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Guest books room then tells me of feather allergy!

I searched the forum but couldn’t find much on how to deal with this issue.

The guest contacted me after booking and asked that all bedding/items with feathers be removed from the room. For me to accomplish this I would need to buy a new comforter and move the sofa out of the room. I’ve offered guest a full refund as I’m not ready to invest the money (yet) on hypo-allergenic bedding, etc.

Advice on how to deal with this? She will not get back to me…

Should I mention in my Airbnb ad that much of the bedding (and other throws, pillows around the house) are down and contain feathers to avoid this in the future?

Yes. And you might try to avoid feathers all over and in everything as you move forward with new things over time. If she won’t reply to your messages on the forum have you tried call/text/airbnb email? If that fails call Airbnb and tell them what the issue is. I’d see if they will cancel penalty free.


The ball is in her court. She chose your listing and you have done nothing wrong. Contact Airbnb explaining the situation and ask them to free the dates on your calendar. Then let the guest argue the issue with Airbnb.

Unless the booking is soon, then forget about it. She will have had to pay already so presumably will be eager to cancel. It was her job to do due diligence and make sure the listing was suitable for her. She knew about her allergies - you didn’t. The end.


Agreed. I plan on slowly doing this but don’t want to spend the money. She instant booked yesterday, then told me of her plans and her feather allergy. I think she can still get refunded by Air since it hasn’t been 48 hours? If this is not the case I will call airbnb I guess.

The booking starts on 6/21 and she booked yesterday (6/10) AM. I’m going to leave her a message on her cell–hopefully she will get it in time to avoid a lot of fuss.

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You should be able to cancel an IB like that penalty free. Go online and say not comfortable with the guest. She will be refunded.

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All’s well that ends well! Calling her mobile phone worked and she agreed that it probably wasn’t a good fit. She was very gracious about it and apologized to ME! I’m adding “feathers” to my description…always learning!


Thanks for letting me know that–it will be helpful in the future! I didn’t have to do that b/c she cancelled within the 48 hour limit for a full refund.:grinning::grinning::smiley:

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Glad it all worked out well for you. :slight_smile:

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I would not remove all the wonderful high end feather products that cocoon me in luxurious sleep. The plusses far outweigh the few who will pass.
Just detail what you provide in a positive manner in your description.
What a treat !
Don’t change for her.


Ahhhhh. Good call. I kind of framed the “down/feathers” in a negative manner today, when I updated my description. I will re-phrase! You are right, I soooo love my down, it’s usually a good thing!

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One of our rooms has a down comforter. I always loved them but many people have allergies to them. We have a second backup comforter if that happens.

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Interestingly enough, people do not have feather allergies, they have dust mite allergies which will be in any type of pillow left unwashed too long.


Any organic matter can have someone, somewhere who is allergic to it. One can’t simply dismiss feather allergies just because dust mite allergies are even more common.

That’s very interesting indeed. I might read up on this!

Dr. Nabeel Farooqui is an allergist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Three Common Indoor Allergy Myths Busted:

Allergy Myth #1 - Hypoallergenic Pets
“I often see patients who, because they are allergic to pet dander, thought getting a hypoallergenic pet would be okay. Wrong! …”

Allergy Myth #2 - Bedding
“Another myth is that feather pillows and down comforters cause allergic reactions. This has led to a boom in sales of down alternatives and “anti-allergen” pillows. However, if you test the two types of pillows side by side, this myth is quickly put to rest. _As it turns out, you don’t need to get rid of your feather bedding. It’s more likely that you’re allergic to the dust mites in the bedding rather than the feathers themselves…”

Allergy Myth #3 - Mold
“The third myth I’d like to dispel is about the black mold in your basement, bathrooms and showers. You hear stories all the time about toxic, even fatal reactions due to black mold…”

More details

Maybe I don’t need to be in such a rush to change out bedding? I am sick of the feathers floating around and all the extra dusting! Ha!

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I use the Hospitology brand pillow encasements available on Amazon. That should take care of the dust mite issue. Then get an inexpensive microfiber comforter that you can switch out for the down when a guest requests it.

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That’s just one doctor’s opinion. I would like a second opinion. I am particularly suspicious of his saying black mould is not allergenic. That seems counterintuitive to me. Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation (natural or with well designed technology) is the cornerstone of healthy buildings. Kill with a specialist cleaner, far more effective than just bleach. I guess feather duvets and pillows are equally washable as long as they are refluffed in a tumble dryer afterwards. They do attract clothes moths more than synthetics though. Personally I am more keen on cotton filled duvets for the Summer, cool, heavy and easy to wash.

Unfortunately, it is not much use to us that some allergies and sensitivities are “in your head.” Guests believe they are allergic, so they are allergic.

If you disclose that you have feather bedding in your listing, frame it as a positive. Like, “Queen-sized bed with a plush down comforter.”

I am not a fan of making disclaimers for each guest idiosyncrasy, but I do think each odd-ball ask does make it worth reviewing our listings to make sure we are clearly describing what it is we do offer.

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I looked a little more but couldn’t find anything that said “feather allergies are real”. This seems weird to me. Can’t one be allergic to chickens, geese, birds, etc.? Whatever, I would certainly never challenge a guest on their allergies as @xena pointed out.

I had an inquiry from a couple who wanted to spend 10 days in my home, and they were vegan, which of course I’m totally fine with. She was asking all sorts of questions about the food being prepared in my pots and pans, my oven, the contents of my fridge, etc. In regards to my oven, she wanted it cleaned prior to arrival. (Guess she’d rather eat Easy-off residue than eating food out of an oven that had a turkey in it at one point :laughing::yum: ) My town is very vegetarian/vegan friendly, but she did not “trust” restaurant food prep. standards. Sounded like they were planning on taking over my (shared) kitchen for their whole stay! Fortunately, during all this back and forth someone booked some of the days she wanted. Big sigh of relief!

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