Partial refund for cancellation post cancellation window?

Hello gurus!

Here’s the situation… Guest booked a couple of months ago for 4th of July weekend (3 nights, July 4-7). Summer is a busy time for us… especially this holiday.

Received a message at 7pm tonight (July 3) saying one of them is sick with strep, they can’t use the house this weekend, and is there any refundable money?

Our cancellation policy is Moderate (guest gets a full refund if they cancel up to 5 days before check in). We are clearly past that.

I know I am under no obligation to refund anything from an Airbnb standpoint but wanted to ask your thoughts.

As a guest, we once cancelled because my daughter woke up on the morning of travel with COVID during its height and the host was very understanding when I cancelled and there was no penalty; we were fully refunded. I felt terrible and she and I even talked on the phone about it. And whereas I thoroughly appreciated this, I’m still struggling between “business is business” and “is there something I can/should do for them?”

I want to be decent about this.

Thank you in advance!

I also use the moderate policy and considering that guests only pay for the first night and half the remaining nights if they cancel past the 5 day mark, I wouldn’t feel like refunding them anything. Especially since it’s a long weekend they held your calendar hostage for 2 months on. And you also don’t know whether they are telling you the truth.

Also, that they are asking “is there any refundable money” would rub me the wrong way. They should be aware of the cancellation policy and what refund they will receive.

I would just tell them “Yes, according to the terms of the Moderate cancellation policy you booked under, your refund will be half of the nightly rate for 2 of the nights, with the first night paid in full. I’m sure you can appreciate that cancelling the night before a long, popular holiday weekend means it is unlikely that we will be able to get these dates rebooked on such short notice, but as soon as you cancel the booking, the calendar dates will open up and if any get rebooked, I will refund you for those. Hope your daughter gets better soon.”


No refund.

Smart travelers have cancelation insurance, stupid ones loose their money.

All our guest (Direct, AirBnB, Booking) receive a message with a link to a travel insurance after booking. That ends all discussions about refunds.


Yep, that’s how we see it as well. It’s a special weekend and for that at least I would get cancellation insurance as a guest to have peace of mind.


I would not refund because it’s the fourth of July and being last minute you won’t be able to rebook.


My response to something like that is “Oh, my! I do hope your companion feels better soon. As to a refund, you’ll get half back for the 5th and 6th, per our Moderate cancellation policy. And I’m happy to provide you any documentation you need to file your claim on your travel insurance for the rest.”


Thank you all so much for the sanity check! You’re absolutely right. My policy is my policy. They’ve still not cancelled officially… said they are trying to figure it all out. We shall see :woman_shrugging:t2:


I guess it was the 24-hour version of strep :wink:

It’s amazing how quickly people get well when they’ll lose money.


No refund. Simply say “I’m sorry but Airbnb has your money, not me. Please take it up with them”.

We always have insurance when we travel and it’s not my job to subsidise those who don’t.


Hmmm. I would use Piton’s language and would not direct the guest to Airbnb, to avoid annoying CS requests to refund above and beyond the cancellation policy.


Can I have the cancellation insurance link please? I should buy that too when I travel. Thanks!

I don’t know if they cover people living in or traveling to other countries.

We recommend this one to our guests because it has great coverage, even things like ill pets. And the prices are reasonable too.
It also covers extension or shortening stays due to accidents (which is not uncommon with pur kind of guests).

We use this insurance too if we plan a trip longer ahead and more expensive, not for cheap last minute ones.

1 Like

Ha! Exactly! :joy: That said, 2 of the 4 turned up so at least they’re getting use out of the house.


Thank you, Chris!! :heart:

Always best to ask the guest if they bought the travel insurance at checkout as an opener. Mainly because sometimes they DID and Airbnb still directs the guest to us as the first option for refund!