancelation policy. I would only make an exception if it was clients that are coming often.

Don’t forget that we have often read that guests can say any false reason in order to get money back…


Does intention help you pay the bills? I would tell them that given the late notice you probably won’t be able to get a replacement booking but if you do you will refund the difference you get from the new booking. If I really liked them I’d offer a discount on their future intended re-booking. But, it is a business. You can’t give last minute full refunds for a week in high season. I hope they understand.


I usually only offer a discount if I am able to rebook the place (amount corresponding to the difference of price for a future stay) and I do it only for direct bookings or repeat clients


I would comply with my cancellation policy, but offer them a discount if they rebook.


What @sylvainbg said:

Do not offer a refund, but offer a discount if they rebook.


Similar to what @KKC has done, I give a refund to the amount I am able to get rebooked. And then offer the difference as a discount on a future booking.


People say this ALL the time & never rebook. I offer them if I am available on dates they want to rebook I’ll do it half price but can’t offer refund. 8/10 guests who have tried this on me ‘suddenly’ can make it work and come as booked! The others just abuse me & I have been able to re rent most of their stay & get double money so the abuse has been worth it.


@GutHend - I’ve no comments about your problem beyond what others have mentioned but it’s good to see your face! :slight_smile:

As you probably already know, I like good discussions :innocent: that get out of hand once in a while :see_no_evil:, and I thought it would just be better to show my face :imp: while discussing. I also think it’s nice to know the faces of people we are talking to, so I just decided to give the good example :relaxed:.


Well I think you definitely enjoy winding people up and telling established hosts that you know much better than they do…whether you would call that having a discussion is a moot point :slight_smile:


Thanks to everyone for the help. While help was still rolling in, I already had to decide what to do, so this time I decided to give the guest a 70% credit for a future reservation. In hindsight reading the comments here, this was probably way too soft of me. So I’m going to have a good think about what to do in the future.

Lots of good ideas. I like the idea of having the refund or credit depend on those nights being rebooked. But the fact of the matter is that our calendar isn’t fully booked the whole time. So I wonder if this is just to the guest. Of course the guest doesn’t need to know this. Moral dilemma !

@Sarah_Warren Did I understand well that your guests in theory could retrieve all their money? Do you give a full discount for the days that don’t get rebooked?

Well, I don’t think you’re perception is correct, but with the risk of being called argumentative once more, I will try and leave it at that :relaxed:.
(:speak_no_evil: So :speak_no_evil: hard :speak_no_evil:)

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Robert you are totally right on everything !

I had my cancelation policy set to strict and just should have stuck with it. But I started thinking that I would like to have them as guests in the future, without them feeling bad about having to pay twice and without running the risk of them reviewing our place with the double price in mind. :disappointed_relieved:
When it comes to being hard on my guests, I wasn’t born with the greatest business mind, I admit ! And my hubby suffers the same soft spots. In fact he is even worse than me.

“We will be strict ! We will be strict ! We will be strict !” I am going to hang it on the wall above our bed :relaxed:.

You asked “what is the right thing to do?” - that would be to take care of yourself and your business. I would have asked the guest to check their credit card to see if it offered trip cancellation insurance. Have guests check this first.

The guest also needs to cancel so that your calendar is reopened.

As far as your calendar not being fully booked, so is it “just” to the guest? It doesn’t matter because you will never ever know if someone else would or would not have booked some dates. That’s why I don’t offer credits for future reservations. If I felt like being generous, then the guest would need to choose weekdays during the off season.

Think about this way. Would a hotel allow someone to reserve the entire hotel, and then offer a future credit for the guest to reserve the hotel again? Our 1 room is the equivalent of a hotel with many rooms. The guest took your entire hotel off of the market.

Of course keep to your word about the 70% credit since you already offered. But would limit that credit to 70% of the original amount. You don’t want this guest booking 3 days during a holiday and receive a 70% discount on rates where you can earn double your regular rate.


Yes, there is that potential. I’ve had a cancellation and I was able to rebook 70% of the funds, so I refunded the amount of money I received from the bookings that filled in the space previously held by old guests. But no one ever rebooks, so I’ve never had to give the rest of the money back in credits. But it’s a way to appear generous and make them less likely to contact Air themselves and then get all the money from me despite my cancellation policy.

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Yikes!! So you’re considered the “hard ass” in the relationship - lol :joy:

Cabinhost, you are also totally right ! :sob: We need to be stricter.

In fact I did tell the guest to talk to MisterBnB about a refund (extenuating circumstances). This would also mean us losing money, but at least I would have known that they really had good reasons not to come.
And I said if this didn’t work, I would give them a 70% credit only for the amount that we receive in our bank account. So it wasn’t all bad thinking :laughing:, just for the big part :joy:.

“We will be stricter ! We WILL !” :wink: