Does Airbnb refund guests if a host does not?

I had a guest with a 16 day booking. The guest decided after 2 days they did not want to stay in the home. Their main issue was that it was “not conducive to work”. I don’t advertise the home as having a dedicated work space or that its a great place to work. Main reason is the home is very small and there is no space for a desk. There is a small counter top with stools under it but no other dining space. This is all made clear in my page. Nonetheless, I have had many people stay 1 week to a month and work from home at the place. I have not encouraged anyone to work from here but also haven’t had any issues until now. These people decided it wouldn’t work for them and wanted a refund. I immediately offered a better option than my refund policy (I’d refund them 50%) and I would refund them more (up to 100% except used nights) if I was able to rebook the place. That being said I had already modified the booking once for them at no charge, and the booking blocked my calendar for the better part of the month, especially since I am doing buffer days.

I feel like the guest didn’t consider their own preferences when booking my place. They left to go stay at a Marriott for some of the remaining stay. Some people think they want to charm of a unique stay but realize they really just want a business hotel. I get it and I HATE keeping money from guests for cancellations but I am financially affected by their poor decision making. She was very angry at the offer.

She suddenly seemed to calm down and get more agreeable which I was relieved about. A few hours later I went to go refund them the 50% and I noticed she already had a refund of $1741 (see bottom line in screen shot). I did not issue this and she wasn’t due any refund based on my refund policy. Is it possible that she complained enough to Airbnb and they refunded her most of her stay with their own funds (not mine)? It would explain her sudden change in mood…

Also, I contacted Airbnb to ask about this line. I was on the phone for 40 minutes and customer service was stumped. They escalated and I am waiting to hear back.

Looking at your screen cap, that refund is coming from you. I would assume you got your payout already, in which case Airbnb is going to do clawbacks from future reservations. I.e. they are going to subtract that money from subsequent payouts until they’ve recaptured all $1741.

Unfortunately, you need to call them again.

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I can confirm I am not paying the $1741. That much was confirmed by Airbnb. All my payouts look complete going forward. I have emails stating my payout is 100% from this reservation and the guest is receiving $0 from me.

Maybe. The service fee quoted (host) is equivalent to the original booking.

Who knows though…


Do not refund them anything until you actually receive a payout for this booking.

I have the entire funds due to me. I don’t want to refund them any if Airbnb already did out of their funds though.

I do hope the refund isn’t coming from you. Be vigilant about checking your next payout.

I absolutely know its not from me from existing or future payouts. Thats why I am asking.

Yes I have had Airbnb refund a guest instead of me having to refund. I think it looked something like your photo, but it was quite awhile ago and I don’t really remember. But I do remember getting an email that they had done so as a courtesy. I don’t think ABB does anything nice without making a big deal out of it. Did you get an email?

No, you don’t absolutely know that until you receive that payment. Regardless of what an Airbnb rep told you or what is currently showing on your transaction page. I find it hard to believe Airbnb refunded a guest $1741 out of their own coffers.


I have the money in my bank. All my future payouts are 100% full. No future payout shows any deductions.

To be frank, it was at this point that you should simply directed them to Airbnb, on the basis that you pay them to deal with shit like this. The simple defence, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have your money, you’ll need to speak to Airbnb” should be sufficient. Offering this and that rarely works, you either confuse the guest or piss them off.



I do have their money though. I am nice. Based on my refund policy I don’t owe them anything. I offered to refund them some as I have a busy Airbnb and will very likely get new bookings. I think she’s in the wrong but I don’t like keeping people’s money if they don’t stay - so I split the difference. I am fine with that. However if Airbnb refunded them because she threw a big enough tantrum - I would like to keep the money due to me, instead of her getting refunded by both me and Airbnb.

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I have read posts where Airbnb clawed back refunds from hosts’ future payouts 2 years after the fact.

That’s why I said you can’t be assured that will never happen just because you don’t see that in your transaction page now.


They legally can’t since it outside my cancellation policy. I am really not worried about Airbnb taking money from my account. There is no indication they will. I am just wondering if the refund line is some reporting bug or if Airbnb refunded the guest themselves.

Good luck with thinking Airbnb “legally can’t”. They give refunds to guests when it’s outside the host’s cancellation policy all the time.


They can legally do what they told you they could do in the Terms of Service, which is anything they want. Open up the TOS and do a search for “sole discretion” :slight_smile:

That being said, you may have missed my other post but, yes, sometimes they do refund guests instead of having you do it, but as lots of others have warned, it may not be what they are doing in your case, you should not spend the money yet.

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I used to run the credit card payments for a multinational vacation rental company… I know when they can grab money out of peoples accounts or not because I was the one to do it. They won’t be grabbing money of mine for this situation. Sounds like its not a bug and they did refund this guest… I am waiting for Airbnb to confirm this but it stumped the lower level customer service people.

It has nothing to do with credit card payments being taken from anyone’s account. You are comparing apples to oranges. Airbnb just takes the guest refunds out of your future payouts, i.e. they pay you less.

But you obviously refuse to believe that this could be possible, so as I said, good luck and I hope it doesn’t happen to you.