Host Needs to Cancel Reservation

After accepting a 1-night reservation 12 weeks from now, a family member announced a big event that I did not want to miss. However, the consequence of canceling a confirmed reservation is severe, as follows:

  1. The date is blocked on the calendar.
  2. I would lose my super-host status for an entire calendar year
  3. My flat fee for host cancelation is $50.
  4. The cancelation is reviewed by Airbnb and if there are 3 or more within a year, there is a suspension of the Airbnb accommodation.
  5. The guest has the option of leaving a review
    This is how I solved the issue:
    Since our Airbnb is one room and a private bathroom in our home, I first tried, to no avail, to find a trustworthy and reliable co-host. Then I reached out to the guest and asked if he had any flexibility in his travel plans. He did not. Next, I asked him if he would be willing to ‘mutually cancel’ the reservation. No one is penalized with mutual cancelation. With 12 weeks before his arrival, he was willing to find another Airbnb with no ill feelings. He was completely amenable to the idea in light of the fact that I have a family event that was planned outside of my control. I am hopeful this will help others who might find they are in a similar regrettable situation. I had never done this before, so I contacted Airbnb to get guidance. They were tremendously helpful!
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I’m glad it worked out. I didn’t know about “mutual cancellation”. Does that mean that Airbnb also does not collect any fees? Is it the same as “Cancel by admin”? I read here a while back that there were 3 types of cancellations: Cancel by host, Cancel by guest, and Cancel by admin.

Assuming the mutual cancellation was not available, another option would be to offer the guest some $ to cancel. At least as much as any fees Airbnb would keep and up to the amount of your host cancellation penalty.

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Thank you for that. I can imagine an emergency in which that approach would be a lifesaver! Smart & humane for both. Great idea!