Flooding cancellations and just plain frustration

So if you have seen the news the heartland has been flooding for the past few days and those individuals who have been cancelling (understandably) it is because they can not reach our home. We are not flooded but the major roads around us have been flooded out and reaching us can be difficult however I have a long term guest who is moving into the area and has been staying with us for the past 3 weeks with 2 weeks to go on his reservation. When I spoke with him yesterday he stated he found a permanent home and wanted to know if he could shorten his stay by 1 week. With a weeks notice we could probably re-let the room so I agreed as part good will and part understanding his situation. Now I received a msg from him wanting to cancel the remainder of his stay starting tomorrow morning as his company is wanting him to stay closer to work during the flood. Currently it is hard to get in/out of his work area. I advised him that he would have to pay for the stay up to Saturday as agreed upon. We have a strict cancellation policy and I feel I am being more than fair and that if his company is wanting him to stay closer than his company should reimburse him for any dates that I am not willing to reimburse. What do you think? Am I just being grumpy because of all the cancellations, plus being on jury duty…or should I just let him cancel the remainder of his stay w/o penalty.

I would probably just cancel simply because I think Airbnb is going to give him his money anyway. Some fights aren’t worth having.


I’m so sorry to see the devastation going on, first of all. As for your guest, if he can legitimately get to work from your place, then I would not just cave because extenuating circumstances are not such that he can’t go where he needs to go; it’s just his work that is choosing something different. If he can’t get to work and there’s a disruption, then being closer does make sense and you’ll probably not win that one. It’s hard to tell from here which is the case. At a minimum, most hotels will keep one additional night for the last-minute cancellation and maybe you could too.

1 Like

One way of looking at it is that as he’s moving to the area he’s not going to become a repeat customer so it doesn’t matter if you play hardball a bit.

On the other hand, if you think that the relationship you’ve built up with him means that he might have friends coming to see him who will want accommodation at your place then you’ll want to keep him sweet.

Could go either way depending on the circumstances.

I feel your pain…the flooding after Hurricane Florence caused me to lose 6 weeks of bookings on two properties. My condos were fine but the roads to get to them were flooded. It ended up OK.

I filled the cancelled reservations with people who had been flooded out of their homes & needed temporary accomodations so they could work & get paychecks while the water receeded. I rented the condos for enough to cover the bills (not for as much as the vacationers were going to pay).

My heart broke for one group. They were evacuated by the national guard with whatever would fit in a backpack. Their house had water 3 feet up meaning all their furniture, appliances, sheetrock, flooring, clothes, just everything was ruined by the nasty flood waters & mold. I am blessed—that has never happened to my home.

Do what your heart tells you and it will be OK. I networked with other hosts to let them know I was willing to a do a discount for displaced families.


Update: After speaking with the guest he understood that his request is not what we had agreed to. He paid for the days up to Saturday and I reimbursed him the remainder of his stay w/o our normal cancellation fee of $25.00.

1 Like