Partial Cancellation - Refund?

Assuming a Strict refund policy, when a guest shortens their trip (with advance notice) do you typically refund the full cost different or only 50% of it? As an example, I have a guest who booked June 4-7 but now wants to change it to June 4-6. Normally I would just refund the third day, but I’m wondering if I should be so generous. It won’t be hard at all for me to rebook that day, but might be at a lower rate.

I would refund what you wouldn’t lose; so, if you book at a lower rate, then refund up to that amount. I have a two day minimum, and often a shortened stay means a one day gap in bookings, so I lose the whole night.

If it’s just a day off their stay and >30 days out, I refund the full amount. If it’s close to their trip (<3 wks away) or shortens their stay significantly I’ll refund 50% now and refund more based on whether the dates re-sell. I usually tell them if I’m relisting at the full rate or at some discount.

If you refund them contingent on another booking, only send the refund after the replacement booking has paid out. (I got burned once with this: The “replacement” booking ended up canceling under EC, so I was out the original canceled stay AND had no income from the replacement.)

(I’m on strict also, if it matters).


That sounds reasonable!

Interesting, I refunded quests last week for one day because their flight was snowed in from Chicago. I issued the refund right away and as you indicate, I should have waited–at least until their payment for the days they did stay came in. So much to learn and so little time!

At least that one is associated with a single reservation :slight_smile:

Had your guests needed to cancel altogether due to travel issues and received a full refund under EC, they could take your initial refund into account. (Or, at least, I believe CS would help make it right). In my case they were separate parties and I can’t imagine CS would’ve reversed my refund to party A because party B had a last minute EC cancellation.

But yes, be wary of giving refunds based on reservations that haven’t yet paid out.

I agree with @Allison_H 's approach.

However I caveat that with individual circumstances

  • weather, business, emergencies
  • repeat customer I’m very flexible and would offer full refund

Just yesterday as I was readying the guest house for an arrival, I received a message from the guest asking if she could adjust her arrival to the next day. She is a repeat guest (5th or 6th visit) who comes into town to visit her mother. In this case, she explained she needed to stay the night with her her ailing mother. She offered to pay the full amount; but it was not an offer I accepted.


Don’t refund anything! Let Airbnb do all the work for you.

A week ago I had guests ask to shorten their stay (by 1 day) just a 3 days before their arrival. I told them that they had to contact Airbnb and request the newer, shorter visit. They did so, and Air sent me a message asking me to approve the new stay. Air fixed my calendar and paid me for the shorter period.


Sometimes you just do what’s right. I think it’s easy to get carried away with “policies” and taking cancellations etc on a case by case basis is a far better approach. Karma points for the afterlife :wink:


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If you don’t accept the change of reservation you will be off to a great start with this guest, and who knows what kind of appreciation they will show for your kindness.

If it’s so far out and you’re sure you will rebook, just refund.

First, this is not a case for a refund.

This should be a Change Request, which can be started either by you or the guest.

If you handle it, you can maintain the original price (I just did this 2 days ago for a reservation starting on the 24th) or you can accept the default $$$ that Airbnb puts in the payout box, which would be for the shorter period.
Just to be sure before hitting 'Send", go over the numbers as it might give a lower rate or …

I have yet to see a Change request initiated by the guest that would maintain the original $$$ amount, so I usually send the Change request myself.

In tendency I would just tell the guest I have a strict cancellation policy on the listing and if I re-book I will able to send something later. The important is do clear the calendar with the Change request.

I had guest that got delayed on the first leg of their international flight. They dude had nothing better to do while waiting to put in a Change Request for the first night of their stay (no explanation at that point) and then haggle about it with me. So I said … so sorry, but can’t do. Dude then called Airbnb, that ‘comped’ him that night. There you have it … CS wanted to keep the Dude happy. Cherry on the cake was Dude fully expected to be let in at 6am or whenever they made it from the airport.
Well, he got a well deserved Thumbs down!


At this point I’d have been exploring all avenues to cancel the booking. Unless of course we were so skint we were existing on free tapas from the bar round the corner… :slight_smile:


This is a case I would let Air handle. Just refer them to air to change it and the policy is what it is. If air asked me to volunteer a refund I would say no. If the policy allow a refund then they get a refund, if not they do not.

Hosts are not a travel insurance company, stick with your policy.


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I had a somewhat similar issue - guest booked for seven nights but told me three days before arrival they would leave after six nights. We have strict cancellation policy. I called Air CS, they told me the guest is not entitled to a refund of any of the money under the strict policy for shortening their stay. Another way to say it is: a guest can’t cancel a part of their stay and expect the terms of the strict policy apply.

Of course, they suggested I refund the guest for the unused day to “make the guest happy”