What do you do?

reason I haven’t stated

Five kids were on the reservation.

That alone doesn’t do it for me. It may even make it worse. I have unreasonably high expectations of parents which is one of several reasons I never had children of my own. LOL.

It’s based on they took a weekend that I now can’t get any replacement booking for. They took money out of my pocket.

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I felt really sorry for them. I was thinking: Their whole school year was cancelled. Their sports, slumber parties, book clubs, whatever outlets have been cancelled, they are cooped up for months on end.

Finally, they get to get out of the house and go to the country to see grandma and grandpa and swim in the river for a few days. Just as they’re about packed up … boom sorry kids daddy’s unemployed, go back to your room.



Aside from what I think is wise business policy it really seems like you need to refund this family. This isn’t about them, it’s about you. Since this isn’t an Airbnb booking you now get complete control over who gets refunded and you are conflicted and I don’t blame you.


Ok. With more info provided, we would not refund in this situation. We might offer a direct stay later on at heavy discount (to cover utilities/cleaning) - when you had a vacancy anyway. IMO, this is fair and compassionate.

Circling back to this which I missed on the first pass…

In my business it has very little value. In a regional VR business it would have value. My refunding has always been based on what I thought was right which roughly translates to “no service, no charge.” But I often rebooked and when I didn’t it was usually 50 buck out of my pocket, not hundreds. I refunded based on my values which aren’t that business oriented.

Post covid there may be “new rules.” Could they take the shape of a host getting a reputation of refunding even if you cancel last minute?

New thought: if he’s not getting a refund, why isn’t he coming anyway. Surely most the cost has already been incurred? Or were they already living beyond their means and this is just a bridge too far. Or he’s hoping for a refund though not entitled to one.

Why not really make his day and tell him to come anyway and he can have an extra day or two at no charge.


Those are roughly the same points I was thinking about.

  1. Think about the precedence hosts set by breaking their own rules. It affects all other hosts.

  2. Why doesn’t the guest just keep the reservation? I have to think that the rental price was the major expense for the trip. He was already planning to not be working during that time, and even if he was planning to work remotely part of the time, he can also job-search remotely.

Did the guest cancel already?

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Even pre-covid this didn’t seem to be much of a motivator for hosts posting here.

And the other big expense is that big honking rig he drives or the two vehicles they bring could be a substantial gasoline cost if they are coming from very far. I’m guessing they just booked a short time ago (I think this was discussed in another thread) and so already had low gas prices factored in.

My guess is also that he’s hoping for, but not asking for, the refund.


It’s coming back now, there were problems with this guest. He was removed from Airbnb and then booked on another platform. He was slow to upload the ID and all the requirements on the other platform. LS almost canceled on him. And now, just 48 hours before arrival he has been laid off and has absolutely no reserve funds to take a vacay that was already substantially paid for. In pre-covid times I believe this forum would have been near unanimous in being extremely skeptical of his claims. This booking is littered with red flags. So I’m back to my no refund stance and probably no credit for a future visit either.

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My inclination would be to tell the guest that I really appreciate the fact that he is being understanding of how this last-minute cancellation leaves me in the lurch, and how much time I’ve already spent trying to help him get his booking through, and not asking for a refund. And I would offer him an equivalent number of days without cost in the future, saying I hope he’ll be able to come stay at some point. If he indicated that he appreciates that offer, and would indeed want to come at some other time, I’d leave it at that. If he indicated otherwise, I personally would be inclined to refund some percentage. I do believe in goodwill- it may not always “pay off”, but sometimes it may lead to a guest recommending your place to others, even if they didn’t actually stay, on the basis that the host was so nice and refunded some of the money even though they didn’t have to.

red flags

Had all been overcome. He provided ID in the contractual timeframe and his story all checks out. No criminal records that I could find in public database. Locals vouch for the family.

People can have ID and no criminal record and still be, um, taking advantage. But you are “boots on the ground,” so if you are satisfied, fine.

This is just a very interesting thread as we see who really thinks we should be travel insurance after all.

Incidentally, I am not conflicted. I did what I felt was fair. I was just interested in having a discussion on how others see it.

As far as the initial red flags, I don’t even believe a human was involved in terminating the guest’s account.

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Even throughout this CV19 with 100’s of prompts from Air to change my strict policy to flexible, now that the county is allowing STR’s to operate I am getting bookings with my strict policy. I always advocate for hosts to stick to the policy, I hate that there is a EC policy at all Air should sell trip insurance. Right now unemployment pays $600 a week over what the state pays, he could come if he wanted. No refund from this host.



You are probably right about that.


I wish I could get unemployment so I could take a weekend away. LOL.

You can get UI it has been extended to gig workers, you could likely go back to when this started.


Just to offer possible reasons to consider why they didn’t just come anyway - even though it’s none of my business:

Maybe he needs the time to work on his resume.
Maybe mom had the opportunity to pick up extra shifts this weekend
They are traveling 5 hours and could save on all the gas and pocket money you inevitably spend on the road. Even if they’re out a lot of money, they don’t have to be out even more.
There were 7 bodies. They couldn’t have room to pack all the groceries and supplies they would need for the stay, so they would have incurred all those costs.

(They already removed the dog from the reservation because they didn’t have cargo space they said.)

No, I have a pension income that makes me ineligible.

I’m flexible cancellation so I never have these philosophical/moral dilemmas :slightly_smiling_face:
I’d be inclined to give a credit if, like LS, I had a comfort level the guest was being straight with me. If they can’t even take a break they’ve already paid for that could mean they’re so stretched they can’t afford gas, or don’t want to take a day away from looking for work, or as LS guessed, maybe somebody picked up extra shifts.
The other factor of course is the host’s financial situation – can they afford to be generous?