Refund Confusion

We had a guest cancel, within 48 hours of the booking, but also of the stay. We use STRICT cancellation, but I was amenable to the cancel.

“Strict: Full refund for cancellations made within 48 hours of booking, if the check-in date is at least 14 days away. 50% refund for cancellations made at least 7 days before check-in. No refunds for cancellations made within 7 days of check-in.”

I waited for the “day after” payment from AirBnB and seen that I received my full amount. Which make sense given the above. The guest paid $198.82 total, but I only see $155.20. So I cannot even send full amount she is out to compensate.

I am a superhost, and message AirBnB, but was looking for more (better) help. :slight_smile:

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Airbnb does not refund their fees.

Wow, so you don’t mind losing money?

The difference is the fees paid to AIrBnb, which is up to them to refund or not. You cannot refund more than you were paid, well you could I guess but then you are actually paying to lose money.

You have a strict policy for a reason, a cancelation with such short notice hurts your bottom line. I suggest not to promise a refund, direct the guest to check with their travel insurance. Hosts are not travel insurance…

Other will have different opinions, I choose to run my business like a business and stick to the policy I have.



The decision to allow them to cancel was mutually agreed upon, for what I deemed as acceptable reasons. This is not my primary, nor even secondary, income so have a lot more compassion than I should at times. I completely understand that others may run theirs differently.

Looks like I will just do a refund for what I received. Thank you all!

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Guest didn’t stay? Then Air still had their money. Make Air do the refund and message the guest that they should cancel, you don’t have their money, and let Air tell them that they won’t get the fees back.


YOU should NEVER REFUND ANYONE FOR ANY REASON. That is what AirBnb get’s their fees for – handling “paperwork”, refunds, collecting and poaying money. Someone cancels within Strict? That’s for Air to handle… not you.


Well, I certainly do not agree with that statement. You are basically saying we shouldn’t act human.

It’s one thing to refund because a guest is demanding it or a host is afraid of a bad review, that I don’t advocate at all.

But there are plenty of situations where a host would feel a refund is the right thing to do, either for compassionate reasons or whatever.

I had a guest at a time of year when it is really hot and humid here and I was surprised to get it- it’s my dead season when I almost never get a booking- it’s simply too hot and humid for most people and I have a simple place- no pool, no AC and a 20 minute walk to town and the beach.

A Canadian guest booked 5 days, stayed for 2 and said she loved my place, but the weather was miserable for her. Yes, of course she should have researched the weather here at that time of year. But she didn’t, and she also didn’t ask for a refund- I offered to refund the unstayed days before she had a chance to ask.

Had she done this is the middle of my high season, I would likely not have offered to refund. But as I never count on any bookings at all at that time of year, it hadn’t caused me to lose any potential bookings, and it isn’t my main source of income, so it really wasn’t any skin off my nose. Plus she was a really nice person who is also a home share host.


The difference might also be your cleaning fee. If a guest cancelled before the booking starts they always get back their cleaning fee.

On the rare occasion that I agree to refund part or all of their money. (Very, very rare), I make sure I state that I will refund the amount that airbnb gives me and I do not refund until the payment is in my bank. I let them know that Airbnb takes out fees too.

Also, when you do refund them, you won’t see payments for future bookings until enough money is collected to cover your refund.

Here’s an example to help clarify what I mean:

Payout of $18.57 sent

We’ve issued you a payout of $18.57. This should arrive in your account by Feb 04, 2022, taking into consideration weekends and holidays.

Airbnb Account ID XXX

*Payout ID G-XXX

|Resolution Adjustment|01/16/2022
Resolution Adjustment|-$270.49|
|Reservation|01/19/2022 - 01/21/2022
XXX - MP - Comfy,Cozy & Clean. Close to Boston/Salem/Airport.|$180.42|
|Reservation|01/28/2022 - 01/30/2022
XXX - KM - Comfy,Cozy & Clean. Close to Boston/Salem/Airport.|$108.64||

Amount paid (USD) $18.57

Hope that helps.

Oh and no good deed goes unpunished - I refunded this guest 4 of the 6 days of an illegal third-party booking where I offered to transfer the payment to her son if he would set up the account. She lied to me a few times during this process and then she had the chance to review my STR and gave me 1 star and called me a thief. (Airbnb removed the review but it might be the last time I show compassion. She blocked my calendar for a weekend even though she said she cancelled and I had to call Airbnb to cancel the reservation.)

I understand this. I can’t tell you exactly when it happened, but I can tell you that it did—I have less compassion for the guests/potential guests. So many of them feel it ok to lie about rental bookings & take advantage of hosts.

I’ve pondered why people who consider themselves honest will gladly lie to a host.

I think the perceived reasons it is ok are:

  1. Host doesn’t need the money
  2. Host chose to have rental so risk
  3. Host has a 2nd home, I can’t afford one
  4. It’s an Investor group, they won’t be hurt
  5. I don’t know them, why do I care
  6. I need my money

Basically they expect hosts to follow the rules, but they don’t have to.

I reserve the right to follow my heart with refunds but I’m much more likely to simply follow the policy


Your list of reasons why guests lie seems pretty right on when it comes to scamming for a refund.

But guests lie about all kinds of things and it all comes down to “I’ll say what I need to say in order to get what I want”.

Whether that’s saying you are planning a quiet little family get together for grandma’s birthday, when they intend to throw a rager party, or, like the post I read yesterday on another forum, when the host expressed concern that the guests were coming in 2 cars, when there is only room for one without blocking in the on-site host’s car, the guest just blatantly lied, saying no problem, because her husband would be driving out at 6 am every day for work.

When the guests arrived, and the host said something about him just parking behind their car, since he’d be leaving at 6am, the husband seemed confused and told the host he didn’t go to work outside the home. His wife had totally lied.

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Ritz3, incorrect, because they just did. Not sure if it was super host related, but the rep called Me and did it for me.

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They did for my guests for Covid lockdown refunds but I had to ring them up to arrange it. At first it was quite quick then they started putting me in the queue with all the guests ringing up wanting refunds that their host wasn’t prepared to give them and it took over 30 minutes.


Airbnb has been changing their refund policies since 8/2020.

A few months ago the refund policy said Airbnb would refund Airbnb service fees on:
up to 3 cancellations a year for a guest and
reservations cancelled during 48 hour free cancellation period.

Now Airbnb’s policy only references Airbnb fees being refunded during the free cancellation period.

So now guests can cancel a large number of times per year without losing their Airbnb fees? Did that change once they introduced the Firm policy?

I experimented with the Firm policy. I get more bookings farther out with that policy but half of them cancel as well. I don’t fret the cancellations, I look at them as data points.

No the opposite. The old policy allowed guests to cancel up to three times a year with full refund of Airbnb fees. Guests could cancel a week before their stay & if the policy was moderate or flexible receive a refund of Airbnb fees.

Now only if the cancellation is done during the free refund period (within 48 hours of booking AND 14 days or more before the stay starts) can the guest receive a refund of Airbnb fees.

It is more restrictive on receiving a refund of Airbnb fees.

I couldn’t determine if the extenuating circumstances policy covers the cancellation what happens to the Airbnb fees.

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I will have to ask some guests who have canceled the reservations under free as well as extenuating circumstances.