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Would you refund this cancellation?

Want to settle a family disagreement?
A guest canceled their stay at our space in a very popular part of Austin. It was almost immediately rebooked. Because we used to have the Strict cancellation policy (we recently changed to Moderate) the original booker received 50% refund (about $500.)
One of us believes the remainder of the booking amount should be refunded since the dates were snapped up with a new booking. The other believes that the policy is what it is, so we should retain the funds from the cancellation.
Your thoughts?

1 Like

@Txjuju Personally I would refund. But I would also make it clear to the guest that you normally would uphold your cancellation policy, but are doing this out of goodwill because you got another booking for those dates right away.

Just so the guest doesn’t get the idea that they can expect hosts to refund in the future.

And to me it sort of depends on the guest’s reason for cancelling, which hosts may very well be unaware of. If it’s a legitimate reason, and they might have been good guests you would be willing to host in the future, that you refunded them of your own volition would make them think “Nice hosts. I’ll book with them in the future or recommend them to friends or famly”.


I’m in the refund camp. I’m going to blame my Christian upbringing (though I’m recovering from that now) and leave it at that.


NOPE. No Refund. You’ll be teaching these already entitled guests that they can beat the system.


How do you see them as “already entitled”? The OP didn’t indicate that the guests asked for or demanded a refund beyond the 50%, and although they cancelled close to check-in, it’s possible that their reason for cancelling wasn’t just disrespectful of the host. Maybe one of them had an accident, is feeling ill, had a death in the family or other unforeseen circumstance.


I stick to my strict policy, I do not offer refunds outside of policy.



Refund. At the end of the day rules can be rules but you have to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of the person you are.

If the days didn’t rebook, I would feel differently. I would abide by the policy

Do you really want to collect money for work you did not do and collect unearned $$ when you weren’t really inconvenienced by the cancellation?


I would stick to my policy.

However, if you do decide to refund, don’t do so until you have been paid for the replacement booking.


This. This. This. If the money for both the cancelled booking and replacement booking isn’t in your pocket, then you don’t have any money to refund, and you could get burned.


Obviously refund as you have mitigated your losses with a new booking so aren’t out of pocket

Isn’t that what you would want someone to do for you if you were the guest ?

As @RebeccaF says you need to wait to do this until you get paid for the replacement booking. @Txjuju


I would refund since you received another booking. It just seems fair. Maybe just deduct the cleaning fee.

1 Like

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your input.
The original guests were musicians who were planning to make a video here in town but issues came up with other members of the band. We love our music scene in Austin and it felt wrong to take money from them that I hadn’t earned.
I especially appreciate the caveat to wait until I’ve received the payout from the re-booking.
There’s so much wisdom on this forum that I’ve relied on many times.
Y’all have made me the host I am,
Txjuju :heart:


Wow! Surprised so many people said to refund!
Y’all are way too nice sometimes!

The thing is, guests pay attention to cancellation policies…or, they should. They knew what they were signing up for.

Having a strict cancellation policy is a choice you make based on your own circumstances, with the knowledge that it may make your place somewhat less desirable and that you may get less business sometimes.

And collecting that cancellation fee is your payback for making that choice. It’s yours. You earned it, even if it did get booked up right away.

It’s business. Take the $500 and use it to improve your space.

Note: I did read on and understand your point about the musicians, but in general my policy is as stated above. Don’t refund a penalty just to be nice or because you feel guilty for taking “free money” - it’s not. It’s an insurance policy.


Refunding if a host fills the dates isn’t necessarily about feeling guilty- it’s about the morality of taking someone’s money for a service you didn’t provide them and for which you did get paid. Not saying all hosts should have that point of view, though.Obviously the OP and her spouse did not see it the same way.

As you say, it’s an insurance policy to ensure you don’t get stuck with unbooked dates for which you have lost money. Personally, I would refund, but not the other entire 50%. I’d hold back something like $30, for administrative costs, so guests are aware that it takes hosts time to deal with each booking and that shouldn’t just be free, even if the host deems refunding to be their choice.


I refund - keeping a night’s charge as a super-duper Superhost bonus :blush:


Keep the money. The original booking Guest is an adult who made a choice. They booked and they cancelled. Does not matter why - that is their business not yours.
It is irrelevant that someone else rebooked - you are running a business. Bear in mind - their choice also could have left you with a 50% loss - as if the Guest would care at all about that? Right - not one bit! Keep the money!


No. We treat our AirBnB as a business. Whether you managed to rebook is irrelevant, unless you’re a charity. There are terms and conditions for a reason and we advise guests in our pre-booking message that travel insurance is recommended.


Hmmm, I am of two minds on this one.

I suppose I could argue for either, but personally, I would also refund.

Business is business, but I am not doing this strictly as a business person.

I actually love meeting new folks and allowing them to stay in our upscale, beautiful home to really, really enjoy themselves. It makes me happy when I know others are made to feel special. I KNOW that is not a business mindset, but it is mine.

If the folks were kind and respectful, I would refund. That is also what I would want for me if I were in the same position. I am on Airbnb because I want to offer something that is not so cold and corporate…something a bit more caring and personal.

It is what the world needs in my humble opinion.

xo care and love to all of you my fellow hosts!



I would LOVE to take a poll about male v. female response on this one. While maybe no longer PC, I hunker a guess that the women are more likely to refund and the men are not.

Just sayin’

No hate replies please…

1 Like

Female here and I wouldn’t refund. If I was feeling generous I’d probably offer a credit or discount for next time they come to town instead. Yes you rebooked this particular time, but I’ve had cancellations where I got screwed and it didn’t so I look beyond individual bookings when it comes to refunds and instead focus on the business.

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