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Guest Leaving Early

Hey guys, I have a question. We are sort of newbies. We are on our second guest right now whom just informed us that he will be leaving Dallas early. I suppose his business here ended or something happened and he needs to leave. At any rate, he mentioned making the slots open for someone else to stay on those days. He has stayed 20 out of a 27 day reservation. My question is do I need to issue a refund? I feel like it’s the right thing to do although I did drop his reservation cost from 980 to 533 up front for staying so long. What is the actual protocol for something like this?

The first thing is what is your cancellation policy? If it is not strict Air will issue some sort of refund, and you should immediately put it to strict. Second, is any refund above and beyond what the guest is entitled too based on your cancellation policy is up to you. In this situation I would not refund, seeing as how you already lowered your price. Most of the time, people on this forum, will only refund if they are able to get the ‘cancelled’ days rebooked. That being said, your house, your rules, so do whatever you feel most comfortable with!


No…don’t issue a refund. He blocked your calendar, you held it for him. If he wants to leave early that is on him.

I had guests leave 11 days early once. My place wasn’t their idea of Hawaii. No refunds and he didn’t even ask. Good riddance.

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It’s flexible and is outlined as “Full refund 1 day prior to arrival” which to ME means that I shouldn’t issue a refund because this is 20 days post arrival.


Az is right… Change it now to strict. They may ask you to refund and appeal to your guilt, but I wouldn’t.

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Based on your statement your cancellation policy is Flexible. Here is what Airbnb says about it:
If the guest arrives and decides to leave early, the nights not spent 24 hours after the official cancellation are 100% refunded.

So if he cancels the reservation in the system he will get full refund of the nights not spent with you. You have to do nothing if he cancels. The system will refund him automatically.

Listen to the others,: change to strict policy .

I hope if he cancels you can still book those dates :confused:

I changed it to strict just now. Do you guys see less of a flow of guests having it on a more strict policy? I genuinely don’t mind refunding him at the discounted rate as I feel it is the honorable thing to do. He is essentially paying 19$ a night. He is also a recommended traveler so I don’t believe he is going to do anything crazy, it was just a little unsettling for our second guest.

Good for you! We have had the strict policy since we started (December last year) and have had back-to-back guests. We have bookings for January and February next year so no, having the strict cancellation policy does not mean fewer guests.

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I also started with flexible. After 3 cancellations 24 hours prior to arrival I decided to change it to Strict and add a Security deposit.
I am still fully booked. No changes with Strict policy. You just get rid of the window shoppers with the Strict policy .


I honestly don’t even remember how busy we were when we had a ‘moderate’ policy, its been atleast 3 years. Needless to say we are booked solid during the busy seasons, and then moderately booked during the slower months, which is completely fine for us. I think my high nightly price has more to do with the moderate booking in the off months than the strict policy.

It won’t help on the current reservation. I don’t think you should feel bad about this guy leaving. Especially if he is on business. Business travelers often have unexpected schedules. If he doesn’t cancel, don’t say anything. Just keep the change. After all, $19 a night is hardly worth worrying about. If he is offering to cancel to free up your schedule, just politely decline. That’s what I would do!

Started with flexible but changed to strict. have had more bookings this year than before.

Do people even check to see what the cancellation policy is?
Given that they don’t read the basic rules and what the listing contains I’d say not!.
Probably like reading your insurance policy after the house has burnt down!:scream:


I tried changing mine to strict on the advice of posters here and went a 6 days with no bookings in the corresponding time. I get mostly last minute one day bookings so I was surprised. Maybe it was just a coincidence.

There is a filter for cancellation policy. Maybe they don’t read but they filter?

I think whether the cancellation policy makes a difference depends to some extent on the locale. If the people around you at around your price point are using flexible or moderate while you are using strict, it can hurt you. However, in places where, possibly for cultural reasons, most people are using strict (I’m guessing it would be more common in the US, for example) it matters less if you also use strict.

And it makes more sense to a less busy host (maybe a beginner) to use say moderate, rather than strict. Because if he/she doesn’t have much business, it doesn’t matter so much if the reservation is cancelled. However, for a busier host, a cancellation makes a lost booking, because he/she could have got someone else for that spot.

For example, I noticed that the Bombay Superhosts accounted for many (possibly most) of the Bombay hosts using strict. Bombay non-Superhosts were far more likely to use flexible or moderate. This makes sense, because Superhosts are usually people with more experience, more reviews, and are probably more in demand, other things being equal.

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This guy needs to cancel the reservation so that you can re-open your dates, and he can receive his refund. Do not cancel on his behalf as it will be a mark against you.

Travelers who are afraid to commit to a booking with a strict policy are better suited to book a hotel that they can cancel last minute. There is no benefit to you to have a person blocking your calendar from other travelers, and then they cancel at the last minute. This works okay for hotels that have many many rooms. Most hosts here rent out one room or one house/apartment.

Imagine if a hotel only had a single room. They would never ever allow a person to block those dates and cancel last minute.

But if he doesn’t cancel, she should keep his cash and just live with the blocked calendar. She’s under no obligation to refund. As a business traveler he may not even expect one?!

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