Guest Outwit the System?

I received a booking at our cabin for a boyfriend/girlfriend meetup for the first time in her home area. Our cancellation policy is strict. A week before their arrival she messaged me and said her boyfriend’s mom is sick and due to the circumstances can she receive a full refund for their upcoming stay. I let her know our policy on completely canceling her reservation so close to their stay but told her she could adjust her reservation to a later date to accommodate the unplanned for circumstances. She changes her dates to a couple months out and then 24 hours later cancels the whole reservation with no further comments or penalties since the new dates fell without the cancellation penalty. Anything I could have done different or do to prevent in the future?

This has been a known trick for ages. I always have them cancel per policy and once their rescheduled stay is complete they will get refund for the first, minus airbnb fees

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All you can do is not agree to date alterations unless they are for an earlier, rather than later, check-in date than the original booking. Savvy guests know this cancellation trick, so unless you have good reason to believe the guest is sincere, (for instance they are repeat guests you trust) don’t offer future dates.

What you can do, if you want, is tell guests that while you uphold your cancellation policy, especially if it’s short notice, if they cancel right away and you can manage to rebook, you’ll refund them for any rebooked dates.

In addition to the other excellent advice you’ve received, you should know that a host has no obligation at all to do anything with a change request. It’s not like a request or inquiry. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to respond to it. You don’t have to make a decision to accept it or not. There is no penalty or any statistic that accounts for it. Don’t be pressured by it.


Thanks. I did not know this and the old saying…you learn something new everyday!

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