Giving guests option to change the reservation date instead of them losing $ on cancelled reservation

I just have a guest requesting a cancellation of their 3-day reservation on Christmas, which is 3 weeks from now. They said that they’re concerned about COVID, etc. My cancellation policy states that they will only getting 50% refund, and they’re asking for a full refund though I’m not obligated to do that. Being a nice host that I am, I consented Airbnb to give them the full refund…and I’m fine with that. Thinking back, instead of giving them a full refund, should I just change the reservation to another date? That way they don’t lose $ and I still have 3 days booked at my place. What do you think?

Just remember that if give Airbnb consent to give the guest a full refund, Airbnb will refund the guest but take that refund amount out of any payouts you receive between now and Christmas, when they will pay you the money at the scheduled payout date. How this affects you depends on your immediate cash flow situation.

I thought hosts only get paid after the guests check in. How could Airbnb take that refund amount out of my future payouts when I did not receive any payment from the reservation that’s 3 weeks away? I’m confused.

You’d think that’s how it should work. However, if YOU authorize a refund, they take it out of your upcoming payouts and then give guest’s money (that they’ve been holding since booking) to you when the reservation was supposed to start.

Thanks for the info. Learn new things every time I’m on this site!

Also rescheduling gives them another window to cancel for refund.

I’ve rescheduled 3x. 2 times went as planned. Trust was warranted.

The 3 the guest waited for a week then cancelled for full refund under my moderate policy. Sneaky snake


That sucks. I have Strict cancellation so I guess they could only cancel within 48 hrs after the reservation changes without a penalty.

That’s correct, but the point is that if you accept a change request (or if you create a change request and the guest accepts it), the guest can cancel immediately for a full refund.


Sadly it’s an old trick for guests to request new dates for their reservation that are in some far-off future time and then cancel, getting their refund.

Because of this, I do not accept alteration requests from guests unless the change is within their original trip window. If a guest wants to push back their trip, I tell them they will need to cancel their current booking and re-book with the dates they want.

With a strict cancellation policy I do give guests a refund if (and only if) I am able to re-book their original dates. I learned that one from the seasoned professionals on here :grin:


I given credit for a future stay off the books. I’ve never gotten burned, but I have had a couple parties never claim their credit.

Instead of accepting a date change, I have them cancel without a refund but promise them credit in the future if they do re-book. I’ve had a couple people actually re-book, but another has not yet.

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It’s likely if your guests are coming for a special occasion ie Christmas they wouldn’t have wanted to change the reservation for another date anyway @Slingster

And if you have already agreed to a full refund you can’t just change your mind and ask them to book for another date instead.

I’m not sure @Brian_R170 is correct on this. I have given about 8 guests a full refund even though I have a strict cancellation policy as my guests aren’t able to travel to my area because of Covid restrictions. Airbnb has done this as a mutual cancellation, so Airbnb do not take the refund amount out of future payouts.

No no no.

“We need to cancel because of covid”

Did they book in January of last year? No? You are being a pushover. Covid was here when they booked. They agreed to your terms. They cost you opportunities by locking up you calendar.

'Sorry but due to the pandemic, our cancelation policy that you agreed to we will be doing XXxxxxx in line with that policy"

We also add that we have been taking lots of punches since the start of the pandemic and cannot afford it as we are a young married couple.

I dont like it- it makes me feel bad - but at the same time people are booking during a PANDEMIC and then realizing oh shit! Its a pandemic

That worked in March-June. Its December


I just switched to strict cancelation a few days ago. We had a 5 day stay over Christmas booked for 2 months. We planned our holiday around it. They canceled and now we cannot utilize those days at our place and we got nada.

Its a pandemic. People who don’t want to travel should not book.


Oh man. I give this 100 likes! People really shouldn’t be traveling but if they are going to take the chance, they should absorb the risk, not the host. I hate to keep someone’s money and not provide a service but your post perfect captures my current feeling.


You know what I hate more than taking peoples money when I don’t provide a service? Someone taking mine because of their poor planning. Everyone should be setting their bookings to STRICT right fucking now.

I’m an idiot and missed out on $500 Xmas booking which fucks my whole holiday because of someone else’s problem. Never again


I’m actually closed right now because no one should be traveling during a pandemic.

But if I were open I wouldn’t be using the strict category for my kind of rental. I can almost always get rebooked. So maybe you will get rebooked. Xmas is still 3 weeks away.

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The issue is that we already have a flight booked, and we booked them around this particular booking. We believe in science, wear masks ect.

Regardless, We cannot afford to stay closed for 9 months as our other business is closed and we still have bills to pay. It is what it is.

You’ve got time to get different guests in for that period. I’d be inclined not to but you could even offer a small discount as the vacancy is only available ‘due to cancellation’. You can stipulate that the availability is only for those five days so that you can still have your holiday after the stay. :slight_smile:

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Umm, one teeny weeny f*ck and I end up on the naughty step…

Just saying like.