Guest message me wanting to cancel then silence

A guest who booked my house for most of the month of March (a four week booking) messsaged me a week ago saying that the conference she planned to attend is cancelled due to coronavirus and she would like a refund. I have a strict cancellation policy. I messaged back saying that she would need to initiate the cancellation from her side and she would receive a 50% refund, but that Airbnb has a coronavirus policy that might issue her 100% but I am not sure if her booking qualifies. I have since heard nothing, It has been 6 days and her booking continues to block four weeks on my calendar. I messaged her a few more times and still nothing. Any recommendations on what I should do?

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Call Airbnb and have them reach out to the guest. They will probably give a full refund but perhaps you can request a listing bump to make up for having the calander blocked for so long. I’m not sure they can do that but it is worth the ask.


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You should definitely call airbnb asap. Technically, it doesn’t seem that EC covers “a conference that was cancelled on the guest”, unless the guest is from China or traveling from China.

But … who knows what can happen if the CS agent misinterprets the terms.

Good luck with it! Please let us know what happens!

I am not sure I would accept a conference being cancelled as a coran virus/EC issue. I would call CS and tell them to cancel on guests behalf and uphold your policy. Not sure how that works for long term, I have never (would never) had a month long booking they come with their own cancellation policy I think. Call CS


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I’ve called and they’ve done this for me. You just have to keep asking for a supervisor and explain the circumstances. I got a 10 day bump. It was great. :wink:


Is the existence of coronavirus in the world an extenuating circumstance, I wonder? I suppose if the host is in Wuhan…

Did you call Airbnb? What did they say?

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A four week booking in March would fall under the long term cancellation policy of 28 days or more. If the reservation is 30 days or less from now, you would be entitled to the full amount per the policy. Your Strict policy does not apply to long term stays.


The guest is coming from Hong Kong, which is technically part of mainland China, right? Thanks for everyone’s input. I will call CS today to see what they say and report back.

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There are conferences everywhere getting cancelled due to coronavirus. My own company cancelled a conference they are holding in Vegas next week and pulled out of one this week and another 2 weeks from now. A significant number of attendees at all of them would’ve been from China.

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I just talked to CS and they said that the guest had been in touch with them about cancelling. Because they are from Hong Kong they said she was most likely to get a full refund and they suggested that I give approval for a cancellation with full refund now rather than waiting for her to provide appropriate paperwork; that way my calendar can get re-opened asap. So I went ahead and had them cancel it with a full refund. I don’t incur any penalties (well, except the loss of a big booking or 50% of the big booking!) by having Airbnb take care of the cancellation.

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I asked for a bump in the listings but he said there was no way of doing that. Looks like I should have pushed harder on that.

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Technically China “owns” Hong Kong and surrounding islands, but No, it’s not part of the mainland. But they are seeing coronavirus there. Hong Kong is an Island off the coast of China in the southern part of the North China Sea and across Hong Kong harbor to Kowloon (mainland China) and Shenzhen (major shopping).

Macau, Discovery Island (Disney), Lantau… all islands off the coast of China and while technically part of China, they are distinct in their styles, languages (Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, French).

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Generally, when people say Hong Kong, they mean the Hong Kong administrative region, which includes a sizable portion of the mainland from Kowloon up to the border of Shenzhen.

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I guess. It depends. When my friends and family who are living there refer to it, they mean the island and just the island. :woman_shrugging:

Wow that is fabulous. I should call and ask if they will do it for me - our bookings and visibility #s this month are down.

I called and told them my numbers were down and showed them stats and asked why. Then I gave them info on my neighbors and how it was skewed. It took about 2 hours to get them to escalate to an IT person to bump me, but they did.

I work in software development, so I could give them geek grief…

You have all my attention - what did you do exactly?

I just got goosebumps! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

I kept lots of notes…

So I logged out of everything on all my browsers, cleared all cache, and then went incognito mode in MS Edge (Chrome would’t let me really go incognito and I didn’t feel like using an anonymizer - slows down browsers and VPN isn’t on the router, yet)

I didn’t put in dates (this is important for first steps) and then I looked in my neighborhood. First thing I saw was that my town was off to the right, lots of listings not in my immediate zip code (which is tiny) were on top of my area.

So I zoomed in and then found that the geo-pin they drop was rightontopofmyhouse. Seriously.

Then I looked at all the listings on the left to see who showed up first. Then I read all their listings, took notes.

Next, I used filters to go from all stays to private room and checked the listings again. Then pools, wifi, etc. Kept notes.

After checking those, I found I was on page 4 or 5 each time even zooming in to my own zip code. So I looked over all those listings and tweaked mine.

Waited 2 days, went back and did all this again. Still on the bottom even though I’d had new reviews and the competition didn’t.

So I called and complained that the algorithm was penalizing me for something arbitrary. Kept calling and asking for supervisors until I got someone who actually understood that I needed real tech support and didn’t just shrug their shoulders.

I badgered them and got my bump when one woman said “Oh yes, I do see this and it shouldn’t be like that” I also explained about the geo-pin and asked that they movie it to the shopping center up the street (boundary of my little drinking village with a boating problem).

The pin got moved (It helps if you can find the lat/long numbers for them) and I don’t know if that was just dumb luck.

But I started with “Why is my listing so far down? I’m new and can’t meet your criteria if no one knows I am here.”

Good luck. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end and a great learning experience.

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My guest is just like that, he booked few months but at his 25 days he told me he want to cancel the booking because he have found somewhere bigger and cheaper, I asked him cancel from Airbnb, then I received the message case manager said my guest want to leave today and the 26-30 day will refund him from my account. finally he really did it!
Because he complaint everything suck, my balcony floor brick is changed to other colour which do not same as the listing, and he said everywhere dirty after he stayed for 25 days! So DO NOT ask them to cancel form apps! if you have asked the guest pay deposit by cash to you, you are protected. Otherwise it will happened again and again!