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Hey there! Newbie here…
I have an interesting situation and apparently there is nothing I can do.
I had a reservation booked several months in advance for this past saturday night. Just a one night rental. My guest sent me a message through airbnb that they might not be able to make it due to wildfires along the highway and highway temporarily closed. They asked if I was willing to refund.
I had no idea how pro-guest airbnb customer service is. I called and asked airbnb what i should do. They stated if the guest submitted documents to support an extenuatingcircumstance, they would get a refund. However, this refund would come from the rental fee. Here it is 9:40pm on a saturday night and the odds of it getting rented with the highway closed are obviously slim. The customer did submit docs and received a refund. My cabin did not rent and I am out with nothing. Also…the highway opened back up 20 minutes later. Lol
I have argued with airbnb to give the rent money that is owed to for keeping my end up. They refuse to listen amd.come back with stated terms. Blah blah blah.
But a good rule of thumb is to put yourself in the guests’ shoes. They were probably looking forward to staying with you and enjoying their break. The wildfires weren’t their fault. They didn’t do anything wrong and it was a documented extenuating circumstance.
Me too but we agree to Airbnb’s terms when we use the service.
What is missing is how the wildfire effected their getting to the home from their particular location? We had a similar situation in March when 3/4 of the state flooded. We were not directly impacted by the flooding but getting to us either east or west was difficult with many hours of driving around the flooded area’s. IMHO ABB did the correct (although it did impact my business) by allowing the guests to cancel w/refund. Yes this my business and I count on every dollar that it brings in however I have to be realistic I could never ask a guest to put themselves in jeopardy just so that I will receive my money. Some hosts will say that guests should purchase travelers insurance but I guess I am a different type of host, more compassionate. We all have different ways of hosting and whatever you feel comfortable with that is for you and your listing.
I try to never give refunds. Only if say they are booked out two or three months in advance then I don’t care because I know it will rebook. But when it’s that close to the date no way. I do remember a time when a guest wanted to cancel and I talked to Airbnb they asked me if I was willing to give them a refund and I said absolutely not and Air Bnb actually gave them a refund out of their own money not mine.