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Venting: Guest just realized there is a virus and is cancelling a four day booking for this month

My guests booked a reunion back in January. Two nights ago, they realized that there was a virus happening and they suddenly needed to cancel. They could have canceled two months ago or even last month and given me the opportunity to re-book my house. It’s a large space and generally families plan in advance and book it. Not often do I get last minute guests. Now they are going for the Airbnb credit option, which they think is a big favor to me. Sorry to sound bitter. It’s just been a tough month. I am grateful to be open at all, as we were shut down for quite some time. Every day I wake up and expect the party to be over. I’m glad I have a place to vent. If you got this far, thanks for listening!


Sorry for you. What jerks. I would be really tempted to send guests like this a scathing message.


They took advantage of you. And for that I’m sorry.

I can only guess that (depending on where they / you are) they may have been waiting to see how things were faring.

In March & April, I booked several trips for this summer, hoping that things would be more settled by now. I’ve wind up cancelling all of them. And while I could have waited until the day prior, I’ve cancelled all my hotels at least a month in advance.

With that said, and it may not have made a difference, if there’s a lesson to be learned, it would be to followup well in advance with any guests to get a perspective of their plans, especially with those who booked before the virus was Headline News.


People booking trips in June are cancelling in July. After getting a reservation for late Oct and Labor Day weekend I tightened up my calendar. I don’t want bookings more than a few days out really. If we get the virus under control by flu season that would be nice. Now civil unrest is on the table too.


Your guest didn’t just realize that there is a virus, they, like many guests, were holding off until the last minute thinking things might get better simply because Airbnb’s COVID-19 policy has no consequence for waiting when reservations were booked before March 14.

This is why Airbnb gave hosts the opportunity back in April/May to cancel any of their reservations penalty-free. This allowed hosts the possibility to re-book all dates with reservations that would not be eligible for a the full refund. This is what it was intended for, but unfortunately, Airbnb didn’t advertise it as such, hosts had to read between the lines.


I decided to change from instant bookings …“congratulations Joe is booked“ so I could talk to potential guests. Airbnb then said my listing would go to the bottom of the list.
I filled in the part where guests had to respond to message before they could book, but once they did they were automatically booked.
My worry is if guests book back to back, how will I have the time to properly clean?
I think I’ll go to the bottom of the list for safety’s sake…I’d hate to be responsible for starting a new “hot spot”
It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting any money back for cancelled bookings as airbnb said.

Seems like everyone in this forum is from The USA, I’m on north coast of NSW in Australia

Hi neighbour! Clarence valley here

@Phoenix Actually we’re from all sorts of places around the world. LOTS of people just not commenting right now, or still locked tight or in places where no one is traveling to…

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Then simply don’t let them. Change your availability settings to leave sufficient time for ventilation post check out and cleaning and disinfecting prior to the subsequent check in.



After we get a booking, I immediately go and block the day prior and the day after, giving us a full day between guests. It allows us to wait 24 hours before going into clean.


You can do that automagically, you know :wink:



Theoretically, like anything else in that software :wink: I tried it but the dates kept unblocking themselves, but when I do them manually, they stay. It’s not much trouble right now anyway - the bookings are only trickling in and we only have one listing up (we put tenants in the other two).

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Yes, I was about to post a screenshot and when I went in all my settings had been changed, see the new topic.

I really dislike Airbnb right now. Extra work when I’m hot makes me grumpy, in fact very grumpy.



Funny, I have one too :slight_smile:

Nevermind, it looks like it was already posted last November as an issue.

I rarely look at the app but did for some reason the other night. I noticed the guest I was talking to had a 5-star rating on the app, but barely 4 stars on the web. Not a big deal to me but the inconsistency is annoying.

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It’s a sporadic issue, and yes, we have check in times plastered all over the listing, just in case.

Only platform it happens on.

Airbnb IT employee of the week: :clown_face:


That’s weird. I’ve had a one day prep time since I started hosting almost 4 years ago and it’s never once glitched out.

Not sure what led you to that conclusion. I’m in Mexico.

There are people on this forum from every continent, and many larger islands. I don’t think there’s anyone here from Greenland, though.

I can set this to occur automatically.

I have been more proactive with my guests during the pandemic. I have the Flexible cancellation policy anyway, so it’s all a rather moot point, but still. This way, if the guest waits until the last minute to cancel, you can direct the Airbnb CS rep. to your conversation with the guest offering to cancel weeks or months in advance. This should forfeit the guest’s opportunity for a refund.

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