Sending money before or after a cancellation?

Hi all! Hope everyone is doing well!

I’m in a bit of a pickle.

So my guest needs to cancel his booking due to personal matters but missed the 5 day window (my listing’s policy is moderate) so he has to pay the penalty. His booking was for 8 nights.

He explained his situation (he asked for a lesser penalty if possible) and I told him I’d issue a full refund instead but he said he felt awful for suddenly cancelling and said he’d like to pay for at least one night for the trouble.

How does one go about this? Would he have to send money before or after the cancellation?

So sorry if this sounds odd, this is the first time I’ve encountered a situation like this. Hoping anyone could share any advice for this :slight_smile: thank you! I’m not from the US if this info can be helpful :slight_smile:

Edit: I’ve seen that hosts and guests CAN send money after a cancellation but when I checked one of my cancelled reservations, there was no send or request money button so that’s why I’m a bit confused

Don’t send him any money yet. He has to cancel first. Take it one step at a time. If he missed the free cancellation period, then wait for Airbnb to send you the funds the day after he’s suppose to check in. Then wait until you actually receive the funds in your checking account. At that point, if you wish, you can send him funds through the Airbnb platform which will be deducted from your next payout.


When your guest cancels (you do NOT cancel him) you will get a notice of this and a button saying ‘refund full amount’.

Then click and you will be offered a window to say how much you want to refund out of the money you will be getting. At that time you can put a dollar amount in that will go to the guest.


Oh I see! I haven’t tried giving full refunds yet so I didn’t know we could input an amount after pressing the issue full refund button. Always thought it was an automatic thing once I pressed the button. Thanks, Rolf! Learned something new today :slight_smile:

Got it, thanks! I’ll tell him to cancel first and then take it from there!
Appreciate the reply, thank you! :slight_smile:


The reason you don’t ever send money to a guest before you get paid is that some hosts have had guests ask for a refund from Airbnb, after the host has sent a refund, and some clueless Airbnb rep refunds them in full, so the host is out the money twice.


YOU NEVER, EVER SEND PEOPLE MONEY! That’s what you pay AirBnb their commission for – handling your finances. A Guest MUST cancel through AirBnb – Not through you. IF Airbnb ever suggests you might want to give a Guest a portion of money – Just Say NO.

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Jeez, Ken, you make it sound like a host choosing to refund a guest is some cardinal sin they should receive 100 lashes for. Certainly hosts should never succumb to pressure from either a guest nor Airbnb to refund, nor feel guilty about not refunding, but telling other adults they should never refund a guest beyond the cancellation policy seems a bit dictatorial. There may be circumstances where the host feels like refunding is what they should and want to do and there isn’t anything terrible about that.

Would it be easier for him to cancel all but one day. Then you get that money automatically. Your room would be blocked that night but I wouldn’t care if I was getting paid for it and had no related turnover.

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Be careful what you promise because the guest may not get back the airbnb fees.

Personally I never refund. I honestly don’t believe guests stories anymore no matter how believable.

And as everyone else said He needs to cancel and wait until you get the prompt from airbnb to refund.


I agree.

From what I’ve read here Airbnb rarely if ever refunds its fees.

Therefore, if I were ever to promise a refund I would choose my words carefully, not a 'full refund" but “I will agree to an Airbnb refund net of Airbnb fees (Airbnb typically does not refund its fees).”

Or in a situation where I might agree to try to re-book the cancelled days, I might say something like “I will agree to Airbnb refunding your reservation amount for the cancelled and re-booked days, net of any Airbnb fees, up to the amount I receive net of any Airbnb fees or any other charges two weeks after the re-booked stay is completed.”

I say that because again Airbnb fees are typically not refunded, because the nightly rate and additional guest fees of the rebooked nights might be less than the cancelled stay. Also, in the event that that the new guest for the re-booked days is successful in claiming a refund or charges against me I wouldn’t want to authorize a refund of monies I do not receive. [I’m mindful of the possibility that the new guest could be a shill for the cancelling guest.] The wording emphasizes that the refund goes through Airbnb (“will agree to Airbnb refunding you”).

I’m open to suggestions if anyone suggests better wording.

Although @KenH was a bit shouty, as @muddy pointed out, I do agree with him. :slight_smile:

I’ve never refunded a guest who has cancelled - and I always have the most lenient cancellation policy.

I refer the guest to Airbnb, pointing out that I don’t have their money, Airbnb does. I also warn them that they probably won’t have the fees refunded because Airbnb had, essentially, done their job in introducing us … “and I really hope that we’ll get to meet and you’ll stay with us again after [insert reason for cancellation]”.

I’ve never had a problem with this, ever.

Note: I’m not saying I never refund. I have refunded guests in situ if something has happened to disrupt their stay (AC out for 24 hours, unexpected noisy construction in the apartment above, emergency water stoppage etc.)

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Absolutely @jaquo. For me, it’s not about never giving refunds, it’s about putting it through the proper channels, e.g. the services for which we pay Airbnb.

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