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Guest Cancellation Request - Strict Policy

So here is my conundrum for this weekend.

We have guests who booked for Monday - Friday (they booked last night).

I quickly accepted the request as he has great reviews. The guests currently in the house asked if they could extend into the week and I said no because I already accepted the new guest. So they made other arrangements.

The guest emailed me this morning to say they sent out a bunch of inquiries and someone else responded faster (I accepted within the hour), and they decided to stay somewhere else, and that they did not send me a booking request, just an inquiry.

I told them that they indeed sent a booking request and I would not be able to cancel it from my end, and they needed to do it from within their own account but that I had a strict cancellation policy and that I can’t pay for his mistake.

He replied and basically told me that it wasn’t his fault and that he is entitled to a full refund.

I said no, and told him to call airbnb.

At this point I am obviously not refunding him because there is no way I am going to get new guests in here tomorrow and I will lose out. You can’t just send out a bunch of booking requests and then expect the host to pay the price for it. He seemed pretty pissed and I am also not comfortable even having them here should they convince the other host to cancel for them because then they will come here just to avoid losing their money and be pissed off the whole time and probably leave me a bad review.

What do I do? Airbnb probably won’t cancel it without refunding the guest right? If he doesn’t show up then that is fine but obviously my calendar will remain blocked if they don’t cancel it.

You could not have accepted it if it wasn’t a booking request, I think. I would let it play out through Airbnb, if they cancel you might offer a partial refund. I did this with a guest who cancelled when I told her she could not bring her dog or her friend at no charge. She agreed to the partial charge.

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No I couldn’t accept it if it were just an inquiry. I explained that to him but he wants a full refund.

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He just found a different place to stay probably not an Airbnb and had buyers remorse. People can be such pains in the butt. Probably a good reason to breathe, wait before we push accept. I got a late night request to book with a question and I just answered the question and waited until morning and by then he had already cancelled his request. I got another booking tout de suite

You did nothing wrong. Don’t pay for others mistake.

So Airbnb called me to say the guest called and wanted to cancel. They asked me what I want to do and that I don’t have to refund him, but maybe a night or two to be fair. I decided to refund half, and as the Airbnb rep was about to press the button to cancel the reservation and refund half, the guest emailed to say he canceled his other reservation instead because the other host was more flexible, and that he would be here tomorrow.

The tone of his message sounded upset. I don’t want to be uncomfortable for the next 4 days so I told Airbnb to just give him a full refund because I don’t feel like dealing with it, and that the guest requested to cancel it first so it shouldn’t count against us. Airbnb said that the guest has the right to be here because he has a reservation and that he is going to keep trying to call the guest who now has his phone turned off.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want upset guests here for the next 4 days who are only coming because they didn’t have a choice. What would you all do? This is totally unfair to us as hosts.


At this point I’d try to make nice, make the best of it, count my money. Just remember that next week was open until a couple of nights ago. Since he already had a reservation he has your address and he could literally come to your place and confront you. He did have nice reviews before so maybe it’s just all a big ball of confusion and he’s feeling dumb and therefore defensive and angry. At the end of the week, count the money again. Take yourself and your spouse out to see a show. If he ends up being a jerk, slam him in the review.


Good advice K9. I guess my biggest fear is that he will leave a bad review. Our reviews have been amazing and I hate to risk it. Money is great but I care more about the reputation we are building than I do about the cash. You are probably right about it just being a big and confusing mess.

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I would just be up front when he arrives and say something like, I know we got off to a bad start, but we want you to enjoy your stay with us as if none of this had happened. I would say this while handing him a bottle of wine! It just seems like a very disorganized guest. Make charm your friend, and I know from your interaction here that you have a lo of charm!


Excellent idea about the wine. I usually buy a bottle for people who stay for four days or more and have it waiting for them next to the fresh bread I bake for them and honey from our bees. It is his honeymoon trip (we are the first stop for them) so of course I want them to have an experience they will never forget.


That explains a lot. All is forgiven. LOL.


Yeah, make this an opportunity to wow him and thank his stars he “had to” stay with you. Bottle of wine, fresh bread, honey, and a “I really hope you enjoy your stay. I’m sorry it all started out so bad, but congratulations on your wedding and I’m thankful that you’re here.”


Maybe champagne considering the occasion. Since they have no idea what you do for other guests, make it seem like it’s just for them! :heart:️:heart:️:heart:️
And, bring a goat along with the goodie basket around her neck.,


I wouldn’t even mention the mishap. I would just carry on like it was a guest you wanted and make them feel at home. Grin and bear it. It’s only four days. He was obviously new at ABB and had no idea what he was doing when he booked. Live and learn.

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Haha. I love the champagne idea! Airbnb emailed me and asked me to directly email the guest and let him know I’m willing to offer the full refund so I did and also told him if they decide to stay I just want them to be happy and have a wonderful time.

I did consider that he might be new to Air but he has 8 reviews so he certainly knew what he was doing.


Maggieroni, I love the goat idea!! Haha. The only problem is that the goat will eat the basket before I could get her to the guests! :wink:


If you haven’t already…I would let him know that you did not allow your current guests to extend their stay - this was based on you accepting his booking

I do not feel you owe guests any kind of explanation whatsoever, but I think he will lighten up once he realizes that you turned away other business. Do not be apologetic at all.

I don’t like the fact that your guest said he cancelled the other reservation because the other host was more “flexible.” If he ultimately decides to show up, then allow him to save face, while you subtly let him know who is boss.


Goat muzzles on Amazon prime anyone?
Just bring the goat anyway!

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Everyone is too nice here. I would make him stay and lose nothing. It is up to them if they want to be happy or a sour puss.


You did offer to refund them, which should give you much peace when dealing with them now. Make light of it and be your normal self, the rest is up to them not you.

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