What Hotel Pitches "Cancellations" as Their Most Attractive Feature!?

What in the world is Airbnb thinking with their new cancellation policy?

They’re actually pitching it as their biggest SELLING point! Look at their home page - every listing has the words “FREE CANCELLATION” written on it!

Is that really what they think guests are most looking for?

It’s like saying, “Book with Us Because We Know You’ll Want to Cancel”!

It’s really mind blowing. For guests - it’s FREE CANCELLATIONS… YEA!!! For Hosts it’s a $50 FINE if you cancel with more than 7 days left before check-in and it’s a $100 fine if less than 7 days.

But for guests… IT’S FREE!!!

Oh and the other thing… if a host cancels, Airbnb posts that prominently on their listing’s reviews. They’ll list a reservation and say “HOST CANCELLED”.

But do they do that on a guest’s page? If a guest cancels, does Air post that prominently on their page so hosts can see it? Nope!


Welcome to the party. Have you seen the other threads on this topic?

Of course we aren’t hotels so not sure why you mentioned that. Hotels are in fact pitching cancellations. I just made a reservation for NYC a few weeks ago and I chose the option for free cancellation for a few dollars more per night.

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So, is Air charging a few dollars more per night for that?

All I’m saying is that contrary to what you posted many hotels do pitch cancellations. Most attractive feature? Maybe not. We could also debate if Airbnb is featuring it as “most attractive.” There are also a number of hotel chains who don’t offer a discount in exchange for “no cancellations.”

I don’t understand why people say “we aren’t hotels” and then turn around and compare to hotels.

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I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, I’ve just abandoned any idea that Airbnb is going to adopt host friendly policies. They are going to do what they want and you can use their platform, or not. They don’t care.


He does have a point though, aside from the hotel thing. My listing, for instance, says what kind of unit it is, the name of the unit, the price of the unit, and then FREE CANCELLATIONS right on the listing before you even choose my listing to look at. The truth is, I have a strict cancellation policy, and, per ABB’s updated cancellation policy, you only get free cancellations at my listing IF you cancel within 48 hours of booking AND 2 weeks or more prior to check in. And someone not savvy on the platform may never dig far enough to figure it out for themselves. I don’t know why Air chooses to highlight this as one of the 4 most important things about my listing.

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Of course. And we’ve been complaining for months.

It says that on every listing doesn’t it? That’s their new cancel free for 48 hours thing isn’t it? They think that was one of the things that was keeping people from booking on Airbnb.

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Yes, I’m sure it does. When I book hotels, I usually book ones that allow me to cancel up to 24 hours before my reservation anyway. But as you said, I’m not running a hotel, and I stay booked in spite of keeping my strict cancellation policy. It just feels like cheap marketing, because “free cancellation” implies something different than “change your mind within 48 hours”. 🤷

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They are also moving toward no booking fees, and charging that percentage to the host. This is to compete with booking dot I think, they have no booking fee to the guest, correct?

Someone in one of my Fb groups got a survey asking hosts their opinion on this, bad sign.

Yep - the worst thing about booking.com is their heavily advertised free cancellation and the no shows as they have no commitment and the host is faceless.

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Our neighbors on booking dot all have non-refundable as their rate. Tells me a lot about how much they trust the guests from there. We’ve listed, but I’ve blocked all the dates until I can really sort out how the whole thing works. I’m deathly afraid of a double-booking from them.

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Always my biggest fear! I had a double booking, but as I have a couple of houses I contacted the larger group and offered them a free upgrade to my empty large houses and the smaller booking stayed put. The upgraded booking were so happy they left me $100 tip and a wonderful review, and that is as rare as hens teeth in Australia

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Because we aren’t hotels but we are humans. :japanese_goblin:


Having worked as a management consultant back in the day they would have done surveys and focus groups and come up with “7 things that stop people using AirBnB” (because it is always 7). Which might have been:

  1. uneven quality - introduce ABB Premium with minimum standards
  2. children under 2 not free - so make them free
  3. no parking - ???
  4. no room service - require hosts to provide minimum pantry items/breakfast for free
  5. cancellation policies - so make cancellation Free
  6. uncertainty around hosts and declining bookings - so push everyone onto IB
  7. other - extra stuff for free, free free!

which is just a guess of course. I think they are moving to more of a franchise model. Uniformity and ripping out fees from hosts. It has obviously stopped being “just a booking site”.


They sent me the survey, must admit I choose all the options that had the lowest fee, I would like to see Guests see the gross.

I changed to “non-refundable” on Bookings because everyone kept cancelling at the last minute and so I was losing potential bookings on ABB etc as well. I wonder if they even stop guests from booking multiple hotels on the same date?

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I’ve got all my calendars synced through iCal now so avoid double bookings. I hope.

Wait! What? Say more about the ICal, thing!
Does it sinc w IPhone & Outlook calendars?

Will you come to our Retreat & make it happen? Well, it was a thought.

I still do it manually as i don’t trust any of them! The double booking was my own fault as i misunderstood the dates she wanted…so i wore the minor loss on the big house, but everyone was happy and I was fully booked!


I haven’t had any problems and it seems to update the other sites very quickly. Given they use iCal and it is used quite widely on the internet for syncing calendars I think it is quite reliable. But I also use IB on ABB (but not the other sites) so I want them to all update in the middle of the night if I get a booking.