Cancellation on the day of Reservation

Hi Everyone,

I have been having a lot of cancellation on the day of check in by guests. I just wanted to know your thoughts on how to handle guests that cancel on the day of start reservation. Do you offer full refund to guests? I have had several guests cancel saying that there is an “extenuating circumstance” saying that their dad is in the hospital and we need to get a full refund. They are sick or their spouse is sick and can’t travel we need a full refund. I know some of these people are lying to get their money back due to changes in their plan or other issues with evidence of messages but Airbnb seems to go on face value in refunding the money and I’ve seen a lot of guests do a money grab because they can. What would you do? Do you go by your moderate or strict policy or always refund guests due to good faith?

I am on a strict cancellation policy and I will stick to it as much as if possible with Airbnb policies. Travellers should get their own insurance.


What cancellation policy are you using? @mummy

I would do as Airbnb suggests and refer them to Airbnb to cancel their booking. They can then speak to Airbnb if they want to claim a refund under extenuating circumstances.

If the guests are lying as you suspect they won’t be able to provide evidence of their extenuating circumstances.

Is that not what you do at the moment?


Airbus won’t just give guests refund based on their words. They must provide proof. I was always paid if guests cancelled last minute. We are not listings with many units like hotels. Some hosts have just that One room to rent. Who can stAy if guests cancel last minute and get refunds all the time.

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Air Bnb has done it in the past without evidence. Now guests cancel and mention "Extenuating Circumstance and its an instant refund. We got a guest and it is a nightmare dealing with her. She is first timer. She apparently even sent something to our address without asking us. She was suppose to check in today and cancelled mentioning her father is in the hospital. We say Sorry to hear. Then she asks cancel and asks for a full refund under Extenuating Circumstance. I mention that you were not ill so we can’t offer refund due to our moderate policy. She did get a $50 refund. Then she mentioned that she is sick and pregnant and her husband is jobless and she has high blood pressure and the airlines sent her back home. No evidence of all of this off course. Then she started abusing us calling us the “A” word and said she is going to sue us for $200. It been very stressful not to mention why her package is coming to my address when I was not told. Any advise on what I should tell airbnb for my security issue for verbal abuse.

I had guests cancelling and saying the same but they none of them.were refunded

Ignore this person. Tell Airbnb she is harassing you and let them deal with her. I always tell people that Airbnb handles any refunds so direct your questions to them.


DO NOT offer ANY refund, for any reasons. DO NOT cancel a booking for any guest for any reason. If they want to cancel and/or want a refund tell them they must contact Airbnb directly.


In fact just say no and leave the guest to work things out for themselves. The later they cancel the better for us. Ask them if they have travel insurance.

Tell Airbnb the abusive things she has said and say you feel UNCOMFORTABLE with this guest being on the platform. Block her. Send her parcel back to sender, what a bloody cheek!


Why are you getting into a debate with guests about this? Simply refer them to Airbnb to manage the cancellation. Don’t get into discussing under what terms she might get a refund.

If a guest sends a package to you just refuse to accept it.

Report the guest to Airbnb for abuse. And then block her on Airbnb so you don’t have to talk to her further.

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I’ve been hosting for four years – my experience with cancellations: I have a strict. cancellation policy but I’m considering changing it to “moderate” because every last minute cancellation was for reasons of health and Airbnb has always sided with the guest – even when it was the same day for a week over spring break and their 14 year-old son had a sore throat. When guests ask for a cancellation due to change of plans (these have always been a couple of weeks or more before their arrival date), I ask them to cancel because if I cancel, I am severely penalized by Airbnb. I also offer to refund them for any days I am able to rebook. In these circumstances, I have been able to rebook every time. This makes for a very happy guest. Has anyone else switched from Strict to Moderate and did it make a difference in the number of cancellations, or did you notice an increase in bookings?

I’ve had them cancel and STILL come to me with a request in the reservation center for a refund. You must decline those. I decline and in the explanation box, I refer them to Air for cancellation procedures. I agree, do not debate with the guest whether they are sick or not. If there is EC that are valid they will approve the full refund. You don’t need to do anything. But I would set your policy to strict if it isn’t already. Not that it matters much anymore… it’s hardly strict at 7 days.

If the package arrives, return to sender.

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It does not matter. the guests still fights even if they cancelled the day of. 1 day after staying to suit their convience and its a battle with them. Now she opened a request money in resolution center. She’s out of control.

Thanks for posting this. I too have had a couple of guests cancel lately. I was lucky in that they didn’t ask for a refund, and I didn’t offer, even though some of the nights did get eventually get booked by someone else. The cancellations happened on the day before or the day of arrival. Part of me does feel guilty for not refunding anything.

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I wouldn’t even.respond to her anymore. Some.people are just crazy. When guests call Air they referred.resolution center to request money. It’s very normal process. Just say no.

Helsi- I agree with you. I typically don’t reply back and waste my time but the last time this happened. Airbnb did what the guest told them. The more proof you have sometimes help. If you stay quite it makes it easier for Airbnb to do whatever they like. Instead of hearing both parties for a clear resolution.
Example if I call as a guest tell them my story and the hosts have not responded the case manager with limited information makes a decision which usually sucks for the host.

I feel guilty as well and I want my guests to have a good time but at the end of the day it is a business. Hotels, Some Expensive salon. Massage parlors all charge if your a no show. Why should we give it back who are we Saints, Angels? I’m just trying to figure out. But some guest like to exploit which drives me insane. I hate disrespectful & fake guests. Sorry I get carried away.

I plan to have strict or moderate cancellation policy and refer all cancel requests to airbnb, as advised. However sometimes ( 20 days per year in the late summer) it gets extremely hot or extremely windy. I’m talking over 104 degrees and over 35mph! In these cases, if my guests want to leave it will be very understandable!! I might plan also to have lower prices during the very hot months, but that may just lure in more guests who might become fried or blown away…