Process help for cancellation/preventing immediate rebook

Long story short, we have a guest that booked in early September scheduled to arrive next Sunday that just told us they have a relative dying of cancer that has a month to live. The guest submitted a reservation alteration to postpone their trip a month.

Despite our strict cancellation policy, I’m willing to provide a full refund for the original November stay (I don’t want to debate that, please, I know I’m not obligated to refund anything at all), and I know they can cancel within 48 hours if I accept the reservation request. But I don’t want the guest to hold the calendar again and then pull the EC policy.

What’s the best way to manage this?

Good on you for refunding. No debate here!

That could run into several months realistically, I have just been through that process with a relative. Difficult and unpredictable time.
I think you are wise to consider not having them tie up your calendar and would suggest you advise them to contact you when they know for sure they are able to commit.
Good luck with this one.

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What you’re effectively saying is that you want to provide a refund, but don’t want the guest to come again next month because the guest might have to cancel/postpone again.

If that’s the case, then I think you have to do a mutual cancellation (cancel by admin) in order for no penalties to be incurred by host or guest. Have the guest call Airbnb and then Airbnb will contact you to confirm. If you have another reservation between now and Sunday, then expect the refund to be deducted from that and then get credited to you when the payout for the cancelled reservation is due.

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In that case I would suggest you advise the guest to cancel under EC and then when their plans are clearer they can just make a new booking. @PitonView

@Brian_R170 - I think you have the best answer. I’ve had to do a couple of the admin-processed cancellations due to COVID restrictions already, so I (unfortunately) know how to do those.

I’ll decline the change request and process the admin cancellation.

@Helsi - I don’t think the illness falls under EC policy - the guest is an experienced traveler and host and most likely would have said something if it does. Frankly, I’m not even sure the guest is telling the truth (has been waffling since the beginning), but I’m willing to give them a full refund to just go away and let me open the calendar back up.

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Then I agree see if Airbnb would go for a mutual cancellation .

I had a guest that contacted me pretty late in her reservation saying that she was unable to travel with Covid and being pregnant and wanting to move her reservation to later. I told her, with the world being topsy-turvy, I would be happy to refund her and she could consider a later booking when things settled down. Considering your place is a fly in location, your guest might be relieved to have things resolved in much the same manner? I put it in writing in the app so she could have backup when she called to cancel, and it turned out that I able to process a cancellation without penalty to either of us.

Good luck - sometimes with ABB, wanting to do the right thing is easier than getting it done. :wink:

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Update -
I processed an admin cancellation so neither the guest nor I was penalized. Despite her alternation request, she did not try to book again.
At least our calendar for the December week is not blocked. Thanks, all, for your advice.

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Glad it worked out :+1: Great news!

I’m still bummed we lost a two-week booking, especially since I suspect the guest lied about the medical emergency, but at least we’ve minimized the damage.

It’s telling to me that the guest did not try to re-book after the cancellation. Their response was “we hope we can visit someday - your place is beautiful!”. I suspect they had no intention of really rescheduling, and were going to cancel immediately if I accepted the request anyway.

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Considering you are a fly-in location, I was doubtful of their story and thought it sounded more like buyer’s remorse.

Hope your good karma gets a successful booking for you! :crossed_fingers:

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