Guest asking for a refund because they decided not to stay the night

This guest has a bad review from somebody, saying that they asked the same thing - asked to cancel due to Covid, and then they made up terrible things about their stay. However, this is slightly different… They never showed up.

This guest sent me messages on Airbnb earlier in the week that they were concerned that the boyfriend had been near his boss who had Covid. I replied, if you take a test the day of and the day before and it’s negative, I think you’re going to be OK. They did they were negative. Then I got a strange request asking for lockbox information even though they get a message from me about my smart locks. Another message saying they’re not gonna be there at check-in but they’ll be there after 11 tonight , then another message saying the boyfriend came down with a fever and they decided to go home. In this case they live 30 minutes away. This is after they came up to the area to be at a two year-old’s birthday party.

Then I got a message this morning saying just checking about getting a refund since they did not stay the night. I’m asking everybody what’s the best answer for this? My first thought was to give them a link so they can request a refund, through Airbnb, of course, and then my reply would be either not replying or refusing it. But I’m wondering if anybody has any better ideas? They seem to be those kind of folks who want to punish me because my cancellation policy and the fact that they didn’t stay somehow worked against them lol.

Thanks all.


They booked an Airbnb to go to a two-year old’s birthday party when they live 30 minutes away? These people sound like they have been lying about everything from square one.

I would just tell them that hosts have cancellation policies for a reason, and of course you can’t rebook the place in such short notice, so asking for a refund is out-of-line.

I might also call Airbnb, tell them to take a look at the past host’s review of the guest, as they just tried to pull exactly the same thing on you and that you expect the guest to ask Airbnb for a refund, make up untrue things about your place even though they never arrived, and leave a retaliatory review. Ask Airbnb to make a note on the file, as these guests seem to have a history of false claims as revenge if they don’t get refunded.

These are the kind of guests who cause listings to be suspended by making false claims as revenge.


“You’ll have ask AirBnB for a refund. They manage the money.”

When AirBnB calls you to approve a full refund, tell that person their history and what happened to you. And be prepared to educate the CS rep with the AirBnB retaliatory review policy.


That’s what I’d do. I’d tell them that I don’t have their money, Airbnb does. Then I’d refuse the refund when asked by Airbnb.

As a general rule, I’m usually okay with refunds as long as I have at least a day to get new guests to fill the gap but in this case, there wasn’t anything like the time required.

They sound like inconsiderate people to me. So I certainly wouldn’t worry about being ‘punished’ - there’s nothing they can do. As @PitonView says, let Airbnb know about them. It’s best to warn them so that other hosts won’t be affected by their weird Covid/kid’s birthday party nonsense.


I wouldn’t wait to tell Airbnb about these guest’s behavior until Airbnb contacts you about a refund. With lying, disrespectful guests who it is obvious have some history of this behavior, it doesn’t hurt to get out ahead of them so Airbnb already has a note on their file.

It’s possible that if it’s brought to Airbnb’s attention, they may simply decline the guest’s refund request without asking you if you agree to a refund.


I agree with others here, and I strongly suggest the most important thing for you to do is protect yourself by being proactive with Airbnb. Keep in mind, they are not just trying to cheat you, they are also trying to cheat the mothership out of its fees as well.


All GREAT advice. I called air, and as advised, told them the story. They told me to wait and if the guest leaves a retaliatory review, it would be removed since according to their message in the airbnb app, “since we were unable to stay with you”.


They apparently say that to everyone who talks to them about this type of scenario, then refuse, in many cases, to remove the review, so I wouldn’t be too trusting of those kinds of assurances. (They often seem to let 1* clearly retaliatory reviews stand even when the guest has thrown a party, been reported for it while the party is going on, and told by Airbnb to leave, and even had Airbnb delete the guest’s account. The guest gets banned from Airbnb for unacceptable behavior, but their revenge review still sits on the host’s review page, which is insane.)

But at least now there is hopefully some record of you acting premptively.

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Did they actually even show up or just say they did? If they did not show up then let AirBnb know ASAP because you will have grounds to get any review removed. Smells like a scam to me



I had a guest like this once. I told him that I will consider the refund request after the review period ends. He did not leave me a bad review and I gave him a refund of the cleaning fee. Then I blocked him from contacting me.

Airbnb is not reliable enough to count on them to remove the review and plus it can impact your bookings in the time it takes for them to do that.


The cleaning fee is always automatically refunded if the guest never stayed and cancelled.

In this case the guest did not cancel, right?

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Ah, I assumed they cancelled.

correct, they never cancelled, they simply never showed up.

This shows the value of ACCURATE AND TRUTHFUL HOST REVIEWS. The last host mentioned the ‘covid issue’ with the gust asking to cancel and refund, and then finding everything wrong with the airbnb. It’s ‘evidence’…


What’s the scam? Travel insurance plus refund from the host?

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I don’t want to get paranoid but I wonder if there are people out there trying to undermine Airbnb by booking and then cancelling at the last minute (or the next day!) and ask for a full refund?

What would be their motive in trying to undermine Airbnb? And how would booking and cancelling achieve that?

I think these are just guests who book, decide they don’t want to stay for whatever reason, then keep throwing crap at the wall, hoping it sticks, re reasons for deserving a refund. AKA jerks.


Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. Refunds are a double whammy in Airbnb’s view. They don’t want to have to give up a cent. It will hurt you in the long run with their algorithm.

This is interesting. I know they won’t officially say anything like this so how did you find out about this?

Airbnb doesn’t refund their service fees. They aren’t giving up anything.