Wondering about alteration request

Guest booked 2 weeks ago to my international destination. He is from the USA. Check in was to be Sept 23, for 3 nights. I have Strict cancelation. He asks today for alteration to check in on Oct 28, again for 3 nights and says:
“Sorry to make changes my wife had her car broken into yesterday and put us back financially.”
My first thought is that 1. To change an international flight must have cost a pretty penny, and 2. When I accept the date alteration he no longer will have to lose 50% of the nightly fee, he will be able to cancel penalty free.
Running through my mind ways to suggest he cancels this booking, and request another. Or something else?
Because I think if you run into financial difficulties you don’t pay up to $400US to change an interational flight, you could use that money for your original vacation plans, and make the most of it.
Anyone else had date alterations gone wrong?

It has been reported here many times that guests have tricked hosts into penalty free cancellations this way.

I would not accept the request. Just say no. You do not need to explain, apologize or engage at all. Just. Say. No.

RR

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Yes, in exactly the same way and I fell for it. Dates changed to when they could cancel without penalty, and done so immediately.

Tell him he needs to cancel his booking and make another one, if so inclined.

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Ditto. It’s my motto, along with … “Contact AirBnB directly for that, hosts don’t manage that.”

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You might also remind him to check his travel insurance policy to see what they cover in terms of fees for changes in bookings.

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Thank you. I do find it difficult to just click no, but do feel that either auto or home insurance would have covered the vehicle being broken into.
I may just click no, then wait to field the questions that will undoubtedly follow, using what you suggested, along with “please reach out to Airbnb”.

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He wants to change, he has to reach out to Air. If you can’t click NO for this, then you should rethink hosting. (a popular comment here!)

Our jobs include setting boundaries in our homes and for our businesses. You’re not the Marriott, able to recoup the loss with constant business. And many guests do scam the system by rebooking to avoid the cancellation penalty.

Keep ALL communication on the Air message board.

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I would not have him reach out to AirBnB, some whacko CS rep may think his car being broken into is EC. Unfortunately AirBnB also will at times consider the alteration a new reservation giving him 48 hours to cancel. I have heard of more than a few cases of this on various boards and once CS made the choice to refund they could not get the money back.

@casailinglady I really just wanted to see if anyone had any experiences with alterations being cancelled, as a way to avoid penalties. I’ve only hosted with Air for 3 years, but hosted the same three rooms in my home, with my own Web site, for 20 years. I’m not completely boneless, just looking for others experience with the Air cancelation policy and alterations requests.

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I’ve received one in the last couple of years and just said no. Glad that this is your first in 3 years!

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I’m going with “Decline” and see where it goes. Thanks everyone for your input.

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@Yana has experience with this…

RR

@YerTiz , if you want to be as fair as possible to both your business and the guest, you can tell the guest that you will refund any days that get re-booked. However, make it clear that you will not make any refunds until 1 day after the guest’s original check-out date. Only by that time are you guaranteed to have actually have received payment from Airbnb for the days you are refunding. Also, because another known scam is that original guest will have a friend re-book those days, then the original guest will get his refund, then the friend cancels within their penalty-free period.

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Known scam to get out of penalties. I never accept any adjustments to a reservation.

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A popular, and entirely irritating comment here.

I’ve been renting rooms out of my owner occupied home for 4 summer seasons now and have hosted hundreds of guests, all while maintaining a 4.97 average and my sanity (mostly :smile:)

Apparently I really should rethink hosting though, because I sometimes struggle with boundaries and other hosting challenges.

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Whuuuttt??? I hadn’t heard THAT one before, probably because I have a the most flexible cancellation policy. Even so, I have once told someone that if I’m rebooked I’ll refund, and now I can’t even remember the specific details on that circumstance – too much water under the bridge since then.

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Flogging the dead horse again but… every host needs to realize that Airbnb is to bring them bookings, collect payment and send it to the host in a timely manner. All the rest is fluff. Airbnb is guilty of over promising and under delivering. And yet there are credible reports of Airbnb being helpful in communicating with guests or even paying out on the Host Guarantee. Those are great additional benefits if you can get them.

All the rest of managing your business is up to you; first and foremost communicating with the guest. If I had a concern I would discuss with the guest. In this case the idea that a car getting broken into is a big financial setback for someone taking an international flight does raise some suspicions. Perhaps I’d ask for the police report to confirm before I proceeded. I’d also be concerned with taking care of it quickly so I can open the calendar to possibly get a replacement booking.

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Id say no also. they probably are trying to limit their loss by rescheduling and canceling for free. You have the right to say no.

I said no, and we are communicating. He is 8 hours behind me in time zone. The booking is slow season for me, and I have 3 rooms listed, therefore I’m not too worried about him blocking one of them off for now. I’m happy with the way communication is going wother the guest.
I’m also happy with Airbnb, I’ve had good results with the couple times I’ve called CS, and with 18 years of me being the only CS (prior to joining Air 3 years ago) it’s been a quite refreshing change.

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Absolutely. First time I fell for it and they cancelled immediately. Second time, I didn’t think twice to say “No” They called ABB, who called me, and I pointed out the first time and refused again to ABB, telling them that I wasn’t going to be victim to an ABB loophole again.

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