Guest cancellation and refund request

The guest booked on 11 October for a 1 night stay on 17 October. The guest cancelled the booking tonight. We have a Moderate cancellation policy so, because they are within 5 days of their stay, the policy states no refunds. The cancellation was quickly followed by a request for a full refund. In doing so, apologising and recognise the short notice by they feel they’ve given sufficient notice.

This is our first cancellation by a guest and advice would be welcomed. My instinct is to be accomodating where we can. However, they did only book on short notice and knew what they signed up to. I’m inclined to not agree a refund.

Is this the correct approach?

So sad that you aren’t staying.
Of course you read the cancellation policy?
Please call customer service regarding a refund, as they hold the payment.

If your dates are rebooked, I will refund in full.


What reason did they give for cancelling?

They had to look after a grandchild at short notice.

I agree with @Debthecat then, I would say that as outlined in the cancellation policy they booked under, the booking isn’t eligible for a refund. But as gesture of good will on your part, if the date gets rebooked, you will be happy to consider a refund.

In that way you don’t lose out, but are seen to be, being flexible.


We will take that advice, thanks to both of you. I will do it tomorrow, as we’re currently on holiday. We’ve had our own Airbnb experiences as guests - there might be a new thread on that.

@Debthecat has a perfect response, however you want to be careful in implying that you will refund in full. There are ABNB admin charges that you have little control over. I had a similar situation and when the guest did rebook, I called the Helpdesk and suggested that ABNB refund their original cancellation admin fees. They did so, and contacted the guest on my behalf. Earned me some points with the guest.

I would respectfully suggest that you do so, as soon as possible. It’s as simple as responding to this forum. If I were the guest, I’d want it resolved (one way or another). I’d also suggest that the less timely your response the less likely they’d want to rebook.

Enjoy your holiday.


I’ve advised the guest of our position and essentially taken the form of words @Helsi wrote. We’ll see how that’s received.

@HH_AZ, the reasons I delayed the response until this morning is that I don’t like to message guests at antisocial hours that might disturb sleep.

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You seem like such a polite person and thats really nice and important when dealing with guests.
I hope you’ll get your money!

I too have used the: I’ll refund if I get the place booked, and was successful but as others have stated you have the cancellation policy for a reason and I wouldn’t refund unless you get it re-booked.

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I’m glad my advice helped.

Do let us know how it goes.

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I am sorry to hear that you need to cancel, I don’t have much experience with cancellations but if you wish to cancel you will need to contact Airbnb as your financial transaction is with Airbnb not with me, I don’t get paid until after you stay.

I have found this in the Airbnb help section:

It would be a good idea to check with your travel insurance provider as it could be covered on your travel insurance. Also if you paid with a credit card you may automatically have travel insurance through your credit card issuer that some credit card companies provide. They are designed to cover costs when something unexpected happens and you aren’t able to complete a reservation.


This message is a collaboration of many things I have read on this forum. None of this I thought of myself.


The guest has responded thanking me for clarifying our position. It’s a waiting game until the date for any new booking.

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I think Jamjsco means a another booking, rather than these guests re-booking.

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Indeed I do. The cancelled guest cannot make it any longer.

Well, our accomodation was not booked tonight so we will abide by our position and not issue a refund. I suppose the guest could yet challenge this through Airbnb.