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Guest cancels same-day booking, in the evening of arrival

I allow same-day bookings and this morning a guest booked using instant book, due to arrive today. About an hour ago (at around 7:30 p.m. EST) the guest tells me she had an urgency and had to return home so she will not be coming.

I have a flexible cancellation policy, but as far as I am aware, refunds are given 1 day prior to arrival…but to cancel on the day of arrival? This is something I never experienced before. I had one cancellation throughout the 1 year of my AirBnB hosting, but they canceled more than a day in advance. But for someone to make a same-day booking then cancel that same evening? strange…

Chances are good that they simply found another listing.

If they claim a medical emergency, feel free to request documentation.

I dont know if they get a refund, but if not then that is their loss (my gain).

That’s odd to cancel a same day booking to find another listing…but then strange things always happen. But if they do not get a refund then request one, then yes, I will ask for documentation, if there situation was so “urgent”

By the way, as of now, the guests still have not officially cancelled their reservation. Sorry I did not make this clear on my original post. They simply said they had an urgency and are not coming. I would think that is the guest’s responsibility to log into their AirBnB account and cancel the reservation. At this minute the reservation is still active.

I had a same day booking call at 8:00 pm asking me to cancel as they were tired and didn’t want to keep driving. I said I couldn’t cancel so she did. She wanted a refund and airbnb asked for one but I have strict cancellation and wouldn’t refund her. maybe as you said they are just not going to arrive.

A few days down the road, click on their profile and see if they have left reviews for another host.

1 Like

Her reservation was still active so I don’t think she would be allowed to book with another host that same night. As of now it still shows her reservation in progress. I couldn’t do anything on my end, and it was her responsibility to notify AirBnB.

I think you can just let this go. As a mom with three kids and 4 jobs my plans for each day can change like lightening, sometimes like a storm. She was doing the kind thing by letting you know she wasn’t coming. She didn’t cancel because she knows she won’t get a refund. If truly she had an emergency it may have been the last thing on her mind.

Thank her for letting you know she wasn’t coming, and wish her well with her emergency. Things do happen.


Yes. It is their responsibility. Do not cancel on your end or you will be penalized. And, change your policy to moderate. Flexible offers no protection for the host.

My policy was changed to moderate, and I have considered no longer accepting same-day requests.

The guest has not contacted me, possibly she figures she can’t get a refund or because since it was a one-night stay at a deeply discounted rate, she feels it is not worth it.

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