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Changing dates to avoid cancel fees scam

I know this issue has been discussed here in the past, but it is about time that Airbnb change their policy and impose cancellation fees on the new changed booking if the original booking change/cancellation was made outside of the allowed free cancellation period.

We just had a guest try to change from our min 3 day to one and then change the whole booking to two months later date. Airbnb asked us to agree to the “change”. I refused as what is there to prevent guest from cancelling the new booking fee free? I responded with the following:

Sorry, but am confused as thought you wanted to alter your booking from 3 nights to one, and just stay this Sat. If you want to make a booking for Feb you would have to go onto Airbnb site and click on the dates in Feb as a new booking. If you want to cancel the current booking go onto the site and under your reservation details I think there is a box you can click to cancel the current reservation. If however you still want to stay this Sat, I believe that you would be charged 50% of the night following, but check that with Airbnb.
Please understand that your contract/s are with Airbnb.com, as indeed are ours. Airbnb hold your money, not us.

Guest responded that he would leave the original booking as is! If we get a bad review we will fight it as Airbnb should not be putting hosts into this position.


I figure 90%+ they are trying to do the 48 hour free cancel scam thing. They CLEARLY know how the system works.
We NEVER consent to anything an Air rep msgs or calls us about. We’ve got a business to run.


With first changing the stay length and then changing the dates, I’m thinking this guest doesn’t “clearly know” how it works but mostly likely doesn’t want to go through with this stay and is just now doing a bit of Google searching to figure out how to get a full refund.

Nice response. I really wish Airbnb would just take a stance based on the chosen cancellation policy and not push the option to refund onto the host.


I think @Brian_R170 is right. They are trying to minimize their loss however they can (but don’t know how).

So assuming you’re in the 50% refund cancellation policy window, would they not owe you for 50% of 2 nights? That’s a weird one. I’ve never had anyone try to drop below my min after booking. That’s big-time cheating.

I don’t like that at all. For this very reason, I have in my listing that “we do not deviate from our cancellation policy and we recommend travel insurance to all of our guests”.

You are right. For their commission, enforcing our cancellation policies is not asking too much.

Hopefully, the guest will review you on the merit of the stay.


I too refuse any alterations and agree that airbnb should fix this.

What I do if they want to add dates, it to ask the guest to cancel their change request and then make a request to book the extra days explain why I do this. I then make a counter offer less the cleaning fee. This will put their extra dates in without incurring an extra cleaning fee.

As for changes further along the line, I ask them to book the dates and then cancel they current reservation AND will only refund them if I get a booking. Depending how close to the date may determine what rate I get and I make it clear that they will get back what I get less any service fees, taxes, and rate differences. If they don’t book the alternative dates, then no refund. At that point they usually just show up.

I’ve said this before but I just don’t trust folks anymore.

Airbnb should also provide travel insurance too to help eliminate this issue.

I don’t have this issue. I have occasionally had people change dates in the last couple years because they have been exposed to Covid. It is less work for me if they just modify the listing. Then again I have a Flexible cancellation policy.

By the way @Jefferson … I happened to notice your profile and your claim that the people who post here the most don’t host is rather inflammatory and untrue. You may want to rethink that.


And insulting to everyone who posts here, not only whomever he thinks it’s directed to which I’d guess it me. I think I post the most, I certainly try to. :wink:

But as is famously said, “When someone tells you who they are the first time, believe them.” Jeff’s true colors shine through.


I have noticed a couple of posters who no longer host or “appear” to no longer host (I say this cautiously as I don’t know for sure & my “suspicions” don’t matter) BUT I still receive their input with appreciation & respect.

It’s like saying my grandma has no wisdom to offer on parenting because she no longer raises kids.


Agreed. I hosted fast and furious pre-pandemic for many years, especially when I was still working FT in NYC. Took a long break during the worst of the pandemic and then, as things eased with vaccines, I never went to the same break neck schedule with my cottage, although I did start up another guest house on the property.

PLUS there are all different ways to host with different customer-bases with different needs and expectations. There are two hosts here I am friends with off the forum and we continually marvel at how different our properties are based on the amenities, location and customer base.


We’re closed now, but when we’re open, we accept reservation changes only from repeat guests whom we know well and trust. That has worked perfectly for us.


I agree! I had guests try to change a booking the day of checkin!! They tried to alter to a date a month away and before I could even look at it changed to 4 months in the future. It was the first time I have declined a change request. They obviously were just trying to get out of the cancellation fee (i have the most lenient 24 hour cancellation policy). The guest was angry I wouldn’t let them change the date but really dude? If you can’t plan your trip 24 hours in advance. Stay in a hotel.

How do you know whether people host or not? Most people don’t link to their listing. @aelilya ?

@Jefferson love to see you back up your rather strange claim with some actual evidence.

And interesting to see you don’t provide a link to your listing…perhaps you are talking about yourself :slight_smile:

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If anyone had an issue with “my profile”, they should have PM’d me, not splashed it all over the public forum. That is clearly inappropriate, just like your added commentary. All these comments should be deleted. Thank you for your concern!

Your profile is public. Please confine your rude comments about other members to your private messages


Exactly. There are quite a few home share hosts who have not been taking bookings due to Covid, either since the pandemic began, or off and on depending on local regs.

But many still read and post on the hosting forums, because we are still hosts, and still interested, even if not currently hosting. And Airbnb changes things so often, that if we simply stopped participating in forums, when we open back up, we could easily be confused and clueless about the changes that have happened during our hiatus.


Posts and profiles; you get a feel over time.

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I’ve been here for years and have never bothered to look at people’s profiles unless directed to them :slight_smile:

Quite honestly I don’t care whether someone used to host or currently hosts if they have useful contributions.

The spammers on here who come to promote themselves or their products/services are fairly clear.

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Every situation has to be looked at differently and it is hard to evaluate who is trying to “work” the system by requesting to alter the dates and then cancelling the new reservation - thus avoiding a cancellation fee. In most cases, I refuse the request for dates alterations and send the guest this: "We do not accept date alterations. You can cancel your original booking and rebook with the new dates. If we are able to rebook your cancelled dates, we will refund you in full. Thank you.

And I always reimburse the guest if I am able to rebook.

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