Non-refundable cancellation after 1 day

I’ve been experimenting with the “strict or non-refundable” option this summer, and realized that a lot of people think they’re getting a deal when they get a 10% discount even if the base price is higher than it normally would be. It’s a pretty neat mental trick with no consequence, or so I thought. I didn’t realize it but that policy doesn’t include a 48 hour grace period.

Yesterday a woman booked my place for an family getaway (8 people) near the end of August and today she messages me “Hi Jonathan, I read the cancellation policy. To confirm we would only get cleaning back at this point if we cancel? I just am having issues with work. I understand if it is too late though. Kindly let me know.”

The booking is about $1,700 for three days so it’s a lot of dough. I could probably find someone to rebook pretty easily maybe even at a higher rate, but you never know. Normally I give people refunds if I can get a rebooking, but in this case I’m not sure what to do since she did specifically choose the non-refundable option.

My inclination is to offer a 90% refund (plus cleaning fee) since she would have saved 10%. But maybe that sets a bad precedent since she did choose the nonrefundable option. Thoughts?

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This is why I don’t do this mess of AirBnB’s making. People will still ask for a refund, not matter what option they choose initially. I refund people as well, if I make the money back, so I’d tell her that I would refund her only if a booking completes for that time (to avoid a friend of hers booking and then cancelling after you refund her buddy) and then I’d stop playing Airbnb’s non-refundable option game.


@cooperjto Please don’t refund unless you manage to rebook the dates. It’s ridiculous for guests to go for a non-refundable booking in order to pay 10% less, and then expect to be refunded if they cancel. If I book a non-refundable airline ticket, I don’t get to cancel it and get my money back.
You do know that Airbnb’s EC policy trumps the non-refundable, right? Many hosts have had guests easily convince Airbnb that they qualified for the EC and they’ve been refunded 100%.
Forget that policy- it’s just another of Airbnb’s guest-centric, screw hosts BS.


I agree with @muddy. Don’t refund. Not even if you can re-book the dates. This guest knew what she was doing – getting a 10% deal non-refundable. Now she wants a refund. I say TOUGH. No airline would let you do that – even now.