Cancellation fee

When I wrote this post, I was having a very bad day and said a lot of things I regret. I appreciate everybody’s advice however. Thank you.


Oh dear it sounds like you didn’t famialarise yourself with how Airbnb works before using the platform @lauras0323

It’s hard to understand what actually happened with all the ranting and swearing.

What’s confusing is why if the guest cancelled because she didn’t like your dog why was she eligible for a refund.? Is it because you chose a flexible cancellation policy?

If you chose to refund the guest voluntarily after being paid of course that amount will be deducted from future bookings as you have been overpaid.

If you don’t like Airbnb use other platforms/take direct bookings .


Thank you. I will do that. I’m done with Airbnb and their nonsense. I’m sick and tired of losing money when I’m letting strangers come into my home and sleep in an extra room. This is ridiculous.

Does the saying “cutting your nose off to spite your face” fit here? I think so…


I love that. So you’d rather waste your unpaid time ranting and swearing here.

Brilliant. :slight_smile:


@lauras0323 You don’t get fined for declining a request, so something else went on there. And you don’t get fined because a guest cancels, either. You just don’t get paid for unstayed nights. If you have already been paid for the booking, then yes, Airbnb will take the money out of your next payment.

Do you make it clear in your listing that you have a dog and that people shouldn’t book if they have allergies or are afraid of dogs?

I get it that you’re frustrated, but if you explained things here clearly, others would be able to advise you. Like this:

Guest booked 1 week.
She was afraid of my dog, which I clearly mention in my listing.
She canceled and left after the first night.
My cancellation policy is flexible.
Airbnb has taken money from my future bookings and I can’t understand why.


I’ve read your post and the responses and I just want to back up what the others have provided. I’m familiar with the feedback from these posters and they are all very experienced Airbnb hosts and I think their advise is sound.

There have been times that I didn’t like what feedback I received but I listened and became a better host. I don’t always agree with all of their feedback nor do I think what works for other hosts work for me but their input is not wrong.

In the beginning I was penalized by guest for
a) Not mentioning I lived below.
b) That while no pets are in STR that it’s still not allergic free.
c) I need guests to check in by 11 pm. (Many host don’t agree with me but I just made sure that the thank you for booking message and the check in message reinforced this info.
d) Even though I state this is a 2nd floor and show pictures of my stairs, I still would get complaints so the first line in the description of my STR starts with walk up stairs to the 2nd floor.

Mostly what I have found is that you have to really emphasize what would be concerns for guests. Some hosts have the guests confirm back in writing that they know that there is a dog, etc.

Also, I would stick with Strict cancellation.(and not with the no refundable cancellation because it’s BS). Depending on how close you are to the date of arrival will determine if you get any or all of the money for the dates. It doesn’t sound like it’s easy for your room to get rebooked for dates that cancel so no need to agree to any refund.

And I agree with Helsi about famialarising yourself with how Airbnb works before using the platform, I want to add VRBO to my listing and I’m learning how the platform works but I’m concerned that I just don’t know enough yet to allow a second booking platform. (I tried to sync my calendars and both listings somehow blocked each other.) I will eventually add VRBO but not until I understand the differences from Airbnb.

Search this forum for the topics that you need to understand. This forum is awesome and I have learned to be a better host because of it. It’s been years since I’ve gotten anything less than 5 stars. I personally have a love-hate relationship with Airbnb but it’s more about the guests and the non-support but the love is how much the extra income allows me to travel and worry less about money.


AirBnb does not care a hoot about individual hosts or how you/we feel. Therefore, it is incumbent on each of us to learn every twist, every rule, every loophole and every requirement, so that we can outsmart them and stay ahead of both the guests and AirBnb…by doing exactly what they want…only better and preventing any refunds or fees. Close the gaps, and you will come out ahead.


Other cancellation policies work fine for many hosts. I have always used Moderate and only once had a guest cancel after the 5 day full refund cut-off. I got paid as the policy states- one night in full, 50% of remaining nights.

Even with a Strict policy, there’s no guarantee that some CS rep won’t decide to give a guest a refund because of whatever complaint the guest makes. And I think few guests will complacently accept that they lose all their money if they cancel on Strict. They still try to get the host or Airbnb to refund them.

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Hopefully, the offering by AirBnB of travel insurance when a guest books gives hosts some “ammunition” if they refuse to refund. “Oh, that’s so unfortunate that you can’t make it! I’d be happy to provide you any documentation you need to claim on your travel insurance, but I suspect you won’t need additional documentation if you bought the insurance from AirBnB when they offered it during booking”.


It wouldn’t be a bad idea for hosts who have strict cancellation policies to add to whatever message they send to guests when they book, something like “As I assume you are aware, this listing has a strict cancellation policy, so we advise guests to make sure they have taken out travel insurance just in case you should need to cancel.”


That wouldn’t work for us… that would spoil the moment when our strict cancellation policy confronts a guest who needs to change their booking due to changing travel plans and we tell them “Our cancellation policy does not allow for that, but your travel insurance most likely will.” We laugh and we laugh - and are thankful that airbnb has given us this bright spot in our day…

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I was fined $50 for cancelling an instant booking. I received an instant booking today. For two weeks from now. I didn’t realize that I have a family conflict the night that was instantly booked. I thought instant book was for this exact purpose so that the host isn’t fined for an unforeseen conflict and can cancel without a penalty. This is not the case though. I’m really disappointed in this. So I have turned off instant booking. A guest isn’t fined for cancelling two weeks in advance but I am?! This is crazy. No thank you to instant booking.

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I’m sorry you misunderstood the purpose of IB. It doesn’t say anywhere on the policy that you can cancel penalty free for any reason.

It clearly says you can cancel penalty free if a guest indicates they are going to break your house rules for example bring children to an adult only listing.

It doesn’t cover hosts who don’t block out their calendars for days when they aren’t able to host @KTWothe


I don’t know why you thought that, as there is nothing anywhere that says that is how IB works. The purpose of IB is to make booking faster and easier for guests. The reason hosts have 3 penalty-free cancellations is because with IB, you don’t have an opportunity to read guests’ prior reviews or dialogue with them before the booking is confirmed. So you might only find out afterwards that the booking or guest isn’t an appropriate fit.

It is up to hosts to make sure their calendar is up to date and days you are unavailable to host are blocked. That’s part of the job of hosting. You can’t just cancel penalty-free because you have a personal conflict. Of course, you could have a medical emergency or your plumbing could burst, making it impossible to host, but those cancellations would fall under extenuating circumstances and should give you a penalty-free cancellation. But things like it’s your sister’s birthday and you neglected to block the date are not acceptable reasons to cancel.


Airbnb is super pro guest and not pro host in my opinion. I had a guest on-route to our airbnb but could not make it due to road blockage due to an accident somewhere along the line. The cut off for cancellation/refund was way past but i asked them to try and change the date of booking and I would accept it but that would not work as they could not rebook within the same month as per their schedule . They contacted Airbnb and they were told to get the host (me) to cancel so then i would get penalized! Why would they tell the guest that when it was no fault of mine. I ended up giving them $105 cash back as I receive 106.50 per night from Airbnb. They did lose a bit with service fees and such, (i don’t charge a cleaning fee). I didn’t feel right keeping the money because of an accident on the highway which was out of their control. What I am saying is, Airbnb always tried to penalize the host.

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In addition: The reason i just gave them cash back as I couldn’t be bothered with the online refund hassle, easier for me and they were happy.

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I have had cancellations and the guests accept they will not get a refund. Most recently last week, last minute cancellation 3 day booking over Xmas

I told them to cancel and I would refund based on if I got another booking or not, I did not and the guests are out over $800

I have 0 sympathy for them and actually am glad they did not come, besides asking can they bring a cat a few days before check in they seemed to message every other day with silly questions.

Now they MAY try and get CS to refund them but I will not be authorizing a refund should CS ask. Nothing yet…



Has any host lost a payment from Airbnb, if the guest reverses the payment through their credit card due to non supply of service?

I agree ABB isn’t host friendly. Even though I quickly wrote to the guest explaining my room in my house not being available right after they booked. I’m penalized for the cancellation. My guests however are not penalized if they cancel. I realize now that ABB is about ABB and are insuring that they get paid. It was my mistake for thinking otherwise. I misread the purpose of instant book. After reading more negative posts about instant booking I turned it off. It really should have the option for hosts to cancel an instant booking within a few hours of the reservation- and two weeks before the reservation. On another reservation an instant book was made for my room in less than 24 hrs prior and I have in my rental agreement that I require 24 hrs advanced notice. I rushed around to make it home for the guest and jumped through hoops to make the room ready in just an hour. If I had cancelled I would have been penalized. Lesson learned. Instant booking isn’t a good deal for hosts.