Urgent Advice pleas!

Someone has just made an instant booking for himself and daughter, who is in an English channel relay swim in September. He has attached a condition that he wants a refund if she finishes her swim (weather permitting) in the first few days and they leave early. I’m too angry to respond yet! It is highly unlikely that I would get a booking at such short notice, if they leave after two/three days into their stay. Any advice gratefully received please.

Tell you as much as you would like to help you simply can not and ask him to cancel his reservation. This is an outrageous request. If you can cancel penalty free just do it. Or, I guess he could just book a shorter stay and then extend if he has to and if you’re available.
I would be inclined to have the booking canceled but that’s me, I don’t like guests who start out with unreasonable requests. I just had a guest cancel when she told me at the last minute that she’s allergic to cats.


I think that you know the answer to this one. I would write back that you are unable to honor his request and suggest that they find other accommodations. If they don’t cancel their reservation, then call AirBNB and ask them to cancel for the guest, with no penalty to you, based on being uncomfortable with this guest and his requests.


Since it’s an Instant Booking, @Joan, as a host you can cancel it yourself penalty-free. Just be sure to state the reason during the cancellation procedure if asked.


The only alternative to cancellation is to book the first shorter period and tentatively extend the booking to the longer period. At the risk of not being able to. But this should have come from the guest. So unless you desperately want a booking, cancellation it is.

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Many thanks for your advice. Very very helpful. I’m absorbing but also in the middle of cooking lunch for ten, and they’ve just arrived!

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Good luck feeding the masses!

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Sounds like you run a summer camp. In any case, cancel ASAP so that the father and daughter can find another place. I’d suggest to them that they contact other hosts first and ask, not reserve and then demand. I wouldn’t think it would be hard to find a host willing to meet this request but asking after the fact is out of line.

Now i have heard everything.
Call air and get that cancelled. A guest who is that demanding and rude will be a bad. Bad guest.

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Adding my opinion that this is a ridiculous request. I would reply firmly that you are not able to do this and give him these choices:

  1. he can cancel the entire booking and advise, as K9 said, that he is unlikely to find a host willing to do this but he should ask before booking

  2. he can amend the booking to the days he definitely needs and if it transpires they finish early, he can book a hotel (or find another airbnb place)

  3. he can keep the original booking and you will refund IF you get a last-minute booking for those days, warning him that that is highly unlikely to happen.

I wouldn’t put yourself out by contacting Airbnb and using up one of your precious instant-book cancellations. It’s his problem - not yours. Let him decide what he wants to do and make the effort. He shouldn’t have instant-booked with such an arrogant demand.

Hope the meal goes/went well!


I’m not sure what’s so precious about IB cancellations. You can do as many as long as there is a valid reason. Can you please throw some light?

That was a silly request. I think they are new, otherwise they would know how silly it is

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Hm, perhaps new as in born yesterday.

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You only get three penalty-free IB cancellations per year. Unless they changed that policy?

Changed long ago! See link above.


Yikes, I’m well out of touch! But I take anyone, basically, and have only cancelled one IB booking for someone who wanted to bring 4 people into my two-bed room. Will be more circumspect in dishing out advice in future !

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Wouldn’t blame you, Airbnb seems to change policies quite a bit.
As a matter of fact, I’m paranoid they’ll reverse the change back to 3 a year or something, so the one time I cancelled an IB, I read that page more than twice, took screenshots of it etc etc.

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Indeed. That’s probably why I just do my thing and completely ignore whatever Air is currently faffing on about. They never tell you what’s changed anyway.

I still think what I said for the OP stands, though. It’s up to the guest to sort out his booking requirements! @Joan shouldn’t have to put herself out by default.

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No disagreement there.

Well, they can cancel half way through regardless and they are only charged 1 extra night. SO if they booked for 4, but leave after 2, they will be charged for 3. I like the idea of meeting his demand with kindness (yeah, easy for me to say because it isn’t my booking!)

Wow! What an amazing daughter you have, I understand your concern. September is a busy month for us so I’d say you should alter the request to be three days and we can chance it that the fourth day would be open if you need it. My cancellation policy is ________________ . I’m sorry but I can’t give a full refund but we can alter the reservation at this time. Let me know how you’d like to proceed.


@Magwitch. That is no longer the case.

Whoops… there were 26 responses saying the same thing. Sorry for interjecting.

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