Guest Cancels LTR, is unresponsive, then asks for refund weeks later...?

What would you do? Issue a refund, or not?

I have a Strict Cancellation policy, but I think that the LTR policy is being applied by Airbnb in this case, because reservation was for 28-nights.

On Fri, Sept 18 at 7:38 PM, guest booked using IB, a 28-night stay beginning on Sept 20th

We had the typical pre-arrival communications.

On Sept 20th, 2hrs/20min before designated arrival time, I receive a cancellation notice, but no message from the guest. I immediately send a “Uh oh, what happened?” message, but receive no reply…

24hrs later the LTR payment was processed. Yes, I was provided the automated prompt asking IF I wanted to refund the guest, but with absolutely NO follow up communication - I didn’t. Per Airbnb, the guest didn’t qualify for a refund, and to be honest, I was a little frustrated that the guest was unresponsive.

3 DAYS later, she sends a “Sorry…some things came up last minute…” note.

11 DAYS after that, she sends a note asking when she’s going to get the refund. This is the 1st time she’s asked for one. I’ve taken a couple of days to think about it. Now I have received a message from Airbnb, saying that I need to respond one way or the other and “…So you’re informed, our system had automatically released your payout 24 hours after the originally scheduled check-in date, according to the long-term cancellation policy you and your guest agreed to at the time of booking.”

We are past the review period, so I’m not concerned about that…

It’s time to refund or not refund… What would you do?

And if the answer is “Not,” what would you say to the guest??

And that’s a NO from me!
So over guests treating an Airbnb like a hotel where they can cancel with impunity and expect a refund.
Just tell her what days are re booked you will consider on that basis.


I wouldn’t even do that. Tell her your cancelation policy doesn’t allow a refund.


I would just confirm their cancellation will be processed under the long term cancellation policy she booked under


I’m with the other posters here. I wouldn’t refund any of the fee as the guest was unresponsive and created stress for you. There is no risk of repercussions as the review period is behind you. Also, you have a policy for a reason. You potentially miss out on business because of the policy you have chosen. You have a right to be compensated according to he policy you select. Guests are accustomed to this at hotels, airline, rental car companies, etc. There is no reason Airbnb should be different. A policy is a policy.

Forgot to answer your last question…
Dear Guest, I understand your desire for a refund. I am not able to offer a refund for this cancellation as it was a last minute cancellation. In order to provide a great experience for guest and to maintain consistency, I handle cancellations in accordance to the Airbnb stated policy. Thanks for your understanding.


NO Refund. Anyway, it would be Air who would give them a refund or not. They would have to request it from Air. And then Air might try to “guilt” you into giving them some refund. However, You as a Host should never give a guest money for any reason.


Thanks for your help @Ourbnbexperiment - I was feeling guilty, even though it is the policy, I was having a hard time finding the words to say, “sorry… no…”. I love the way you answered the question… I borrowed it. :slight_smile: Now we’ll see if Airbnb does anything further.

@KenH - the guest used the Resolution Center to request money from me, so I am required to respond - yes, no, or partial. We’ll see what happens next?!?!

Why guilty? They booked your space and blocked your calendar. That comes at a price, clearly defined and agreed to with your cancellation policy. Business is business.

Why should you lose out? They are adults, made decisions and were unresponsive.

No refund.


I have decided to stop using the phrases “I’m sorry”, “I apologize”, or “unfortunately” if I didn’t do something wrong. I have a product that I try to make as consistent and good as possible. I follow the rules, I have an accurate listing. I don’t need to feel bad or apologize when someone else tries to bend the rules. I also will never apologize on behalf of AirBnB.

I will, however, apologize humbly for any mistakes I make. And I will own the consequences. I just refuse to be the guest’s doormat.

Rant over.


I would not refund and clearly the guest did not respond to you when you asked what happened so you owe them no response as to why.



Due to her poor communication I would not refund her. It’s unfair to block your calendar for an entire month and cancel 20 mins before check in without having a conversation with you. I personally would not refund her unless I was able to rebook those days.


The thing is that in English, “I’m sorry” has two different meanings. One is I’m sorry as an apology for something you did wrong. The other is I’m sorry this happened to you. So I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying you’re sorry as long as you make it clear that what you are expressing is empathy rather than acknowledgement of guilt.

“I’m sorry that you didn’t realize that when a host pre-approves an Inquiry, if the guest doesn’t act on that and go on to book right away, an Instant Book or an accepted Booking Request from another guest takes automatic precedence over a languishing Inquiry” isn’t a host accepting any responsibility, it’s just sympathizing with a guest who didn’t understand how things work.

Same with “It’s unfortunate”. “It’s unfortunate that you didn’t bother to read the listing description before you booked- if you had, you would never have assumed that you were booking an entire home, because it’s obvious in the information provided in my ad that this is a private room listing” puts the blame squarely on the guest.

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IF the guest had communicated with you what the “something came up” was and IF it had been something other than finding a cheaper location, then maybe a refund. Maybe. Honestly though, I wouldn’t refund bc they gave you no time or consideration to rebook. Their “something” could be the death of a third cousin twice removed or that your neighbor was cheaper. Or it could be legitimate, but they didn’t care enough about your situation to even contact you so you can’t have that dialogue … So NO to the refund.

Most hosts are not corporations with 10+ (whatever) units to off-set a random cancellation and any guest that treats their host as such needs to be schooled. ABB has left us on our own to do so, as they try to placate the guest by asking the host to concede. NO.

Good luck and best wishes :muscle:

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I prefer “it’s unfortunate” to “I’m sorry”. It puts the onus back on the guest, where it should be, but some people (myself included) try too hard to be conciliatory, and people get so darn uppity when faced with the knowledge that they were the asshole. Augh.


Update. Still wondering what’s going to happen? Me too!

I used @Ourbnbexperiment’s suggested response… “I understand that you want a refund…”

This morning I received another email from Airbnb. I let them know that I had responded to the Resolution request for payment and declined to send a refund. Hopefully, that’s the end of it. If there’s more to the story, I’ll post again.

Fingers crossed!


Okay… I think we’re done! The policy stays in place…

Airbnb: “…I will make sure to uphold your cancellation policy for any refund outside extenuating circumstances policy. Thanks in advance for your understanding. I’ll go ahead and close out our conversation.”

FYI - I hadn’t read the EC policy in a while… recommend a quick review. Easy to find, just Google “Airbnb extenuating circumstances” and it is the top result.

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Beware, I have read your encounter and agree with most here, do not refund the money. We are experiencing a situation where the guest booked, we communicated our normal greeting response, never heard another word from Airbnb or the guest until 17 days after the stay ended when airbnb took 189 from our account and gave it to the guest ! Now airbnb tells us it was in the best interest of our safety that they return the money and closed the dispute resolution case within minutes of sending us the " case closed" message, BEWARE !

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That sounds like a threat!!! Something doesn’t smell right…

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Oh? Who do they think they are? Blast them daily on their FB and Twitter pages until they return your money to you.

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Agreed, rotten in fact. The guest never showed up or communicated with us about cancelation or otherwise. 17 days after the stay airbnb says for your (mine) safety we are taking 189 dollars!!! I am upset to say the least!

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