Win Win Cancelations

I’ve had a few instances where a guest wanted to cancel. There are two that come to mind that I turned into Win-Win situations that I thought I would share with other Hosts.

The first was a group of friends coming for 2 nights and one of them got hung up with a work situation so they wanted to cancel. There was plenty of time prior to the booking for me to get a rebook. I have a strict cancellation policy so what I did was refunded 1 night and told them if they rebooked in the near future I would give them one night free. This worked for me as I easily rebooked the property, the customer was happy with the situation and actually came back for a week (with one free night).

The second was a girl whos mother became ill after she had booked. Again, I had enough time to get another booking so I recommended that she just change her reservation to a future date. She did this and everyone was happy

As a host, I try to find ways to make the situation a positive as possible. I believe we all get that “Host Sense” so you can tell when someone is trying to pull one over on you. If I believe they are honest I will do my best to accommodate them.


I don’t know. I guess your approach makes you happy, but I would find both those stories suspect. You held the rooms for them, you did your part, they canceled…so why should you have to dance around trying to make things good and right when you were entitled to the full cancellation fees?

I am a bit of cynic too and as much I would like to see the good in people and hope they would never lie, but from the beginning we set out to see this as a business and stick to the policies and rules we set out in terms of cancellation.

We did have a family from Germany cancel at short notice last year as their young son was sick and they didn’t fancy a 6 hour drive which a poorly child - they appreciated our policy and did not ask for anything back from us beyond what was covered in the ‘strict’ cancellation policy. We were actually able to re-let a few days of their stay so we were up on their booking but we didn’t repay them as we rationalised that our policy was clear.

They claimed on the travel insurance policy though and were fully reimbursed. They booked again to stay with us a few months later. We did leave them some extra goodies, wine and chocolates when they checked in - they were lovely.

If people choose to travel without insurance, I fail to see why I as a host should have to be their insurance policy.

I appreciate your post. I had a guest who couldn’t come the first night and I decided I wanted a free night anyway, so I refunded him the first night of a two night booking. He is attending training in the area so he has since returned twice and due one more time to come.
To each his own, but I personally enjoy building good will. What goes around frequently comes back. I know we live in a world where it’s common to distrust others, but that doesn’t have to be my world

I’ve always refunded when guest cancelled although I do have a strict policy. I use the strict policy mainly as a way to discourage guests who may be irresponsible. In the future, I may not refund.

Sad to say but many guests play on our sympathies and we fall for it. :frowning:
I stick to business. That’s what this is after all.

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I had a guest coming from NY and when he got here at 9pm had a rental car glitch. He called a cab and the cabbie called me for directions (25 miles from airport, all clear in my instructions) and I told the cabbie where it was and he said it was too far. I tried to warn all of them off a cab, Not a good option. The guest apologized and said he would stay in town for the night and see me in the AM. I was expecting him to ask for a refund but he was logical and a gentleman. He knew the snafu was his fault. I kept the extra night and let him check out late.

My policy is strict and I do not waver from it. I have had a couple of instances of people either not showing up or cancelling at the last minute and ten begging for refunds. As Air is my sole source of income this is just not going to fly with me. Many hosts have told me not to ever refund anyone, unless provable extenuating circumstances can be provided.