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Day Before Arrival Airbnb Tells Me Payment Has Not Proccessed!?



Hello fellow hosts, please advise on what my recourse options are with this situation:

  1. Airbnb contacts me today at noon with an email titled “Urgent - Airbnb Reservation Payment Issue” regarding an instant book reservation. Apparently they just figured out the day before guest arrival that their payment didn’t process correctly.

  2. This was an instant book reservation that booked in early November so I’ve had my calendar blocked on these dates for almost a month and a half. (I have my cancellation policy set to “strict”, not sure that has any bearing on this situation).

  3. In the meantime I received a booking confirmation email immediately after the booking and I kept receiving the usual reminders regarding the guests pending arrival so I naturally assumed I had a guest for those dates. I cleaned and prepared for the guest’s arrival tomorrow and then I get blindsided by this message.

Airbnb is my booking platform partner, I trust them to collect payment and notify when dates have been confirmed. That’s how this whole system is supposed to work. It’s unclear if this is related to instant bookings or if it could have happened with a regular booking too.

What is clear to me is that if Airbnb can get away with this, then hosts should have NO CONFIDENCE in their bookings until AFTER the guest checks-in!

It seems clear that this was a breakdown in Airbnb’s system for validating payment and confirming reservations. Is there a way to create pressure on Airbnb to actually do the right thing and compensate hosts for something that was clearly an error on their part? Is there an association for airbnb hosts? If not, I’d be happy to start one. Let me know if there’s interest.

Any guidance on how to remedy and/or prevent this would be great! Thanks everyone.


You can call Airbnb and ask them what has happened.

I think in the circumstances they should honour the payment as it is so long ago that the guest made the booking. They should as you say have taken the payment at the time of the booking.

Have you contacted the guest to query this?

If Airbnb can’t resolve this I wouldn’t allow the guest to check in.


I suspect that your guest did a chargeback. Very clever workaround for a Strict cancelation policy.


Sorry but can you explain what this is further? too many glasses of the red stuff…


A card holder can log into their online account or call the toll free number on the back of the card and challenge a charge. For example, once upon a time, my bill included a charge for Volvo Parts from a store located in Texas. Since I don’t own a Volvo, nor I had been in Texas on that date, I simply called the credit card company and stated that this was a charge that I had not made. At that point, the charge is removed from my bill and the credit to the car company in Texas is debited from their future payouts.

This is called a chargeback. It is a consumer protection and can be used for both good and evil.


I’ve often wondered what happens if a guest does a chargeback before-during or after staying, the host can’t fight it as abb charged the card. I very much doubt abb or any other booking platform will fight the chargeback as all they have to do is not pay the host.


Ah, got it and thank you. I’m much the wiser for this and feel somewhat empowered, delightfully so. I think we had a near miss but the Husband dealt with it and didn’t ex(man)splain.


The guest is absolutely not going to be checking in, they are the ones saying they thought it was canceled for non-payment, and they’re saying they received a message about the cancellation last week!

I did call airbnb and they were of no help, they referred me to my “case manager” that had emailed me. Basically they claim the reservation status is still listed as active but there is a payment issue. I asked her how that is possible when reservations are not confirmed until payment is collected. She had no answer for me.


I was concerned about possible chargebacks with a guest on another platform and called them and spoke to the finance manager. They said if a chargeback is filed for a trip with a strict refund policy, they can prove the guest accepted the terms on the refund policy and basically, to use his words, doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the dispute. That these things are handled on behalf of the host and are rare.

Of course, this newish platform stands behind their hosts. Probably because they realize that hosts are their bread and butter. What a concept.


What platform is this? Looking to diversify.


Called Glamping Hub. Downsides include charging hosts 4%, writing your copy, which you may edit, not collecting a security on your behalf.


Never heard of Glamping Hub but I’ll give anything a try, I’m going to put my cosy camping barn for 2 on it. Do you get a bonus @konacoconutz if we use a promo code you have.


I don’t understand. Are you saying that the guest admits they didn’t finish making the payment?

You can try to persuade your case manager to give you some sort of payout. I had a talk long ago with them about a hypothetical scenario if someone uses a stolen credit card. They said if it was discovered before check in they would re-open my dates on the calendar. However, they would not compensate if I did not receive another booking. That’s their policy but the case managers supposedly have $200 they can use to their discretion to remedy situations. Not sure if that is a daily amount or what. So I’d at least try.

So the guest doesn’t want to come and pay you in cash?


Supposedly but one has never really come through. Don’t wait for me, just list it! :rofl::moneybag::moneybag: