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OK to Offer $$$ to Guest to Cancel?

I have a dilemma I’d really appreciate help with.

I’m planning a surprise birthday trip for my partner. I mistakenly left open one of the days I absolutely cannot have guests. Wouldn’t you know it, it got booked before I realized my mistake.

I could cancel and I believe AirBnB waives the normal $50 fee in a 6-mo period. However, I’d loose my Superhost status for a year. I really don’t want to loose that.

I’ve thought about offering the guest $50 if she cancels. That would cover her non-refundable ABB fee of $18 and still leave a little bit ($32) for the trouble.

Is making an offer like that against AirBnB’s rules? Or, is there something else I can do and not risk my Superhost status?

I am curious how you know what the guests’ AirBNB fee is? I know what they charge me, but I have no idea what they are charging the guest.

My other questions would be, how many nights have they booked, what do you charge, do you see a comparable place nearby that is listed for about the same amount?

13% is the ABB fee to the guest for this particular reservation. You can easily see the fee by browsing your own listing as a guest.

It’s just one night.

Other places in the general area. none as secluded as mine.

Did they “instant book”? If yes, you get three free cancellations (with no penalties). If not, call Airbnb and tell them that you already had it booked but your calendars didn’t sync. In fact, I think that it is one of the “reasons for cancellation”, at least, it used to be.

The three “free” cancellations for Instant Book are only to be used if you are uncomfortable with something the guest did, not because you made an error in not blocking your calendar.

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I’d be uncomfortable telling them that I made a mistake and have to cancel :flushed:


It was instant. However, as EllenN stated, those free cancellations are only if there is something weird with the guest.

I would also, but the original poster has said that he/she absolutely cannot have guests on the day the guests booked.

So I called AirBnB and before I could even ask about me offering cash to the guest, they said they would cancel it for me without any penalties. In part because of my account history and that I’ve never canceled on a guest. They’re also going to offer the guest some sort of travel coupon.

I also apologized to the guest and offered an additional discount on one night’s stay should they want to stay with me in the future.


Looks like you answered your own question – if you want to keep your SH status, offer them $ to cancel, explaining the mistake. I hope it is far enough out that they will be able to find some place nice :slight_smile:

Actually, no I didn’t answer my own question. They offered to do the cancellation penalty free, without me ever asking about other options. I’ll ask if I ever need to call them again.

Sorry, you’re right – I forgot about the part whether Airbnb allows us to offer compensation to cancel. Not enough coffee, yet. Glad it worked out!

I think their percentage varies depending on the length of the guest stay. If it’s shorter the fee is higher. I could be wrong. They used to show that in the guest reservation but don’t do it now.

ive been travelling a lot as guest lately and the fees have been really high.

I recently realised that on top of the airbnb fee we in the UK also pay VAT at 20%. So on a booking worth £174 to the host, I paid £30 in fees and VAT.

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That’s the UK for you — VAT you to death!

Its very easy to use the 3 IB freebies…you go to cancel, then click ‘I don’t feel comfortable’, reservation is cancelled, and that’s it. We have had to use it twice this year when guests told us more people were coming than they booked/we allow

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I think that is hypocritical. There have been countless posts on this board by hosts who are frustrated by guests who game the cancellation system. I try to avoid having double standards.


You think it hypocritical to cancel on an IB guest that YOU don’t feel will be a good fit for your home?

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I think her point is exactly the opposite of that.

In my situation, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the guest. In fact I felt bad for having to cancel and is why I offered her an additional future discount on top of whatever ABB is giving her.

I was the person in the wrong for not paying close enough attention to my dates.


No, I think it would be hypocritical to cancel on an Instant Book guest because I forgot to block my calendar, but stating my reason as I don’t believe that they would be a good fit for my home.

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