Guest Cancelled but was a jerk

Guest made a reservation- all was going well- then she wrote and said she needed to cancel because of an emergency. It was a month away from her visit but I am a new host so let her know that as a host I could not cancel her without being dinged and loosing the possibility of being a superhost- but she could cancel and airbnb could refund her money after she documents the emergency. I have a strict cancellation policy and didn’t know I could refund her money. She was livid that I did not cancel the reservation on my end and sent some nasty emails making fun of superhost status and just being rude. I do regret mentioning super host status for the record- but I was cordial and professional and empathetic in all interactions. She was such a royal pain the ass- and I never believed there was an emergency anyway. Now I am not refunding her money. Can airbnb ding me? They contacted me with a sugar sweet email asking me to refund her money- but I am inclined not to. I don’t really have a reason other than the fact that she was a yatch. I explained the situation to the airbnb employee- and would be happy to send her emails to airbnb but they didn’t reply and will probably drop it. Why do I have a strict cancellation policy and then have to deal with airbnb asking me to give her a refund?

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There’s a Help topic called Extenuating Circumstances for Guest Cancellations that maybe you referred her to, that gives a list of situations that qualify for Airbnb overriding the cancellation policy. Otherwise I don’t think they would be able to ding you.

I’d suggest for situations just like this you stick to the Airbnb message system rather than emails, so that there is a written record that Airbnb can see in case of a dispute (incentive to keep being the grownup with these folks!). You were right to insist on her doing the cancelling and documenting.

I don’t believe a guest cancellation penalizes hosts going for superhost status. Does anyone else know?


Every single time I call they follow up with their email and say “Oh I see you are a Superhost” - it might be worth something if they jumped through hoops for me. Where is my $100 voucher? I read on this forum someone mentioned a voucher. Is that true?

Since Airbnb pays out 50% with the strict cancellation policy…anyone know if they block your calendar or allow you to re-rent and get paid at full price for another reservation?

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This ablity of the guest to cancel due to emergency stinks. I suggest trip insurance. I cant afford an empty house due to a guest emergency.

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I would not refund her now only based n. fact that she was rude in her emails.
About Superhost status. I know some people who don’t want spend lots of time on searching go for a Superhost right away. So, I imagine it does brings you more bookings.

Of course she asked for YOU to cancell instead of cancelling herself. This way she could have all her money back., Instead of half.
As a guest I had to cancell twice. Both times I got my money back, because host rented it out on my days.,I was prepared though to lose half of it.
My view on it is : rules are rules. If listing is accurate and there is nothing else is going on rules should stand the ground.

Of course Airbnb wants to keep piece but nevertheless if a host refunds the money, airbnb still keep their portion non refundable. So special circumstances only work one way here.
4 years ago I bought airline tickets without insurance, and my mother got sick. I lost 2500$. We can’t predict what happens to us, and when we book non refundable accomodation we take chances. But it’s noones responsibility but ours.


Actually Airbnb should go after her for pushing you into cancelling yourself. If you cancelled herself she would get all her money without even losing Airbnb fee.
I know Airbnb doesn’t like this sort of thigs. A friend of mine being also new was somehow doubled booked, don’t know how that happened. Not realizing it she asked the guest to cancell. Guest called Airbnb and told them that the host wants her to cancell instead of cancelling herself. Airbnb sent my friend a saying it’s just a warning but if she does it again ( pushing guest into cancelling) they will prohibit her from listing her property.

Now I have a mental image of you ironing sheets in your Superhost badge and cape! More giggles. :slight_smile:


I think Air is always looking for US HOSTS to make the “concession” and be the diplomat and make the sacrifice so they don’t have to. As for cancellation reasons, I’ve believed all kinds of stories and did refunds which I’m now sorry for. How many ways can the dog eat your homework? Let me count the ways!

If someone has a true emergency, show me a death certificate. I really need proof. If it’s there, I’ll refund.

When we’ve had hurricanes threaten, Air will write urging us to cancel and they won’t penalize us. Well why don’t YOU cancel?!! I guess it’s worth a try for them to get you to cancel. Well sorry, category 5 storm or not, No cancellations coming from me. I even have it in my description and rules. No cancellation due to flight delays, weather, or booking errors. (I did have one poor soul book the wrong island, she immediately realized her error and pleaded, I cancelled, she paid the Air fee.)

As for the harassment. Document it and save it to show Air.

As for their canned messages, ignore them…they are trying to make you feel guilty or make you feel like SUPERHOSTS MAKE SACRIFICES FOR THE GOOD OF ALL.

Just say no!

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Just a question really. How is that you are being asked to refund her money when she cancelled that far in advance. With all my bookings I don’t get paid by Airbnb until a day after the guest arrives to stay. Therefore it should be Airbnb refunding the money not you!

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And a PS to my last question. I had a guest who needed to cancel as she’d stuffed up her dates. She needed to cancel the booking not me and because it was within a week and I have moderate cancellation policy, all she lost was the fee she’d paid Airbnb. I lost nothing and it doesn’t show on my reviews or in my stats because I’m not the one who cancelled.

Maybe it works a little differently downunder??

Gee Billy-Bob
Sounds as though you just love hosting. Guests cancel - not because they want to screw you, but because shit happens. They lose their Airbnb fee no matter what policy you have and as you know, it’s a lot higher than the fees for hosting. This girl lost $90 AUD for the inconvenience and I was re-booked within 24 hours.


When you got your money back after cancelling, was it the host that refunded to you after being able to rent or did Airbnb?

I wonder what would happen if a guest cancelled and then I later blocked my calendar. I wonder if Airbnb would assume I received a booking and would refund the guest. I would hope they would still give me my half, as I would use it as a maintenance day. I would hope they wouldn’t force me to keep my calendar open (and not be able to use the home) if I am only getting half.

Any idea what would happen if I was only able to rent at a lesser rate? Would Airbnb prorate the refund?

Don’t forget the red Speedo with SuperHost embroidered on the Crotchigal area. It matches the cape!

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This is how it went: I called Airbnb and said: I can’t go on a trip , buti booked with strict cancelation policy. Airbnb tells me , there is nothing we can do on our part. You can get your money back, only if the host agrees to refund your money. So, I called the host. Both times they agreed to refund my money if they rent my days out. I don’t know the procedure they went through but from one reservation my money were refunded very fast. From another I waited for quite a bit.
I don’t think Airbnb has any control over how they can refund this money unless you telling them. I don’t think their software works this way. And without it being programmed this way they are not going to do anything.

I’ve occasionally had guests ask me to refund them.i email them stating that I’m very sorry for their trouble. I don’t give refunds but I offer to discount their next stay with me if they come back to the area.


Agree, Strict is the only way.

Hmmm, nice of you but why. You didn’t do anything wrong!

True, any refunds are up to the host minus the Air fees. As I’ve said before I think Air would like goodwill between host and guest and encourages the host to make the sacrifice. Well screw it. (sorry for my foul language.). I’ve fallen for sob stories too many times. No more. If you have a REALY GOOD reason, show me the proof. Please don’t tell me your grampa died and you have to attend the funeral in a month. Think I was born yesterday? (I did fall for that one! Never again!)

Do hosts with the flexible policy get cancellations that often?

We have had ours on flexible since we started listing, about 2 years ago. After 50+ stays, we have only had one last minute cancel, and 2 instances where guests wanted to adjust their dates down by a day.

I haven’t done any A/B testing to see if a strict cancellation performs better in some way, but I suspect flexible cancellation makes it easier for guests to book (less worry). If we had a high rate of cancellation then I would think otherwise, but we haven’t seen that.