Guest wants to shorten reservation

I had a guest check in last week for 4 days. Within 30 minutes of checking in, I got a message saying that he would need to leave a day early to go home for a friend’s funeral. I have a moderate cancellation policy which allows me to keep 50% of the money for a guest who cancels after check-in. When I went to modify the reservation, the system wanted to give the guest the full price back for the unused day and I had to manually modify the price for the 50% fee. Why does AirBnB not automatically calculate this? Would it have calculated correctly if the guest cancelled rather than modified the reservation? And if they submitted a cancellation request, would that be effective for that day or can they choose the day in the future if they know they want to stay for 3 of the 4 days originally booked?

AirBnB customer service was of no help to me and tried to say that the guest can get all the money back for unused days since it is a modification rather than a cancellation. This guest accepted my modification for the dates/price but I could see it being an issue in the future if the guest doesn’t want to accept my manual change in the price for the 50% fee.

You have answered your own question @GardenFairy An amendment is not a cancellation.

Just because you didn’t like the answer you got from Airbnb customer services doesn’t mean they weren’t correct.

If you want your cancellation policy to stand decline the amendment and ask the guest to cancel.


I agree checking out early is not cancellation of the stay. You are looking at it as cancelling part of a stay, which is your choice, so if that’s what you expect, then you should put in your house rules that guest will be refunded only 50% for remaining days when checking out early. A guest still might complain and give you a bad review if you force it, and you probably should expect that.

Thanks, this is the first time I’ve had this come up, so I wasn’t sure how to handle it. The guest actually brought up the fact that the cancellation policy requires a 50% fee for unused days and he wanted to pay it, so he was also looking at it as a cancellation and had no problem paying the fee. Sounds like in the future I should either ask the guest to cancel or negotiate the fee with them if I feel it’s necessary.

I would always ask the guest to cancel themselves. After all, it is their choice.

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