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Guest booked 15 days stayed 2 nights goes to friends wants refund

Guest booked 15 nights 2 months ago. Stayed two nights, no problem. at noon today he messaged to say he didn’t think it was going to work out because no full kitchen, second bed is airbed.
Both things clearly stated in description and photos.
It’s now midafternoon and he messaged to say he has already taken his belongings and left key and requests changing booking to only the 2 nights. I have moderate cancelation policy.
He has no reviews so I think he is new to airbnb.
what would be reasonable?
What would you guys do?

Tell him refunds are not given for things that were clearly mentioned in the listing and stick to your cancellation policy.

He’ll be charged for the 2 nights he stayed, plus one night, and every night after that until he cancels, then the charge is 50% for the rest of the 15 days. So impress upon him that he won’t even be refunded anything until he cancels.

If he cancels right now, he’ll be charged for 3 or 4 nights, depending on your listed check-in time, and get 50% refunded for the rest of the 11 or 12 nights. This will be automatic from Airbnb, you don’t get involved with the refund.

You could send him a copy or a link to the moderate policy so he can read it for himself, rather than try to argue with you.


I’d be nice but firm. Absolutely don’t refund him until and unless you get rebooked. You should already have the payment for his stay. If Airbnb pressures you to refund, don’t do it.


I had no idea he had packed and left and thought he just wanted to leave a bit earlier so directed him to go into the reservation and change his dates. I figured my cancelation policy would still stand with a date change so was really shocked when an hour ago i got a request to change to today as check out date. In six years I’ve never had this happen so I was baffled that cancelation policy is not included in a request to change dates so substatially

Hmmm, that was probably not the best advice to give the guest. I’m not really sure what will happen if you accept the change. I don’t think you can change the reservation end date to anything less than 24 hours after next check-out time. And if you’re OK with giving a refund, then Airbnb will let you keep your current payout but deduct money from future payouts until the refund is paid back. But, I’m not sure if Airbnb will actually allow it, or if they’ll refund their fees back to the guest. Cancellations are always complicated and frustrating for hosts and guests.


i haven’t accepted the change

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It’s good you did not.

@muddy has been doing this a long time. I’d do what she suggested.

I’d message the guest on the platform and say this was not what you were expecting and that he needs to cancel, like she said, to max his refund, which will be according to the policy in effect when he booked.

Personally, I’d try calling Air and ask them to reach out to him to help him with the cancel and reiterate to the CS agent you are not deviating from your policy so not to even suggest it to the guest. If he calls them, they’ll likely call you to pressure a refund.

Also, he’s likely to give you a bad review but that can’t be avoided now. There’s a chance he won’t (fearing a bad review from you) so you wait on the countdown and review him last minute (please do!!). You can search the topic on here on how to do it.


Then Don’t!!! Tell him to cancel and then will get partial refund. Then you can give more if/when it is rebooked. Be sure to wait until afte that rebook checks out though.
I learned the hard way, too. The guest here did what you told him to but you should never do that in the future. Always have the guest cancel. If they have already left.

If there is to be an early departure that is in the future (not within 24 hours) you can then adjust the days to allow for rebooking sooner but be sure to change the amount back to the full amount. Actually it will usually be a whole dollar inky so they will usually get up to 99 cents refunded immediately for accepting the change. I do this frequently. My current guest is in this boat and actually shortened his stay by a day before even checking in. He got 46 cents back when I made the change and will only get that last day refunded if it is rebooked and that rebooking has them checked in and out without any issues. I usually tell guests that the refund will take usually up to 30 days for it to be sent. I also remind them that they can talk to AirBnB directly about refunding the taxes and service fees on that amount since AirBnB will just pocket it all when they don’t have to submit taxes….that’s a while other issues.

I think the problem is that @dashiel told the guest to make the changes, which is an informal approval. If the guest complains to Airbnb and has an on-platform message to back it up, all this advice might go right down the drain.

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It’s inky a problem if @dashiel doesn’t handle it properly at this point. I know what you are saying though. AirBnB CS is highly unlikely to understand this whole thing as well as we do. They won’t even know what to do…

But @dashiel didn’t say what to change it to or say there would be any kind of refund….did you @dashiel?


correct. here is a truncated version of the exchange today, it was confusing because I had no idea they had taken their belongings with them this morning and thought they were still downstairs
guest messaged “Hey there, unfortunately I’m not sure if this reservation will work out for us… Since this was a 15 night reservation and we’ve only stayed 2, can we work out some type resolution for the refund? I’ve read your cancellation policy, we are certainly willing to pay for the nights weve stayed”

my response
“To cancel or shorten your stay, You can log into your reservation to make the changes, I think the resolution center should be able to help you navigate this
This should help Can I change my reservation during the trip? - Airbnb Help Center


I think you have your answer, and it’s exactly what I expected.

Yeah, sorry, I don’t read her response that way. She just pointed them to where to go to cancel or shorten the stay. SHE said nothing about refunds.

And she pointed them to a link that says:

And that “refunded as necessary” would be in line with the cancellation policy, no? How else would you read this?

Can’t wait to see how it works out but if I were @dashiel there’s no way I’d let them get away with this. The guest is trying to get over on dashiel.

exactly, instead I get this from airbnb

requested changes

If you agree to the changes, ***** will be refunded $1,326.02 and your new total payout will be $198.85.

Uh-oh. I’m sorry. Be like a big dog with a bone. Don’t let it go. Push for the established cancellation policy to prevail

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Just don’t accept a changed date with changed payout. Tell him to cancel! You can then refund it not based on rebooking fir the remaining days. Do NOT accept a change the guest requests.

The cancellation policy will be the same but it will apply to the NEW dates if you do. Do NOT do this.

You can have the guest cancel since they are already gone (be sure to retrieve the key so they can’t come back unannounced bad have access (another great thing about using the August Smart Locks, I can remove their access immediately without ever going anywhere).

@dashiel you should do it one of two ways (IMO):

  1. Tell guest to cancel (reminding them that the sooner they cancel the sooner someone can rebook to get more back (you will not be keep everything because airbnb will refund based on your chosen cancellation policy).


  1. YOU change the dates and also change the price difference to be less than one dollar off (only because it won’t let you do a non whole number as the new charge). Then he can accept that or not. Sooner he does though the sooner it can get rebooked and you can give the largest refund (if you want).

Given that you have moderate policy the guest will potentially win more and you will potentially lose more. That is also why I changed my policies to Firm once it came out. According to that someone that has checked in is due ZERO refund so they are much more likely to comply with my request when I tell them I will refund what is rebooked.


I’m not sure that this is correct but not sure. I was under the impression that once someone booked and the reservation started there are no refunds. I think longer term stays (after 30 days) might have a clause for refunds. I don’t book longer stays so not 100 % sure - anyone can confirm?

Also, I never refund guests for them not reading the listing. He held your calendar hostage and prevented you from booking. I do offer that if anything gets books, I will give them the amount that you get from the booking. (Be really clear about this because Airbnb takes out fees and you might have to discount or only get some of the days booked) .

It is correct:


  • Guests can cancel until 5 days before check-in for a full refund, and you won’t be paid
  • If they cancel after that, you’ll be paid for each night they stay, plus 1 additional night, plus 50% for all unspent nights




Don’t accept the change request. Tell him to cancel and then a link to the policy

I recently had a couple book for 2 nights and leave after 1. They didn’t ask for a refund and I wouldn’t have given it to them. I literally had 4 reservations for that weekend that canceled, so I probably could have rebooked that night, but at that point I was fed up.

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