Difference between change of booking dates & cancellation

Just had a situation where a guest checks in for a 3 night stay but checks out the following afternoon and applied to Airbnb for a refund. Airbnb are treating this as “guest has requested change to booking dates and has requested dates be changed to one night” and would I agree to this change.
I wrote back that this is a cancellation of the other 2 nights booked and not simply a change. I pasted their own definition of “moderate cancellation” terms which should result in a charge of 2 nights + a 50% reduction on the third night. They responded that they in effect agreed with my response. Apart from that we have a 2 night minimum booking stay anyway.
Bottom line is when does a cancellation of 2 booked nights become a change as opposed to what it really is - a cancellation. Shows that sometimes it does not hurt to remind Airbnb of their own terms.


Airbnb is just reaching out to you on behalf of the guest. The guest probably complained to Airbnb, You don’t have to go along with their suggestion.

So strange that Airbnb would have gone along with that “change”. Goes to show the lack of training of their reps. Great call on your end!

I had something similar happen recently… a booking that on the same day they were to arrive requested to change the booking date to February!!! So it was an end run around cancelling. I reluctantly did it, but in thinking it through now realize that he can now, if he chooses, cancel the February booking with very little penalty, since we have moderate cancellation policy. Something to look out for!

I learned (from this forum, Thankx folks!) that I got screwed that way in the past. I (we) need to decline the change. I usually tell them to cancel and that assuming all else goes well (code for if I have an otherwise positive experience with you and hopefully a 5 star review) I will gladly refund any nights that someone books. Unfortunately although i have given some refunds for some nights rebooked, I not once got a review, let alone a 5 star review, from any of those people. Actually, now that I write this out I realize I need to adjust my tactic slightly to request a review if I believe it will be positive. do NOT ask or state to the Guest that you will only refund if they give you a 5 star review. They can then use the extortion clause of ToS against you and then Airbnb is likely to refund them from your payouts in full regardless as well as remove their 5 star review of you anyways.

Good for you for standing your ground. I too have a moderate cancellation policy and have only refunded twice. One the poor people had a tree fall on their house in an ice storm forcing them to cancel their trip. Their situation was verifiable so I gave them a full refund. The other is a repeat customer who needed to cancel so I refunded them, and they have since stayed with us again. I’ve had others who are a no show or want to pull out a day early just because. It doesn’t matter if they request a change or they cancel I do not give them a refund.