Death of family member, can I cancel a booking?

I have a situation where my grandmother is on her death bed. I blocked the calendar as I just don’t feel like hosting at the moment. I have just one reservation coming up in a week’s time. What would you do in my situation? Will I be penalized if I cancel this booking?

Call CS and ask can you cancel under extenuating circumstances. I am sorry about your grandmother.



Good for you for prioritizing. I wish you and your family the best.

I’m so sorry. My best wishes to you and your family.

i would like to offer my condolences, both to you and all your family.

I suspect you will need some form of evidence to send to CS,which seems extreme in itself under your current circumstances.

I had to cancel a longstanding booking last week, and it was not until I provided a medical report and lab test result that cancellation penalties were dropped. In the meantime, Air sent me dire warnings about the penalties for hosts cancelling, which are only worthy of being ignored.

I’m sorry that the time has come to say goodbye to your grandma.

They might ask for proof, but if you’re up for it, you should call anyways.

My dad died unexpectedly this summer on a day I had to do a turnover, but I was in too much shock to deal with the clueless people on the CS line, who I feared would ask for the death certificate (meanwhile the funeral home hadn’t even arrived yet). A silver lining is that I’d started giving myself a one-day break between listings.

Please keep us updated on what CS says if you are up to reporting back.


Your rental should be the least of your worries during this difficult time.

I’ve cancelled two different guests under the extenuating circumstances policy.

Two things to consider:

  1. Airbnb will probably accept a pic of the obituary or funeral program as proof. Death certificates can be expensive and not easy to obtain.

  2. When you talk to Airbnb ask them to “find alternative accommodations for your guests” because of a death in your family, you won’t be able to host their visit.

This is instead of “I need to cancel Bob’s reservation on the 20th”

This changes the CS focus to be “ help guest have accommodations and be happy within the Airbnb platform” instead of “a host cancellation”.

I think This minor change in focus helped my difficult situations go a bit more smoothly.


I would like to thank you all for your feedback during this moment of grief. My nanna left us a few hours after I wrote the post, we had her funeral today.

Nanna was always happy for me when I talked to her about hosting guests. Seeing that the booking is a few days away, I decided not to interrupt any of the guests plans an go ahead with the booking. I did however block the calendar to allow myself a break.

Once again thank you all for your support,


@travellinbug So sorry for your loss, may you enjoy the memories forever of her time spent with you.