Guests thought they had booked an apartment

We had 2 guests arrive a couple of hours ago who didn’t realise that they had booked a room in a house instead of a detached self-contained apartment. It was a booking for 7 nights.

They had friends with them and had had a bit to drink and were the sort of guests who don’t merge well with our household. They left after 10 minutes to book somewhere else.

They would have been an unsettling presence had they stayed for our other guests as well as ourselves so I was pleased that they chose to go.

I called Support and explained what happened to them. I told Support that I wasn’t interested in any cancellation fees. I asked the guest to contact Support and cancel their booking.

I will keep you updated on how things unfold.

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What is your cancellation policy?

I never understand how guests get confused about this as it highlights on a listing whether or not it is a whole listing.

Personally I would have charged for at least the first night if they cancelled on arrival.

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But then they might have stayed.

Twice, I had cancellations because people thought we are a hotel and not two rental bedrooms in a private home.

Some folks will book rooms without reading our description or viewing our many property photos.

Our cancellation conditions are flexible.

I’ve had this happen a few times to me over the years. For first time Airbnb guests, I’ll make it extremely clear in the check in instructions that it’s a shared space but that doesn’t even always work. In every case I’ve had, I still get paid according to my moderate cancellation policy. I would never refund them for their mistake and Airbnb has sided with me when one guest attempted to challenge it.


I’m glad to hear Airbnb held guests to your cancellation policy, @datrip1.

If someone fails to read important information I put in front of them multiple times, why should I be the one to lose money? At the point someone is on my doorstep, I’ve done 80% of the hosting work. I’ve held up my end of the bargain by providing the same experience that delights any literate guest. They need to cancel on their dime.


Why? They should pay according to your cancelation policy. By letting them off the hook you are validating that it was somehow your fault. I never refund voluntarily it make no sense. What would happen if they showed up at the Hilton and decided to leave early?


But they already left I thought? So you offered to let them leave without penalty? I get it now.


GUESTS DO NOT READ – this is a given, do not expect them to

Strict Cancellation Policy. No Refunds.


I had this happen once too. Same situation with the alcohol but it was just a mom and daughter. They actually decided to stay and weren’t a huge problem.

Still waiting to hear back from an AirBnB case manager so that the remaining 6 nights of their reservation can be released.

If our AirBnB accom listing was a stand-alone self contained apartment I would always enforce cancellation conditions.

However we are a home with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. We sleep in one bedroom and guests sleep in the other two bedrooms. So staying with us is an intimate experience for both the guests and ourselves. It is critical to our enjoyment of hosting that all guests staying in the house want to be here. If they don’t want to be here we don’t want them here either. We’ve hosted around 250 guests so far and rate 5 star 96%.

For the booking in question they had paid a room rate of Australian dollars $43 per night. That works out to about US$33 per night. In the face-to-face situation (given the other factors I’ve mentioned as well) I wasn’t about to tell them that I was insisting on a 1 or 2 night cancellation fee and have them decide to reluctantly stay for say one or two nights anyway.

We don’t wish to suffer rubbing shoulders with sulky and unhappy guests in our home.


You know more than some of the people offering advice here and your reasoning is spot on. Sounds like the kind of place I’d be happy to stay if I was traveling solo. Where are you located in AUS?

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Cancelling after check-in with flexible cancellation policy should result in you getting paid for the first TWO nights, plus your cleaning fee. I hope you get this even if you didn’t ask for it since you are losing opportunity to re-book.

Thank you KKC. We are in Cairns.

Oh, lovely place. But I’ve been there already! Loved it.

Bummer. Could have recovered those cancellation $$ :slight_smile:

I often find that when I get a cancellation a replacement booking does come along. Best of luck!

When I first started I refunded a number of times. Air then decided to burn me a number of times with extenuating circumstances BS. No refund ever anymore.