Cancellation refund advice

I have a situation I need help with. This is the first time with a cancellation (I had a few), that the person is requesting for the other half of her refund.
The guest from Mexico cancelled 4 days before check in. She said her father died. She had 2 good reviews. I have a moderate cancellation policy. She asked me how to get her refund back and now has sent a money request for the remainder of the other half of the refund via Airbnb (3 days before check in date).
What I did so far: initially, I messaged her to contact Airbnb regarding this issue via the Airbnb website and that the refund for the cancellation will be provided according to the Airbnb policy. I also talked with Airbnb regarding this, and they told me to redirect her the same. I asked Airbnb if she had reached out to them yet, and they said no.
I don’t mind refunding, if I knew the situation and person well. However, I do not know the guest and if this is a legitimate situation. I also may have lost the 4 nights coming up close for other bookings. Hopefully, something will come along, that is just how it goes, and that is fine.
I was thinking of responding to her this way: “Dear X, My deepest condolences again for your situation. I did receive your request for the additional amount of the refund. In response, I only apply according the Airbnb cancellation policy. I would advise, to please contact Airbnb to explain your situation to them to further advise on this matter. Thank you so much”.
What do you guys think? Also, I am learning that despite my response to this guest, she can leave me a review on my listing page, even though she cancelled. I left feedback with Airbnb that this does not seem fair if the person has cancelled and has not stayed at the place.
Thanks for any feedback! :slight_smile:

Update: Directed guest to Airbnb again. No refund given on my end. Airbnb will contact the guest to advise her through her extenuating circumstance if she can provide proof. Great, Airbnb can take care of it! :). Thanks all!

I would not respond.


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The money refund request from her, allows me 24hrs via Airbnb to respond and then says at the top: “Hosts with multiple unresolved requests like this one may be subject to review”.

I don’t believe they can leave you a review if she cancelled outside of 24 hours before check in @Jen1 unless the T&Cs have changed recently?

I know some other hosts advise against it, but I would tell guests there is an extenuating circumstances policy for cancellations and that they can speak to Airbnb about claiming against this.


Ask her to submit a death certificate to AirBnb.

I would just reply “So sorry to hear of your loss. I’m happy to provide any documents you need to support your claim with your travel insurance company or credit card”


I have had six cancellations, since starting my downstairs two-bedroom Airbnb 12 months ago:

  • Twice: “I did not know you were not a hotel. I don’t want to stay in someone’s private home.”
  • Once: “Your driveway is too small to park my truck and trailer overnight.”
  • Once: “I did not know I must also pay for the second bedroom for the three of us.”
  • Twice: “I want to cook our family meals in your private kitchen, even though it is off-limits to guests.”

I have a very flexible cancellation policy.

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Do not refund this guest yourself. Death of an immediate family member is considered an extenuating circumstance and Airbnb will refund in full if the guest provides the documentation.
Point the guest to this link and let them work directly with Airbnb.

If the guest is not willing to work directly with Airbnb, then there’s a good chance that the guest is lying and the real reason for cancellation is something else.


I’m not sure if it’s new about the review. Thanks for the feedback! :). Directing back to airbnb support seems appropriate

Thank you, that is great!

Thanks for your reply. Airbnb mentioned they will assist the guest on what measures she needs in the situation.

Why would you ask the guest to do that? @Ritz3 - I think as long as you mention the policy to them it is up to the guest to find out what they need to do apply to be considered under it.


Yep. And don’t tell her anything else. You only need to respond. If it was truly extenuating circumstances AirBnB will take care of it and require her to submit a death certificate to verify her story but don’t tell her that.

You run a business, not a sympathy society. She cancelled and you may not get those days booked.

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I would give no information.
If you send them to Airbnb, they will get a refund under Extenuating Circumstances.
I would not send them to Airbnb. I would offer my condolences and that is all.


oh too bad. You ensured you will be giving the guest a refund.
Now you have become their insurance company.


I mentioned airbnb refund per policy. I have a moderate policy refund.