Host does not refund cancellation made within 12 hours - Advise appreciated

This conversation has been going back and forth since March 16th. of this was 2 night reservation, $376.00. I am a host as well, so I know both sides.ancellation vs Refund

Airbnb first said, this doesn’t fit under the Covid-19 guidelines. My argument is that the host was notified within 12 hours that we would not be going. In my mind it is just a technicality that, we nor the host, could not get into Airbnb site to do the final cancellation. Somehow the host decided to cancel it on the scheduled check out date. This is just the last conversation a few days ago. Please, tell me, if I am within my rights to ask for a full refund? The host’s policy is free refund with 48 hours. Should I write to the CEO?

Me to Airbnb: You are right this does not fit under Covid-19 guide lines, please refund. It does fit under the 48 hour cancellation policy. Cancellation was initiated in less than 12 hours, as you can see from the conversation between the guest and the host. Due to the large volume of calls and messages we or the host were not able cancel on the Airbnb site. The host was notified of the cancellation immediately. Why the host cancelled on 24th, I don’t know.

The host was informed of cancellation on 16th, same day as reservation. Reservation was made March 16th 12:40am MDT.

Answer from Airbnb: This is Xxxx, one of the Case Managers from Airbnb. Please be advised that the reservation was made on March 15 and was cancelled on March 24. According to the standard agreement between hosts and guests on Airbnb, the host’s strict with 14 days grace period cancellation policy was upheld. The host was paid according to the terms of your original agreement, and Airbnb no longer has access to your payment to refund it.
I just want to be transparent as well that a final decision was already been made, and we considered it final.
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If the Airbnb website was down and you couldn’t cancel, where did the conversation take place? Via text?

If you have proof that you tried to initiate a cancellation and you couldn’t because Airbnb’s website was down, then do a chargeback on your credit card.

[Edit: Nevermind, two months have passed since the cancellation occurred. Why on earth didn’t you do something sooner?]

Writing to the CEO is a waste of your time.

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Why didn’t you just cancel within the 24 hours? There was no need to contact the host to cancel.


Could’t get online or call. That was the day when everything was closing and people were advised not to travel.

Yes, it all took place online. My granddaughter (19) was doing all the corresponding for her dad. And yes every time we have called or messaged Airbnb, the answer has been: We will get back to you and they send the written Covid-19 guide lines, which says that the reservation had to have been made before March 14th. Or that we will send this to a Special department.

Wait I just looked at the dates again, according to the cancellation policies, the 48-hour free cancellation period does not apply if you book less than 14 days before check-in. According to the information you gave, you booked only 10 days before check-in, so you are not entitled to a full refund unless you qualify for extenuating circumstances.


Well, I have been trying to help my granddaughter to get this figured out. Each time Airbnb said it should be fine, no problem about the refund. We did start a dialog the very next day.
You are probably right, I maybe waiting my time and energy. Thank you.

Thank you Brian. I didn’t realize that about the 14 days. There was NO refund at all, not even a cleaning fee.

Well, if you had been able to cancel on March 16, then you should’ve received a 50% refund of the nightly rate plus cleaning fee, but Airbnb would keep all of their fees.

If a guest needs to cancel, it’s the guest’s responsibility to cancel. As a host, you should know that. My suspicion is that the host simply cancelled on the 2nd day of a 2-day booking due to a no-show. Why the host didn’t care enough to follow-up after previous conversations is hard to say, but being a host, you would know how crazy it was during that time in particular. If the host had many listings, then they were likely overwhelmed. I’m not sure what you can do now since it’s been 2 months. Maybe you can just appeal to the host since you never showed up, but if the host didn’t initiate any dialog with you after not showing up, then don’t get your hopes up.

Also, while I don’t know the reservation details, I estimate that at best you would’ve been entitled to a refund of only around $150 had you been able to cancel on Airbnb’s website on March 16. You’ll have to decide if that’s worth pursuing.

I agree with you but as you see from Airbnb’s last answer, they are not willing to do anything. And to make things worse, my granddaughter made the reservation on a Debit card, as she does not own a credit card. Lots of lessons to learn.

Thank you for taking time on this matter.


Let it go


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I’m a bit confused on the timeline. Do I have this right?

  • Your granddaughter made a reservation for her dad on March 15. (3rd party booking.)
  • On March 16, you asked the host to cancel the reservation.
  • You were meant to stay on March 22-24.
  • The host canceled your reservation on March 24.

Since the reservation was made at a Strict listing, you would have been entitled to a 50% refund for canceling more than 7 days before your stay. I understand you couldn’t get through to AirBnB by phone, but I don’t understand why you were not able to click “cancel reservation” on the website or app. Do you mean you the website was down too? Or between the game of telephone of you, your son, and your granddaughter, nobody was able to get to a computer to cancel?

As a host, I’m sure you know hosts can’t cancel on behalf of guests without incurring a $100 cancellation fee, losing Superhost, and getting a negative “Host canceled X days before stay” review. (I didn’t know hosts could cancel a no-show without calling.)

You should be able to get the cleaning fee back since you didn’t actually stay.

I’m sorry you and your family daughter had an expensive learning experience.

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Yes. Good advice. Thank you.

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The reservation was made on 3/16/20 @12:40am and cancelled on 3/16/20 @11:37am. It was not a third party booking as she was making it for the family.

We have an message exchange with the host. Who had 15 cancellations and she was overwhelmed but she would handle them as she got them, making my granddaughter and son-in-law believe that it was being handled.

All this happened when pretty much all travel was cancelled from one day to another. That is why the Airbnb website was so congested for days.

Something wonky there- it couldn’t have been cancelled an hour before it was booked :slight_smile:

12:40am is 40 minutes after midnight. 11:37am is the morning of the same day before noon.

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Oh, right, my confusion.