Totally lost it this morning

Lost it this morning. I knew this guest was playing the extenuating circumstances clause to get her full refund back. The 50% cancellation fee under the strict policy was worth $2,500, and my calendar is still sitting empty because of her.

Initially, she said her grandfather was unable to travel, and had to cancel. Then a few days later, Airbnb texted me to say she’s asking for a full refund under the extenuating circumstances clause. I texted the guest again, and guess what? She said she can’t travel because her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. As if realising her mistake, 5 minutse later, she quickly followed up to say her grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimers. To me, it seems like she’s the one that 's really diagnosed.

In a fit of anger, i told her she’ll get retribution for what she has done. In reality, I’m the one who’s getting the retribution for hosting on Airbnb. :frowning:

Now i’ve capped all stays at a maximum of 10 days. I’ve been looking to diversify on VRBO, but the bookings are really scarce and few. Well, I knew what I was getting into. Thank goodness i won’t be hosting for much longer. I just attained Superhost status, and have been invited into Airbnb Plus. Both of these 2 are pretty much useless to me now. It’s been a wild journey nevertheless.

Sorry for the rant.


WHY were you texting? If those “conversations” had been held via the Air Message system, you would have had evidence to deny her claim, because she obviously lied.


These were texted through the Airbnb app. Her lies are obvious and even a kid can tell its fabricated. Her tracks were barely covered. But i suspect from the Airbnb point of view, they will refund her anyway. To them, one less customer is one less dollar of revenue. One less host makes zero difference because other hosts will jump in to fill the gap.


But also Air doesn’t want customers who abuse system . They work so they can maximize their profit, so it’s unreasonable for them to side only with one side of the transaction. I don’t believe Air wants to make us hosts angry and to take guests side always how many posters think.
As a host I was treated much better than a guest to tell the truth.
One thing I learned to always escalate the case with different person. I did it 3 times and after unfavorable desicion of first representative it was reversed to my favour with next.

With that said If her lies were documented ( and they are obvious lies ) and she can’t provide paperwork then most likely they won’t refund her . And If they do definitely escalate to next person. Also Alsheimer is a chronic illness that will last for years . It’s not an emergency illness when someone is hospitalised.


Yes @yana. And frankly speaking, if her grandmother really has been diagnosed with cancer, I’ll be more than willing to refund in full out of compassion. But it seems too much of a coincidence that both grandparents were only diagnosed after she had booked.

I’ve told the Airbnb rep to make sure the letters do state the diagnosis on the letter, whether they will actually bother to go into that level of detail is anybody’s guess, and I’m pessimistic. All they promised is they will carefully assess the letter - which sounds to me as nothing more than corporate speak.

Honestly, I’ve seen my fair share of medical letters, and most will just state “this person has been assessed as unfit for travel”. I can get this letter feigning a headache, much less Alzheimers or cancer.


Probably…what else they could say… but I am glad you communicated with her through Air. Also let’s remember that customer service people are people too and they make mistakes and they miss facts . It’s our job to stress certain points and point out to them when we present our case. I remember one representative even thanked me for bringing to his attention what he missed and he decided
in my favor

Also I am not sure why you put your max to 10 days?


I put it to 10 days because I’ve had more than 1 ocassion of guests cancelling before or during their stay. if I had accepted another 30 day reservation, or even a 14 day reservation, cancellations will just make a big dent in my earnings, and I am already struggling to cover the mortgage. Since starting out, I’ve only had 14 bookings so far and already 2 cancellations (including this one), and 1 near-attempted cancellation. 10 days will minimise my loss, so I won’t be left out in the cold by this extenuating circumstance policy. I’m never trusting the strict cancellation policy again.

Frankly speaking, if I had a choice I’ll go with VRBO instead. The platform allows me to collect the security deposit in advance, upload my own rental agreement, and has a Super strict policy that allows no refunds. Way better protection than Airbnb. VRBO unfortunately has very little site traffic.

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Yes that’s true about VRBO. But also VRBO has back charges that they are not responsible for. I had it twice and would loose that way lots of money.
The good part was that I rerented immediately.
I sometimes get booking through VRBO like this time I have someone for 2 months and may be more.
Is your listing separate unit?
I am not sure that its the right move to do 10 days max. I love my long stays. I didn’t have any cancellation yet in long terms within 4 years of hosting ,may you just had a bit of bad luck. And it will go fine from now on.


Thanks @Yana. Yup it’s a separate unit. I am unable to proffer any reason for the many cancellations within such a short period, since all my 10 reviews were 5 star overalls. I can only surmise it is bad luck.

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When a guest wants to cancel due to extenuating circumstances I request from Airbnb documentation. My mother has Alzheimers and that is a progressive ongoing disease. For the cancer, again, not really sure if a person that is in your family gets cancer that is an extenuating circumstance either. Either way, she should be able to provide legitimate reason why these disease (and proof from doctors) as to why she can’t travel. I know you folks might think I’m heartless but people lie all the time. Even when Airbnb customer service gave the refund back (without my permission) I have respectfully escalated and gotten my money. Don’t back down.


Thank you @Lynick4442 I’m determined to fight tooth and nail for this, and will keep you all updated of the outcome.

Travel insurance would require written evidence from a doctor, airline etc… Airbnb should be the same. I reckon if Airbnb charged a small fee per trip it could act as insurance. There needs to be a practical solution.


When I’ve had this situation (similar situations, that is) I’ve told the guest that I don’t have their money - Airbnb does. Because of that, they must take it up with Airbnb and not me. Some people at this stage realise that dealing with a company is going to be a different matter - it’s no longer a case of dealing with an individual host but now it’s a large company with a legal department.

Then I post the listing to social media with the dates and ‘available due to cancellation’. It almost always gets booked.

If the excuse is obvious nonsense then I leave it to karma and refuse to worry about it :slight_smile:



Were the grandfather & grandmother listed as guests on the original reservation? If not, the extenuating circumstances policy doesn’t apply.

If they were included, the guest most provide a doctor’s notice of diagnosis dated after the reservation was made.

I am conflicted. I try to be compassionate when people are going through difficulty but this doesn’t feel legitimate. Push Airbnb to follow it’s own policy of either considering ONLY registered guests and/or requiring documentation from a physician of the documentation.


Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances requires the date of the diagnosis be AFTER the date the reservation is made. Push Airbnb to follow their own policy.

GOOD INFORMATION for us all to note. It worked for me a couple of months ago.

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Hi there,

I understand your point of view entirely. And I do believe you are taking on too much responsibility!

The guest must prove extenuating circumstances to Air. They don’t want to lose a $2500 booking, either. Proving something requires documents. Air handles this.

E.g., last spring I had to provide the prescription AND doctor’s notes for pneumonia. That was simple enough for me. Then let them handle it.

As far as losing it, well, s*** happens. My suggestion is to call Air, have them intervene, and offer to compensate the guest for any guests that book during her time slot.

Best to you!

Really good point Ken…I had a similar situation; my very clever son instructed me NOT to text her back, but to paraphrase what she had written on the text in the ABB system…bingo she responded and I had the evidence that she was fibbing.
And seriously, either diagnosis does not stop the world from turning.
If one has to cancel a flight due to extenuation circumstances. ie: death/ illness documented & notarized proof is required.
My hunch is this guest books some high end stays, ABB is protecting it’s own interests, they still get the reservation fee, the guest in not alienated from booking in the future. Win, win for everyone except the host.

As expected, Air wants to refund the guest in full. How do i escalate the case further? The case manager is not returning my messages at all. Should i take to twitter?


They’ve responded to escalate the case to a supervisor, have yet to hear back from them.

I’ve texted to say I minimally expect the following:

  1. Confirm there are 2 letters - one each for grandfather and grandmother.

  2. Confirm the two letters are addressed to the right party. The identities of the grandfather and grandmother should be duly established with photo identification.

  3. Is the letter signed and dated by a doctor? Is the doctor’s name verifiable on Linkedin or Google?

  4. Does the letter come with the clinic or hospital’s letterhead?

  5. Confirm the two letters includes the diagnosis I.e. Grandfather has Alzheimers and Grandmother has cancer, and the DIAGNOSIS was made AFTER the booking date. The letter issue date should not be confused with the diagnosis date.

  6. Does the diagnosis report come with a date? (Not the letter, the diagnosis report).

  7. The letter should state both the Grandfather and Grandmother are unfit for travel.

  8. Confirm the authenticity of the letter has been established with the clinic/hospital.

  9. Allow me to sight the documentation and confirm all the above criteria has been met, otherwise, an official email from your legal department explaining which section of the privacy law prohibits me from viewing the documentation, and confirm in writing that they have sighted all the above conditions were met.

Knowing I’m powerless in the end, i’m just going to make it as hard on them as possible, for as long as possible.



Are the grandparents listed as guests for this trip? If not, their health will not result in refund.

Please forgive me, if you answered this earlier & I missed it

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