Guest cancelled -requesting 100% refund

Guest had two four day stays booked, starting Sept 22 and October 3. It wasn’t the easiest booking, for example there was a third period he wanted to book but was unable to due to something technical ane I had to call Airbnb to sort that out .When I told him that was sorted he didn’t acknowledge really that he’d asked me to do that but told me it was just those two bookings he needed now. He also sent me a few messages like ‘how long does it take to get to…’…

Now he’s cancelled (and been refunded 50%, in accordance with my strict refund policy) and has asked (politely) if I might give him a full refund.

This room is priced competitively - only $40 a night, and i feel if I refund totally there’s no point in choosing the strict cancellation policy. Also would like something for my time on Admin … otherwise it’s probably three hours in the end for nothing.

Can anyone come up with a nice way for me to say no sorry I can’t? I’d like to just put it all on Airbnb (or pls ask Airbnb that’s not up to me) but wonder if Airbnb tells people who ask them, ‘you can reach out to the host and it’s up to them?’. I wish they wouldn’t but from his message I feel like that is what may have happened…?

Based on suggestions from other hosts in regards to strict cancellation: inform guest that if those days are rebooked, you will gladly refund him. Explain that his reservation blocked those days. Therefore, other guests were not able to book your place.


“Sorry, no.”



I will be honoring the terms of the cancellation policy that we mutually agreed to in our contract. You might consider checking if Airbnb expenses are eligible for a claim under your personal Travel Insurance policy.

after that I never hear from the guest, airbnb usually texts but just say no to them and that’s it


Thanks. I think I read that Airbnb offers insurance and the time of booking now, is that right? This should make it easier to say no… not sure if that’s kicked in yet?

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I think you’ve earned your $80!


Well, “no I’m sorry I can’t” is a reasonable enough thing to say. Also “sorry I can’t because Airbnb has your money, not me” is a reasonable thing to say too.

As you say, you selected that policy and you need to stick to it. The guest asked nicely so you can refuse just as nicely. :slight_smile:


“That’s unfortunate you won’t be able to make it. We don’t refund in full basis our strict cancellation policy. But we’re happy to send you documentation to help you file your travel insurance claim - just let us know what information you need.”


The guest agreed to the conditions. There are no reviews to worry about. If you even reply to the guest at all, tell them to go through Airbnb and, as others have correctly pointed out, Airbnb has their money, not you. Just be careful about any future booking from the same guest.

If you really want to be a saint, you can refund any nights (minus Airbnb fees) that are re-booked by other guests. This is really going above and beyond your duty as a host, but it’s reasonable from a cost/profit perspective and if it helps you sleep better, then just do it.


I do the above (although it’s highly unlikely in my area) but what tell them is that

  1. If he place get’s booked, I will refund them the amount that I clear from Airbnb for the stay.
  2. I also inform them that I do not refund the request until I’m paid and the guest has checked out and 72 hours have passed.

I think it’s really important to be clear about when and if they would get any of their money back.

Personally, I usually just say no, especially if I had to do extra work for the guests and they were annoying. Airbnb is always going to ask you to give back the rest of the moneys.


why would you refund them if you get rebooked, canceled reservations are the easiest money you will ever earn, no reviews possible.

Yes I see this is often suggested… and that people do it. I am with you. I’m not dealing in large amounts of money here per cancellation, and I’ve often put in a couple of hours by point of cancellation… also to then set up the refund I’d need to call Air, or message… I just want done with it and I’ll take that £100 or so as a bonus… this guy made two cancellations … two different times. Sometimes I feel like people book, knowing that they may need to cancel (maybe they had an experience with a host before who did refund, or their friends got a refund easily… so they expect it always to be easy)

If you read through my posting you’ll notice that I said at the end:

Personally, I usually just say no, especially if I had to do extra work for the guests and they were annoying. Airbnb is always going to ask you to give back the rest of the moneys.

There are sometimes that you know that guest is sincere and you want to help but I agree, I do love getting paid for not hosting.

99% of guests lie to get a refund, but even if sincere how do I know, I just want to stick to my cancelation policy and that’s it. If I had a flexible policy I would be getting a lot more bookings that would be risky, I just don’t like risk… guest should cry to airbnb not to me to get a refund

I was replying to Belivilla and hadn’t read your message. Good idea about refunding after check out etc, hadn’t thought of that.

I think I’m going to try to stick with no. I wish Airbnb would take responsibility for saying no instead of suggesting the guest asks us directly, which is what I suspect may be happening.

VRBO tells hosts “Mr X got a lot more bookings when he changed his cancellation policy to flexible”. What they didn’t say is how many of those bookings actually turned into stays. Either they can’t write well (possible), or they are deliberately using “bookings” to tell the truth but try to fool us into thinking that is the same as stays (probable).


Because many hosts don’t feel it’s ethical to double dip. If you can’t rebook the dates, it’s reasonable to stick to the cancellation policy, but getting paid twice for the same dates is something some feel is greedy.


because some of us still live by those old fashioned notions of “do unto others…” or karma. Be the change. Don’t be an asshole. All that stuff.

You aren’t really “earning” that money, you are winning by forfeit, or default. If the guests are horrible people, I still don’t feel that punishing them makes things right, nor does it make me feel good. I’ve kept money twice from a cancelled reservation, so I’m not against it. In this situation the guest has given 3 weeks notice, that should be enough time to rebook.

edit: snap! @muddy


Airlines do it, hotels do it, so why not airbnb’s, it’s just business, nothing to do with karma, sticking to my cancelation policy is not going to give me bad karma.

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I didn’t say anything about bad karma. I just said some people don’t feel okay about charging for a service they didn’t provide if they get paid for those dates by someone else. You asked why anyone would refund, but apparently didn’t want any real answers.

And cancelled bookings that you rebook are not “the easiest money you will ever earn”, because in fact, “earning” money means providing a service or product to the buyer, client, or employer.