What was this guest’s angle?

Some background: guest contacted me with a request for a last-minute booking. I said sure, if you’re ok with me having just finished painting the kitchen (very slight smell - it was mostly dry). He was, so I accepted the reservation. Not 10 minutes later, he asked if he could cancel and get his money back because he actually booked the wrong city. I agreed and said I would reimburse him my actual payout.

Two days later, I get a message from Customer Service saying this guy wants his money back (which I had already paid) due to remodeling at the house. He said the paint brushes and fumes were just too much. He never even set foot on my property. I doubt he even made it to my city.

AirBnb handled this fine, but I’m curious as to why this guy was such a liar. What was he hoping to gain? Am I missing something? By the way, he had lots of five-star reviews.

I’d guess that he was using the remodel as an excuse to get Airbnb to also refund their fees, which they wouldn’t normally do for a last-minute booking.

It’s also possible that he was trying to get double his money back from you reimbursing him AND Airbnb reimbursing him. I’ve read about this happening and it ends up coming out of the host’s pocket either because the host refunded money and then Airbnb either withheld the payout or reduced future payouts to cover the refund. This is another reason hosts shouldn’t provide refunds and instead let Airbnb handle it. I’d like to think that this scenario is less likely from a guest with “lots of five-star reviews” but I wouldn’t rule it out.


Which only means that if he is a PITA, some hosts didn’t review him properly for other hosts.

Good point.

Agreed. Thank goodness for this forum and dodging those bullets!


It’s possible that he is genuinely experiencing some kind of memory issue. But, either way, I’m glad it worked out for you

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It sounds like I didn’t quite handle this correctly. If I understand correctly, I should have asked ABB to reimburse him instead. Is that right?

Thanks so much for all of your input. I thought I was an experienced host :slight_smile: but there’s always more to learn from you all.


Great insight.

Just to clarify, it would be better not to use the refund link in the cancellation email but have the guest contact Airbnb and when Airbnb reaches out to you, then authorize the refund?

There are two other options that should be avoided:

  • Send Money in the reservation details section
  • Guest can also request money, so if they do that should be denied

Have the guest contact Airbnb. Airbnb may decide to give them the refund or Airbnb may contact you to authorize the refund.


That happens sometimes with my listing. I’ve learned when guests say “we are coming for a ball tournament” to ask “which field?”

Myrtle Beach has a Tournament field (35-45 min drive).
North Myrtle Beach has a Tournament field (5 min drive)

I agree with others—good insight.

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