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Guest canceled reservation, changed mind wants to book again w/out penalty

So I have a couple that booked a week long trip months ago and they got an exceptional deal. They later said they had to cancel (2.5 months before the trip) fully aware of my strict cancelation policy. As a favor to them I said I would only take 10% rather than 50% IF I could get 1…2…3 however many nights booked during their original 7 day booking… As long I earned equal to what their reservation cost.

Maybe 10 days later they Now tell me they want to re-book, get their cancellation fee back ($520) as well.

The main reason I did it was because they booked sooo far in advance during down season their nightly rates are around $145. Now those same dates rent for over $300. I also prefer shorter stays, more turnover = more money… So am reluctant to just let them have the reservation back… Not to mention waiving their $520 cancel fee… AND giving them their trip basically 50% off on top of that.

What would you do??

I think you know the answer to that.


What would I do?

  • Let them know the price has gone up since the discounted rate offer has ended.
  • Send them a Special Offer with a price that is worth it for me to deal with this sh**.

yes of course I want to say" too bad" here is the one dam*n problem

i was being a nice guy and said " hey look, i’ll only charge you 10% instead of 50% for canceling IF i get bookings equal to the value of yours.

I also said " if by mid september not a single day has been booked (which is infinitley small chance of happening). I would allow them to have their 7 day reservation back, for a `10% fee for the trouble I went through to come up with this idea to help them.

I basically was hoping they would cancel which is why I gave them a bit of security that at least they would get some money back from the penalty… and worst case they would just have to pay it like everyone else. The reason I wanted them to cancel was because I’m seriously talking $100–$220 A DAY in extra profit if they canceled and new people booked.


i think i KNow what you’re saying but not quite sure about the 2nd bullet point.

Charge them the going rate for those dates?

Technically I could say too f’ing bad I spent a lot o my time trying to help you. I’ll refund your canceled fee but you must book at the going rate right now like everyone else.

Yes, you could, and should. Get what you’re worth.

I’m in a similar boat - I rented out a huge chunk of my summer for way, way to cheap.

These kinds of transactions take a lot of your time! And for all you know they may cancel again!

Are you nervous about not booking those dates and would rather have a bird-in-the-hand?

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Depends how much you value their business. If you really want to secure the booking, offer a nominal discount (10%?)

Red flag red flag red flag just nooooooooooo

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they are in your rear view window. go forward.


Oh, well said @georgygirlofairbnb!!!

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no i want to maximize my profit i KNOW those days will get booked. i’m booking on ave. $335 night w/ beyond pricing’s help (highly recommend). thought my prices were through the roof but guess not… i hit 94%, 100% and 97% may june and july…and i’m booked aug 1-21 straight. Based in Seattle… quadrupled my mortgage 4 months in row. ave. turnover is 2.25 days. If I can keep it up this one house will rake in near 6 figures and it is just a townhouse with 2.5 bed and bath.

house: 1 car gargae, 2.5 bedroom and bath. extremely close to everything and its a 3 minute walk from the lake

@Lucy_R i never use airbnb priing suggestions BP only takes 1% and changes your prices daily every 12 hours based on all kinds of things: day of week, 1 night or 2 night consecutive vacancy… IMO they are awesome. per their instructions you will make more money if you can average 90% occupancy monthly. aim for the mom and you never know someone might book it.

I just had someone book a 1 night stay that will net me nearly $600 2x what I normally make on a 1 night stay. again not bragging but i think BP is the real deal b/c the more money you make the more they do (1% on all your reservations).

**so what should I tell these folks?

not worried at all… i just told them ho wit is. book it I wil give them 80% of their cancel fee. $400. but that is basically a one night stay fo free and they are staying 7 so $400 as a generous offer is fine by me

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if they say no i really don;t care because someone or multiple people will reserve those dates and it will all even out and then some.

I’m not following the part about allowing them to have their reservation back if no one has taken a single day by September.

I thought these people didn’t want to come? Are they wanting to book the same dates again, or other dates?

Let me clarify. Guests booked 7 day trip 6 months in advance… Shortly after they said they couldn’t make travel plans worked and asked if I would waive fee. Said no way (in so many words) but I said “go ahead and cancel it the moment I get enough days booked during your original dates that equal your would have been payout to me, I will only charge you 10% cancel fee”. They agreed, canceled res.

Maybe 2 weeks later said they could come and want the dates back, if possible… And they asked to get all cancel fee applied to this new reservation… AND they want to.book at the ridiculously cheap rate they originally got.

No chance I’m doing that. My rebuttal was how much time and effort I’ve put into this to try and lessen the hit on the financially. Their 7 day stay 6-7 days are $140/night how the hell rates were that low I don’t kno. Now daily rates range from 275ish-$386. About to say “look I’ve gone overboard to help you, I’ll refund the cancelation fee of $512” but not until you book these dates.

If they say “no too expensive” then I’ll say well good luck finding another spot that is not much cheaper (more expensive maybe) than mine. And they will be out $512.

Hotels in greater seattle are literally all 400+ a night so this is still a good deal for them.

Thoughts? Am I being reasonable? @cabinhost

Sooo many ways to say no!


You have to turn them down. The cheapskate factor is so high that it’s a huge red flag. You owe them nothing. Just say no.


I don’t think you need you to be concerned with being reasonable at all. They chose to cancel the reservation, and they are too wishy washy.

While it would be nice for them to have their reservation back, as if they never canceled - they have too many red flags for me.

Honestly, I wouldn’t even want them to rebook at the regular rate. If you can easily book to someone else, then I would politely decline their offer to rebook. I would just tell them that you reconsidered and since they already canceled once, you cannot risk them canceling again. And then stick to that policy.

I think if you even allow them to rebook at regular rate, they are going to feel cheated. Then they may start looking for things to be wrong. Wipe your hands of these people is what I would do. They would be the type to cancel under extenuating circumstances 2 days before arrival because they changed their mind again. Then you will be out 100% of money.


Amen to that. Good riddance. Hope you get someone to book even half of that time: you’ll get the same money and less risk! Just say no and move on. They can’t rate you badly anyway if they don’t stay. If they do stay, you risk that they’ll comment all about the hassle under location, value, communication, overall experience, etc. It will not turn out well.

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