Guest felt uncomfortable and wants a refund

After lots of communication and updates, our guests last Friday arrived a little late and hubby missed their text by 12 minutes. But by the time he noticed, the guests had found the door code buried in our profile and let themselves into the 1 room studio apartment. Our instructions are pretty clear - unless we discuss self check-in in advance, message us from the driveway and we will greet you there and show you around.

When he did find them - in the apartment - he was also startled to find that it was a female and two males - quite young looking. His gut reaction was “Whoa - what’s going on here!” The booking guest had said in her request it was her and her two friends, so we were expecting 3 women.

So he asked them to accompany him back outside so that he could clarify the situation. First he talked to me on the phone, we went through the details and then he rejoined them. He asked them about their ages and, after some more conversation, he told them they were welcome to stay.

By this time, the woman decided she wanted to leave and asked that he cancel the reservation for her. Hubby offered to call AirBnb and find a new place, but she declined. One of the young men said they were going to stay in a hotel closer to the city.

Hubby did call AirBnb and was able to cancel the reservation on her behalf (no penalty to us – being a superhost does apparently count for something!!). He told the rep they entered the house without permission and he was concerned about their ages. The rep cancelled the reservation and according to the notification, she got zero refund.

Now she’s asking for a refund from us on the basis that she felt unwelcome and uncomfortable and that she was made to feel responsible for not specifying the genders of the people in her group and questioning their ages.

What do y’all think? I understand the guest’s experience, but Hubby is not inclined to refund her since he offered to call AirBnb to find them a new place and that they said they wanted to stay closer to downtown. Would you refund someone who said they felt uncomfortable?

Well to be honest, if I were the guest I would feel uncomfortable.

1, How as the guest able to find the doorcode? You did supply the code somehow. And you cannot blame them, they were expected, they messaged you, and they waited for almost 15 minutes b for letting themselves in.

  1. You were wrong in expecting 3 women. You did not specifically ask. And based on the AirBnB policy you are discriminating the guest based on gender, if you would have handled things differently if there would have been 3 women.

  2. If I was already in, and would be asked to go back outside I would also feel unwelcome.

Sorry, but this is all on you, and if I was them, I also be asking for a full refund.


I have to agree with @Chris. You should refund them. I completely understand your position on this but you just need to welcome them rather than second guess their motivations and intentions based on age and gender. Of course you can privately but it won’t work well in a business that deals with the general public.


Don’t refund anything. Air already canceled and now is not going to award them anything.


Putting myself in the shoes of your guests; I would be uncomfortable. If a host quizzed me about “What’s going on here?” and asked me what ages everyone in my group was I would be creeped out. It sounds like he’s asking who will be having sex with who. People have the right to be friends with members of the opposite gender.


I totally agree with @Chris, @duanemitchell and @EllenN .

Me as a guest, I would also walk away when being treated like that. And it totally puzzles me why AirBnB made them pay.

What is the difference between having 3 females, 3 males or a mixed group? If they want to have sex they will have sex, and it’s their right to do so.


As per the ‘contract’ of the booking, the only thing agreed was that it was 3 people staying. It did not specify their age, their sex, or indeed sexual inclinations!

So being questioned on any of these is not only awkward, but can be seen as the hosts denying the level of service that was offered/expected.

On these grounds, the refund is justified. Perhaps you should be glad they didn’t ask for additional compensation for all the awkwardness and inconvenience.

The girl had lost trust in the host so understandably refused his offer of finding them an alternative. That cannot be grounds for refusing the refund. And saying they were going to stay closer to downtown was possibly just being polite.


But is the OP saying they were surprised by the party that showed up? I mean, weren’t their identities disclosed prior? If not, then that was really not fair to the host.

In the original post it says that the guest booked for herself and her two friends. The original poster and her husband assumed that her two friends would also be women.


DO NOT REFUND! The guests violated TOS by entering unaccompanied; they were lucky that Air cancelled and re-hosted them


I don’t agree. If the door code was in the listing; it is reasonable for guests to believe that they are permitted to use it.


Nancy, can you reprint here how your check in instructions read?

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I have to admit I would also feel uncomfortable.

They were advised to send you a text when they got there - they did, and there was no response. So they assumed you weren’t home and found the self check-in instructions you provided. They did not ‘let themselves in without permission’

The female guest said when booking it would be her and two friends. If gender is important, that’s up to you to ask for more information at the time of booking.


Please park in the middle of the driveway, close to the garage. (Back into the spot, if possible.) Message us from the driveway: our local number is **-- and the wifi extends to the driveway for messaging through the Airbnb app. The password is *******. We will come out to show you into your apartment.

No, the identities weren’t revealed. She said she had tagged one of her companions, whatever that means, but I never saw anyone else on the reservation.

So a reservation for one and three show? NO. You could have denied entry to all of them!

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The reservation was for 3 people, her and her two friends.

I think the problem began when no one came out after a reasonable amount of time. So they searched for a published key code and let themselves in.


What do you think is reasonable amount of time? Is it reasonable to expect that someone try to call the phone number or ring the doorbell first?

You told them to message. They did. You didn’t notice. Fifteen minutes is too long.