Cancellation due to dying mother in law

Hi everybody,I got cancellation one day before the guests were supposed to check in (on Thursday,check in on Friday).He cancelled and straight away he asked for full refund through resolution centre.I have not accepted or declined yet and told him he must provide proper documentation.He replied one day later that they are going to hospital on Monday(which I found strange if his mother in law is dying).I was wondering does anybody know if there is any time frame for providing documentation to Airbnb in such case?
Thank you!

I don’t believe there is a specific time frame for providing documentation. The guest should have called Customer Service instead of asking for money through the Resolution Center. They will probably simply refund the person under the Extenuating Circumstances policy, but it seems to depend on which representative they reach. Some will refund them immediately. Others will ask you for your decision. That’s when you can ask for documentation.

Thank you.I know these things happen,but it all seems a bit strange to me.We exchanged a couple of emails about their stay on Monday and on Thursday he cancelled.I will wait and see if he can provide that it is true.

You can also click on their profile a few days after the planned stay and see if they had a review from another host. That would certainly be interesting.

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Thank you for that.I have never thought about it :slight_smile:

Do you have access to a guests profile after they’ve cancelled? Where would you go to look?

Just click on their name or image to the side of your conversation in the messaging section.

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Yes,you can always access guests profile

I would like to know what kind of documentation Air requires. Are these people who use extenuating cirucumstances asking people at hospital front desk for some kind of paper that states someone is in the hospital? The more this policy gets out, the more travelers are going to use it. I just don’t see how Air can request enough documentation to actually prove someone is related to someone. Before we know it…travelers are just going to be submitting random obituaries from strangers.

Can someone please help me to understand how you would prove your relation to someone without a marriage or birth certificate? I could probably go online right now and find someone with my same last name that is having a funeral this weekend.


I do not have idea,I have never had this kind of cancellation.I was thinking the same.In this case it is his mother in law,so definitely she does not have the same surname.I tried to find something more about extenuating cirucumstances but did not find anything.

Yeah they only mention the reasons such a death in the guest’s family, or a serious illness in the guest’s family…but don’t mention anything about documentation. I’m going to make a phone call to Air and see what they tell me. I’m sure I’ve asked before but can’t remember. I’ll report back their response.

Just got off the phone and asked about death in the family and the rep. mentioned they can show an obituary or death certificate. I asked about illness in the family and she said a doctor’s note would suffice.

So then I said “so basically the guest does not have to prove any real relation to these people” and she kind of just laughed like I was silly and replied with “well we’re not going to do all this investigating.”

When I told her I thought it was ridiculous that Air thinks I should have my calendar blocked for a week, and guest chose not to purchase trip cancellation insurance - that I should basically have to take the money out of my pocket - if I can’t rebook last minute. Her reply was "well we do the same thing for hosts when they have an extenuating circumstance and need to cancel. " I said “Oh…you still will pay us if the basement floods and we need to cancel” - She “No, but we don’t penalize you for it.” Wow…she thinks they are the same in comparison.


Thanks for that.So basically if he provides a letter from a doctor with some woman´s name he will get refunded.
Did she mention if there is any time frame for them to provide it?

It doesn’t seem very fair. If AirBnB want to dictate what counts at extenuating circumstances, they should be the one providing the refund, rather than the host. They could provide guests with AirBnB credit and still pay us.

Having said that, in these cases - where Airbnb make the cancellation rather than you - the dates don’t get blocked in your calendar do they? I thought they were freed up for another booking.


Sorry, I misread the initial post - in this case the guest cancelled, then asked for a refund? In that case, since he didn’t follow protocol, aren’t you entitled to refuse. If he wants a refund he should have contacted AirBnB before canceling.

I didn’t think to ask about the timeframe. But I did just google “how easy it is to get a doctor’s note” and you can download fake ones online!

So if the mother in law is dying then how does one obtain a doctor’s note? I mean…you are not going to bother the dying person, and will a doctor even give a 3rd party a note? I just don’t know how doctor’s notes work.

Yes, your calendar does get freed. But if you can’t rebook then too bad too sad for us hosts.

You know it’s funny how those mother in laws keep getting sick suddenly. Was the person named Sara by any chance? Her mother in law also got “sick suddenly” and took a turn for the worst just before coming to Hawaii… also asked for a full refund. I declined and said I was really sorry but unable to book that time period at such short notice. But Air sided with them and I lost out.

Air will probably side with them and you will be out the money… not because of anything you did wrong, but because the guest just found a better place to stay.

Yes,my calendar got freed but how often you get last minute bookings?Maybe in high season.
I think if he provides even fake doctors letter he will get refund.I just do not believe this guy.

No, it was a guy Diego and he claims that his mother in law has cancer and suddenly they got news that she is going to die any time now.Also he said they are going to hospital on Monday (he cancelled on Thursday).I am sure if his wife´s mother was dying she would visit her every day.What else would be a reason to cancel your holiday.