Guest lied -said cancellation due to COVID-19 then booked cheaper place

I had a guest cancel the day before her arrival due to COVID-19. I understand this is unprecedented and did not mind Airbnb refunding outside my strict cancellation policy- as she said her daughter had flu like symptoms so they were staying at home-which is across the country. She has a review for a cheaper home now on her profile in our same area. So she then booked something cheaper for the same time period.
I feel she took advantage of the Airbnb policy to save money last minute. Is that the purpose of the extenuating cancellation policy? Did this happen to anyone else?

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Airbnb’s blanket policy allowed guests to cancel for any reason and simply say COVID was to blame. Airbnb isn’t going to do anything about what happened to you, except pay you 25% of your cancellation payout from their $250M COVID fund (assuming the cancellation occurred after March 14). Yes, it sucks, but just let it go.

BTW, why were you checking the profile of this guest?


I just had a feeling about her. I asked her a week before if she was coming. She assured me she was saying “ fear is not my forte” . Then saying her daughter was sick “ with flu like symptoms” was really odd. We had other cancellations but they just honestly said it was due to Covid.

I don’t feel bad about checking her Airbnb profile. It’s public. Didn’t Facebook stalk her or anything lol.

Using an excuse saying your daughter is sick, then getting out of a reservation to make a new one is kind of low. I am guessing when the pandemic hit, a lot of hosts lowered there price and she jumped on it. The place she stayed at a host with 79 listings.

Honestly, if she would lie about her kid, she would not be trustworthy to open my home to. I’m just surprised Airbnb allows someone to cancel no penalty, then book the same dates right after at another home in the same area.

I was just curious if anyone had ran into this. I honestly feel most people just don’t want to travel due to COVID, and I totally understand and support that.

We actually closed our listing down for the time being. And changed our cancellation to moderate when we do open again.

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Would be nice is Airbnb would block people from rebooking if they covid cancel. This is not what the policy was intended to do.


Yes agreed! That was really my main idea. We had 4K worth of reservations cancel, which is fine. It’s a pandemic. But don’t cancel and lie to save a few hundred dollars. If she was truly canceling for COVID, which is what she stated then she would not have traveled across the country.

I’ve had a similar experience with a guest as well. Even though I had message them within that week of their check-in and being assured by them that they were still coming, they still ended up cancelling a day before arrival, claiming due to Covid-19. So I’m guessing it’s due to the same reason, as I had found their actions to be a bit shady.


Yes and then Airbnb shells out 25 percent to us. They should be paying that out to reservations who aren’t booking somewhere down the road for the same dates. I’m really surprised they did not see this coming.


Has Airbnb ever given any indication that they care what kind of scams their guests pull? They won’t even remove a retaliation review saying the place was filthy when the host has 100 other reviews attesting to the fact that it was immaculately clean.
Guests can lie, damage your property, throw parties, cancel under EC in order to book a cheaper place, call in and report you for some made-up safety issue, which Airbnb doesn’t even wait to hear your side of before suspending your listing- Airbnb doesn’t care one iota what nonsense and nasty business guests engage in.


To be fair, if the daughter was sick, then cancelling one place and booking another might still be completely valid for extenuating circumstances. If the daughter stayed at home, the mother might go ahead with the trip and book somewhere smaller/cheaper/whatever.

I don’t honestly think that’s what happened, but any time people can get something cheaper they will. It’s like buying an item for full-price at one store, then while driving home, seeing another store has the same item for 20% off. If the full-price item cost $1000, you’d buy the sale item and return the full-price item to save that $200. However, the store that you bought the full-price item from has to spend resources processing the return, possibly even transaction fees.

I check the profiles of all guests, to see how hosts reviewed them and how they reviewed hosts. If they give consistently bad reviews or complain a lot I want to know.


Sure, me too prior to booking. However the OP checked the cancelling guest’s profile after her stay would have ended. In other words was checking to see if she stayed someplace else.

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Yes, that’s what I meant. There’s nothing “wrong” with it, but why bother? If the purpose was to find out if guests are dishonest, or that the Airbnb EC policy is broken, the answers are already known.

BTW, I read a story (might have been posted here) from a host where a group cancelled a few days before check-in and got an extenuating circumstance refund due to one of the group’s members breaking a leg. The host dropped the price for the cancelled dates to help ensure a short-notice booking. The same group then booked it, including the person with the broken leg.


Yes. I do this too. And I routinely check past guest’s profiles to see if they traveled and where they’ve stayed. It’s called market research, a healthy habit in any business.


I did check another guests profile also after they stayed. I actually have had one really bad guest in 3 years of hosting. Her family trashed the place. It looked like one of her kids shook up a chocolate milk and sprayed it on every wall in the house.
It took two hours to clean the kitchen there were so many dried substances everywhere.

I left an honest bad review describing the state the home was left in.

Six months or so later I was curious to see if she had another review after mine. She did- and it was more scathing than mine saying to stay away from this guest at all cost, house was disgusting, etc.

Honestly I was shocked someone would host her after my review🤦‍♀️


You’d be surprised how many hosts don’t check a guest’s reviews. I’ve read posts from hosts who are Superhosts who don’t even know how to see a guest’s reviews. And then there’s hosts who decide to “give the guest another chance”, even if it says they left the place a pig-sty and damaged things, which generally works out just as you’d imagine it would.
Although I have also read posts where a host said they decided to give a young guest who hadn’t used Airbnb more than once before and had a not-so-good review a chance after messaging to express their reticence to accept based on the review, the guest said they had learned from the experience what is expected, and the guest, in fact, had and turned out to be true to his word.
I not only check the reviews, I cross-reference to see if hosts who said “Nice guests” just leave that review for all their guests- if they do, I would dismiss the review. And if there’s a bad review, I want to look at the host’s account to see if they are just one of those hosts who criticizes all their guests, and also to see what kid of reviews the host usually gets. Also to see what kind of reviews the guest tends to leave for the hosts.


They had a 9 person booking and booked a 4 bedroom house after mine. 9 people to 8 people is not a huge change.

As far as returning an item as it is on sale somewhere else, leaving the owner with only a small restocking fee is incorrect. I think a better analogy would be if they returned something to the store completely unusable to sell again. And knowing this, they still returned an item to the store owner- a 1500 dollar item that was now unusable to buy it somewhere else.

The reason I say this is they cancelled the night before their stay. I could not resell these dates on short notice. That is simply not the kind of market here.

I do enjoy the debate and everyone’s point of view. It gets me thinking. Which is good during the lockdown :grin:


Yes I do as well. We had one guest who was fairly young with a bad review and he was spotless.

After our house trashers left, I found hidden wine bottles all over the house in odd places. And empty small liquor samples hidden behind condiments in the fridge.

She was a nurse and he was a physician from my home town. I didn’t know them personally but knew the name :woman_facepalming:

Agree, that’s a better analogy for you, the host, but guests see it the other way.

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Thats fraud. Send a money request right away for the amount that you would’ve received under a normal cancellation not due to Covid-19 and attach screenshots of your evidence that proves they cancelled to rebook a cheaper place.

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Yeah, but Airbnb just isn’t going to do anything about it. From what I’m reading, Airbnb’s customer service (which I bundle with EC, trust and safety, etc.) is so swamped that they are still sitting on all kinds of customer issues going back to February. I don’t think they would spend any resources looking into it under normal circumstances. There’s no way they’ll do it now. But, hey, it would be fun to do what you suggest and report back on the progress.

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