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Proposed Guest Cancellation with a Difference


So a guest writes to me 10 days before his arrival. 3 nights, family of eight, whole house. He tells me that he has also just become a host and has received a $500 voucher from Airbnb. He explains that he cannot redeem it against existing booking. He asks if I can cancel the booking at my end and then promises to rebook the same dates, same price. This will then allow him to use his $500 voucher.

I do not feel comfortable with this as I understand that if I were to cancel at such short notice it will reflect poorly on my exemplary hosting record to date. And probably negatively impact my status. I am currently and consistently in the top 6 listings for Cape Town, South Africa in my category.

Any advice or similar experience from anyone gratefully accepted. Many thanks, Eric.


To be honest I wouldn’t do that. Tell him he can use it in the future. You will get dinged by AirBnb’s algorithms.


Hi Tom, thanks. As I suspected. My wife and I have worked hard to build an excellent brand reputation and I won’t put that in jeopardy.


What?? He received 500$ for becoming a host?? How come I never for anything?


Compare that to receiving $100 voucher when you reach Superhost. Btw, has anyone received theirs?


Why should you have to do the cancelling? Also, the $500 voucher thing sounds like a total scam.


Just say no! It’s just someone trying to get out of their booking… you can’t use someone else’s voucher and even if you did it’s not cash… Don’t cave.


Can’t he be the one to cancel?


I told the guest I would not be able to accommodate his request. I explained why and his reply was gracious and understands my position. He then asks me to change my cancellation policy from strict to relaxed. Clearly this guy wants to cancel. With 8 days to go before his visit I have also declined this request.

For the first time in 18 months of hosting on airbnb, I feel uncomfortable ahead of a guest arrival.

I will keep you informed of what transpires. Thank you for all your replies and advice. Much appreciated.


I hope the visit works out well. At least he was gracious when responding. I have had visits that I was a bit uncomfortable about ahead of time, and they went very well. Fingers crossed…


Don’t cave. Keep your policy on strict! Don’t blame you for feeling awkward with this incoming guest. But stand your ground. He may not even show…then you get to keep the money!


did you ask him directly why he would want you to alter your cancellation policy?


I have never heard of a new host receiving a $500 voucher. And now I see you posted that Superhosts receive a $100 voucher? I don’t recall seeing one offered and I am a superhost.

Oh please keep us posted. This guy is so shady. I can’t believe he was trying to con you into canceling the reservation. And then to ask you to change your cancellation policy? Did he give you a reason as to why he wanted you to change it? I know the reason was so he could cancel, but curious to know what reason he gave. If pulls that any of that “extenuating circumstances” crap…where Airbnb allows a full refund to their discretion, I hope you fight it. He may try to get his doctor to write a note or say he had a death in the family. I think Airbnb should suggest trip insurance to all of the travelers instead of taking the money from the host


Hi everyone,
Thank you very much for all your inputs. Just want to update the guests checked in last night and they can’t be nicer. A lovely family from California and super firiendly and polite. Big sigh of relief on our side.


Haha! You just never do know! All’s well that ends well!

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