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Too many guests booking and cancelling the next day

I am having a flurry of guests booking and then cancelling very quickly since the new 48 hour cancellation option. I think that Airbnb should have guests pay a very minimal amount of no money back to book, say $10. This way they will be less likely to book a house and then go and look for a better deal. Recently, I had a guest book for one night in July. I had a very upset person write and say they were just about to book and the night was grabbed by the time she went to book it. The person who booked it cancelled two hours later – with no excuse, and the original person went ahead and found something else, much farther away and not ideal for her but she decided to stick with it because the whole thing stressed her out. I think if people had to lay that $10 down they may be less likely to put a “hold” on our house for 48 hours, with no penalty. Any thoughts on this?


I’m guessing there are more guests that appreciate the 48-hour cancellation than there are guests that are inconvenienced by it, and that also it’s rare for hosts to actually lose income from it. If my guesses are correct, then don’t expect anything to change.


I’ve had no change and I host a lot of guests, at least 100 a year. This must be related to being nearthesea. You should move inland.

I’m kidding of course about moving but I haven’t seen an uptick in cancelling. Honestly I don’t think people would take kindly to having a fee. Airbnb doesn’t care about you or any single host, they are very guest centered so any policy that’s not guest friendly won’t be implemented.


I earlier this evening I had a similar conversation with my neighbor. We both offer coastal area 1 Br 1ba condos. I’ve been on Airbnb for 5 years with 2 condos. Between the two, I’ve had maybe 3 cancellations in 5 years and rarely felt the need to decline a request.

This summer, I’ve had 3 cancellations and 6 requests to book who were inappropriate for my listing so I declined or gave them a special offer to change dates and stay at the larger condo (graduation party, 3x too many people, & 2x wanting to negotiate cheaper rates).

Airbnb becoming more mainstream has brought me new work without reservations.


If Air is following their own policies, the guest does NOT get a refund if they cancel a booking that overlaps another. This policy directly combats “shopping” after they’ve booked.


The Airbnb service fee is refundable up to 3 times per year if the guest cancels within 48 hours of booking and at least 14 days before check-in. It isn’t refundable if the guest cancels a reservation that overlaps with any part of an existing reservation.

The guest cancellation process is cumbersome and it takes a while for them to process refunds - sometimes weeks for the money to credit back. I’d be surprised if anyone makes a habit of booking and then shopping for a better deal, given the hassle of calling CS and risk of losing their entire booking $$ per policy.

I haven’t noticed an uptick in cancellations due to the new 48-hour policy.
I’m on the largest salt and shark-free sea, if that makes a difference. :wink:


Only the service fee is non-refundable, so Airbnb keeps around 15% and host gets nothing. Am I reading that correctly?


Good catch! Yep, looks like that only applies to the service fee.

Still, for many of my bookings that equates to $60 or more. I can’t imagine many people go through the hassle of finding a place, booking, and then losing $60+ in service fees so they can book a slightly cheaper place.


I believe that in the first 48 hours there are no fees at all. I can understand a grace period, of say 2 hours. You may check your airline ticket and realize you chose the wrong day. (I have done this.) Since the new 48 hour cancellation option, when I hear the Airbnb ding on my phone, I don’t think, Oh good! A new booking. I think, who has cancelled now? Since my home is large and hosts multiple guests, one of them “holds” it on their account, and then a different guest books with another account within the 48 hour time, so there is no penalty. It is happening more and more and it is quite aggravating. Like Anne, I have not had this happen in such quantity before this cancellation option was implemented. I think the $10 “hold fee” would dissuade people from doing this as often.


It’s not unlimited and it’s not totally penalty free.
When a guest books and then cancels it’s not penalty free.

The Airbnb cancellation policies include these provisions

  • The Airbnb service fee is refundable up to 3 times per year if the guest cancels within 48 hours of booking and at least 14 days before check-in. It isn’t refundable if the guest cancels a reservation that overlaps with any part of an existing reservation.

You seem determined to believe the fault is with Airbnb policies but just be sure you are completely familiar with those policies too.

  • A host will be able to see the number of reservations a guest has canceled over the previous 12 months when the guest submits a request to book.

Do you know where is this shown? I’ve never seen this metric, but it’s possible my guests haven’t cancelled other stays.


I’ve never seen it on anyone’s profile either. I also have about 90% IB so I wonder if that plays any role.

Since I first posted this 9 days ago, I have had five more cancellations. I do not like this new system AT ALL. A 12 hour window, OK…but 48 hours is just too long.

Yet again another example of Airbnb not listening to their hosts and just trying to give guests what they want. We know what will make guests happiest and this example highlights why the easy come easy go is not a good option for Airbnb!

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That’s crazy. Wow. It’s time to start using other platforms in conjunction with Airbnb.

True but if they keep getting booked by soon to cancel airbnbers, it is still hard to book it elsewhere.

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