What is the actual cutoff for cancellation?

We use the “Flexible” cancellation policy. It states: “Full refund 1 day prior to arrival.”

I’m asking the forum, what actually is 1 day prior? (Or, for the Moderate policy, what is 5 days prior?)

For a Flexible cancellation for a Friday check-in at 4 PM, is 1 day prior to arrival:
by 11:59:59 PM on Wednesday? (because once Thursday starts, it’s “less than 1 day prior”)
by 3:59:59 PM Thursday? (exactly 1 day (24 hours) before the check-in time)
by 11:59:59 PM on Thursday? (exactly the last moment of the “day prior”)
by some other moment in time?

Does any one know the exact cutoff?

I was wondering about that, too. By rights, it should be 5 days on moderate and 1 day on flexible counted back from check-out time on the day of their check-in, as no one else would be able to check-in on that day if previous guests hadn’t checked out and the place been cleaned, but I suspect Airbnb counts it as being able to cancel and get a full refund if it is cancelled anytime on the 5 days or 1 day before. Like up til midnight.

I don’t really care what it is, just that it should be specified. ABB has built in so much vagueness in it’s language. Even when they are specific about a list of things, some of those things are “interpretable.”

I see 1 day as 24 hours. But I can’t assume it’s 24 hours before the set check-in time. And I’m loathe to try to call CS and ask for clarification. Even if I got it in writing, someone later would just indicate that I had been misinformed.

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I’ve never been able to figure out if Airbnb’s vagueness language is wholly intentional or that they just have copy writers who don’t know how to state things clearly. In some instances, it appears purposeful, and in others, it just seems like incompetence.

For instance, the prep day settings. If you set one day prep time, it says it blocks one night after a booking and one night before. To almost everyone, this sounds like it would block 2 nights between bookings, because nowhere do they explain that the “night after” booking A doubles as the 'night before" booking B.

What that setting should say is that it blocks one night between bookings, because that is what it does. There is no reason to be unclear about this setting, or confusing, no advantage to Airbnb or guests to be so. It’s simply poor explanatory language skills.


@muddy is correct —it is based on check in time
It’s in the host article & in the policy


Hey thanks @Annet3176! I’ve done a lot of reading, but must have missed that!

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