What Would You Do? Recent booking/Cancellations

In the past 2 days we have had 2 people make a reservation and then cancel same day. The first one had a good excuse as they were in the process of moving to the area where my Airbnb was and needed a place for a few days before they could get into their new home, however due to the virus things got pushed back. I gladly refunded the money as she actually reached out/called me to explain the situation.
I had another one book only to cancel to say that they decided to travel somewhere else… Honestly, I don’t get why anyone even traveling right now!
So my question is, since I have strict cancellation policy and it does not fall in the AirBnb guidelines for refunds due to COVID19, should I refund?

I’m not currently running any STRs, and it’s probably not the best time to be doing so. Imo the only people travelling are those who NEED to and those who dont care and are looking for a deal. It’s that second group that really worries me, especially as hosts have had to drop rates to get bookings. If you’re still operating you pretty much have to be thankful for what you get at this point.

I should have been more specific with my question… I have strict cancellation policy wo was wondering about issuing full refund or not.

I wouldnt, guests had time to be well educated at this point. May not be in your hands once AirBnB support gets involved but whatever.


even if reservation was made same day of cancelletation?

Ah, fair point I would refund that as part of the normal refund process for guests

Don’t guests get 48 hours to cancel with a free refund, even if it is a strict policy? Were they last minute reservations?


I thought so too but when the prior people cancelled the same day they were only given partial but perhaps because reservation was within a week arrival time?

Those 48hrs need to be at least a week before arrival. I wouldn’t refund.


Only if it’s 14 days prior to check-in:

Free cancellation for 48 hours, as long as the guest cancels at least 14 days before check-in (time shown in the confirmation email)

I guess ask yourself why you have the policy. I think the most common reason hosts give is basically the opportunity cost (guests keep your calendar blocked for a long time so that there’s little chance of another guest re-booking the dates). While there’s no doubt you have little chance of re-booking any dates during this COVID-19 crisis, it also means a same-day cancellation is incredibly unlikely to be blocking the dates preventing you from getting another booking.

Of course, you can always refer guests to Airbnb and let them handle it.

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Normally I’m very liberal on refunds but with folks like this I wouldn’t be very helpful. I’d refer them to Airbnb and wouldn’t feel bad if they got nothing. They shouldn’t be shopping around for places to travel. And then I would take the money that I got for doing very little and donate it to a local charity to help at this time of need.


my local charity is ourselves right now… Our Airbnb was keeping us afloat (husband lost job end of last year)… Now we are screwed.

Actually we have had several requests lately…

Sorry to hear that, you truly are screwed.

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Quite honestly, as you say no-one should be travelling just now. The easiest way to deal with this is to block off your calendar dates and just support your local health staff by letting to key workers if you need to keep operating and you are near health facilities.

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Theres no easy way to offer to those workers. Where do we find them?
Its better if we just turn off instant book and judge every request as it come. I have mine open just in case someone needs to isolate from another member of family and have nowhere to stay etc etc

I did that but then turned it back on and set some rule sets. Anyone who wants to stay more than 2 days has to contact me. And my 1 night price is so high that I don’t think anyone will book it. Tip from @JJD on setting the rules.

I don’t agree with Helsi that “no one” should be traveling. There are many legitimate reasons for travel; far less than normal of course. Since I don’t want to enable those who are traveling for fun I think the rule set trick is working. I also want to remain visible to any repeat guest as well. Some of those have family here in town and might have a family emergency. Even though I gave them direct contact info they might forget and just look at their old reservations.