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Cancellation on a whim

A guest booked four days ago for this weekend, two days ago she asked for a full refund as I am 30 minutes away from a friend she wants to visit. I explained my strict cancellation policy and heard nothing back. Just now I got an email from a case worker advising that the guest has cancelled and asking if I’d like to refund the guest. I haven’t responded yet because I can’t think of any witty way to explain what a strict cancellation policy is - to an Airbnb case worker!

They always call… no matter what the reason. They are looking to promote “goodwill” between guests and hosts and look for you to voluntarily fork over a refund. This is nonsense. Tell her NO WAY.

Keep the cash while you can because in the future it appears guests will get to cancel without a charge for any reason at any time during their stay and get fully refunded.


Yeah, the only problem with not offering her anything is you might end up with a disgruntled guest that will surely leave a bad review and ding you on your star rating. She is only 30-min away after-all.

I recently had a semi-local guest cancel a weekend reservation last minute. She asked for a full refund. I was pissed but gave her 50% anyway. I was afraid she come and stay. I gave her enough to keep her away and also may have saved my rating from getting dinged.

I ended up rebooking for a higher rate than she was originally going to pay. So I made way more than weekend that I would have originally.

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They can’t leave a review if they cancelled.


Right, that’s my point exactly. The risk is this, since she’ll be relatively close anyway there’s a chance that if she’s not offered a refund, she may show up anyway to get her money’s worth, then leave a bad review & rating. So sometimes it’s best to work with the person and offer something. If she takes a partial refund to cancel, then no she can’t review.

That’s ridiculous, sorry. I blocked my calendar for you. I prepped my apartment for your arrival. I might have paid for cleaning. You change your mind and expect a refund? I don’t think so.

You can go ahead and give away what you have to sell but I am not going to even consider the possiblity.

The guest knew the policy when she booked. She’s just trying to get something for nothing.

And also, you didn’t read the post. The guest cancelled. She can’t leave a review. Air ALWAYS calls to try to get you to refund anyway in the spirit of goodwill.

Goodwill for the GUEST, not for the host.

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Yep, thats how I feel. Just about to return to longterm non-Airbnb tenants

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You’re right. This was an after the fact request. That definitely changes how I would handle it. My example is for if they ask before they’ve actually cancelled.

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Superhostess… ignore Air’s pathetic emails asking you to cancel anyway. Keep that cash!


I’m keeping it!! Learned to develop a backbone from being on this forum :laughing::laughing:


Good for you! Go out to dinner with it!!! Head down to Macy’s and buy a new purse!

And like I say, this may not last in the future… they are going to nail us with higher fees and bad cancellation policies. So disappointing.

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I feel it, especially here where it looks as though STRs will be illegal by the end of the year. It is disappointing.

If your calendar is open, offer to refund if you get re-booked. That’s what I’ve done.


Okay, I also own a bed and breakfast and four VR that I rent through ABB. I too have been contacted by ABB r esolution team and asked to refund a guest who cancelled a stay that was scheduled to occur three weeks post Hurricane. Our policy allowed us to keep the deposit. The guest wanted us to give it back. We explained these facts to the guest when he contacted us: We were open the day after the Hurricane passed through. By day 3 post hurricane 95% of all restaurants and attractions were open. So I said no to a refund to him and I said no to a refund to the arbitration dept. I kept my money.

Now, to address this guest: She booked four days prior to arrival and then discovered TWO days prior to arrival that she would not be located near her friend. I remind the guest that I held this room “for their exclusive use”. I then compromise by taking ONE night of the entire stay. The short booking window suggests you might not have booked it otherwise, and you made a bit of money. If you are fortunate, then someone else will book those same dates.

It is hard to be a business person, a consumer, and a soft-touch individual. Compromise is the way to approach this one, only because of the very short booking window. If you had held the room for months, then I would hold out for the entire stay.

Hope this helps. It’s a complicated world in hospitality


I’ve just had a somewhat similar situation today. A booking for November 7th for four nights. This booking was made on VRBO, not on Airbnb, so I didn’t have a call asking me to refund. The cancellation policy is a full refund if canceled within 60 days. It was canceled today, so I did not offer any refund. The guest asked about the policy, I restated the policy that they agreed to during the booking process. The guest then asked if I’d consider offering them a refund despite my policy. I replied that I was very sorry that they had to cancel, but that I would stand by my policy. After a bit of back and forth, I finally agreed to refund any amount that I’d earn from a rebooking, less an admin fee of 25%. If I get a new booking for all or part of the day, I’ll honor the offer. Any potential refund will be after I’ve been booked AND paid (in case the new guests cancels!).

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It is! I stuck to my strict policy on this one, and chose not to refund. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it :smile:

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What an entitled guest.

Report them to AIrbnb.

I’m sure Airbnb will side with the guest, not the host, so you might be stuck unfairly refunding-- but guests shouldn’t be able to burn hosts over like that.

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