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NEVER book with anyone with a strict cancellation policy. Total SCAM. I cancelled a reservation 30 minutes after booking and lost HALF of the total fee (~$500). No service by the host was rendered, no harm was done to the host (as if anyone else would reserve the same dates within 30 min with his schedule wide open), yet they got half the fee. There should be a 24hr grace period for cancellation and refunds. The host was in NYC and not knowing the NYC that well, I didn't know the host was located in a dangerous area. Once I found out I cancelled. Be aware there are many other legitamite circumstances where you might have to cancel (ie. flight delayed/cancelled, family emergencies, etc... most of which are NOT covered by AirBnB's extenuating circumstances)

Furthermore, there was no indication at the cancellation page that I was going to be dinged 50% of my price.

There are no remediation processes with airbnb and I could barely find the help page.

This "Strict cancellation" policy is disgusting. Will not be recommending nor ever use this site again.

Monetary Loss: $500.

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Did it ever occur to you to check out the neighborhood before you booked? Airbnb supplies a circle of a map that is within 1/2 mile of the place you were going to book. Also, hosts provide their cancellation policy before you book so again, if you took the time to read the listing you would have know that.


You don't understand scams. If you hadn't cancelled there would have been no problem.

If you had read the listings terms you would have had no problem. If you had researched the area you were staying in you would have had no problem. People don't host places fishing for cancellations. Also there aren't really any dangerous neighborhoods left in New York so maybe your host was offended.

I list with a flexible cancellation policy except for far off or long term rentals but I still get guests who cancel within 24hrs and want their money back. Get your $**t together.


I lost 30, having cancelled a reservation, 5 hours after I'd made it.

my reservation was 1 month ahead, and also the host had a new booking on the subjected date from someone, straight.

Cancellation policy is to protect hosts from any financial loss by the last minute cancellation.

My host didn't lose any money at all. On the contrary, he made an extra cash by people's mistakes.

This is not a way AirB&B hosts should make money.

When I requested a reasonable amount of refund, the host wrote to me, that cancellation policy was written in the site.

This is the tactics, which online scammers use.

Although, it is not ethical, It's written in the site... In conclusion, I agree with you, AirB&B strict policy is a ***.

to Purple #1368572

Omfg a booking with a strict cancellation policy is just like a non refundable plane ticket only more lenient. When you see a strict policy you know to make sure not to book until you are 100% positive.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to run a strict policy and it's not exactly hidden in the small print. Stop blaming hosts for your mistakes.

Hyattsville, Maryland, United States #1281689

I want committed guests. I buy supplies, hand hold them thru policies they ignore (old or new guests), ignore the house rules they agree to before booking is final.

Put metal in microwave had to replace; had water damage 2 x’s did not report or mop it up—just left I; same microwave person clogged toilet twice in one week—I could not unclog it so $300 total (no one else or owner before or since); won’t turned on bath fan now paint is peeling on the ceiling; broken items—to many to list, soiled new bath towels (bleach?

Or some type of chemical)- 2 separate instances; missing linens; spilled bottle of makeup--turn the comforter to wrong side and made the bed over so I wouldn’t see it after they were gone when I pulled the sheets; leave windows and doors open and leave a/c running; left keys by the door on the porch instead of closing the lock box and did not tell me; lost keys; lock-outs; park and leave cars in neighbor’s drive; put dog’s water dish in the living room on the hard wood floors (kitchen or bath has tile floors??); *** on all of the beds they don’t sleep in; spill drinks on the hard wood floors; water stains on oak furniture (use a coaster?); scratched glass on coffee table; leave lights on; 2 hour shower with hot water running constantly; dump kids potty down the side of the toilet (twice 2 different guests), put a new, wet tub mat on the floor and walk on it with dity shoes; …. Stay tuned, more to come.

to Hostest with lessness Hyattsville, Maryland, United States #1281691

Twice guests have turned on the furnace in 90+ weather while a/c is running (wall unit). I now tape the thermostate during hot summer months.

to Hostest with lessness #1281693

How does any of that have anything to do with the strict cancellation policy?

These are just bad guests

The guests who cancel within 30 min did no harm to you and should not be penalized so heavily. They did not mess with your thermostat.

Jamaica, New York, United States #1280485

The strict cancellation policy is a scam and completely unconscionable (I am losing $780 in total even after I cancelled 3 months in advance - booked through Airbnb and the host is called Walk Away Stays).

First, I had no idea I booked, since the UX of the website is not clear in indicating that when you ask questions to the host and press enter, you are actually booking, not just making inquiries.

I work in UX, so to me this is shocking and takes advantage of innocent people (even those who are experts in the field!).

Next, when I checked my credit card statement, I saw that airbnb charged me almost $8000. Immediately, I cancelled the reservation, 3 months in advance of the booking, and after I cancelled, their house got booked by someone else, so no lost revenue for them there. However, they refused to refund my full payment, said that the host could only give me 50% of my booking, which was $3800.

After, I spent over 2 hours emailing, being on hold and talking to the customer support people (the customer support people are great, especially Matt - it is airbnb's policies and the hosts that are the issue). This is over 2 hours I could have spent working, which is more money lost. Finally, after my hard efforts, the host told me they could not give me a refund of the $3800, they will refund $600 back. Altogether, with the Airbnb $180 nonrefundable fee, I lose $780.

I am trying to push the host and Airbnb to give me the rest back $180 of service fees.

This is just not right. If I don't get my money back, I will take them to small claims court or arbitration as stipulated in their site.

Let me know if anyone else wants to and we can get our money back.

It's just taking money away from innocent people. I will not accept this.

to Margaret Buffalo, New York, United States #1340739


How can I contact you for help getting refund with airbnb strict cancellation policy??


i had the same experience in italy with an immediate cancellation due to a simple error. no harm to anyone but me using airbnb.


Same here in CA. You would think NY and CA who have strict consumer laws would make Airbnb or the host refund all the money except for maybe a small service fee.

I lost over $700. I canceled within hours of making the reservation. When I first looked at the property it said "no reviews for this property" I went back to look at the site again after booking and found "No reviews for this property. See reviews for other properties owned by this host".

So I checked. I found the "other properties" were actually the property I rented for 14 days. Reviews were horrible. The place was frequently found filthy.

2 cases of bed bugs (the owner later admitted there was a problems. He claims it was corrected). Multiple stories of cars getting broken into.

One family showed up at night and had to spend hours cleaning before they felt it was safe to sleep in the bed. What a waste!!


I agree, when someone books a place long in advance..the dates are blocked on the host's caledar all that time, so nobody else can book... then suddenly a day or two before the guest cancels.

That will have a negative financial ..and emotional..impact on the host. We all know things come up, but it gets devastating when this reservation was made long in advance then cancels right before arrival. It would be too late for another guest to book.

The flexible policy does NOTHING to protect the host.

That policy is good for new hosts who just had a few bookings. I started off with flexible but then changed to moderate several months later, and after many good reviews. At least with moderate, the guest gets a full refund if they cancel more than 5 days in advance, and that may give enough time for another guest to book (I allow last-minute bookings, but most of those have been 1 or 2 night stays). I still keep at least some money if the guest cancels within 5 days.

The guest has to learn the cancellation policy before booking. If a guest uses the old excuse of "I'm new to AirBnB", that will not cut it.

to Anonymous #1157670

I completely agree!

to Anonymous Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States #1245320

I've had a few cases where a guest books, then cancels 5 minutes later. These were mostly done by guests who say "I'm in town for business for the night".

They never give a reason for cancelling. If they failed to read the listing, that's their problem.

I've considered upgrading my cancellation policy to strict, that way the guest will be more careful and be sure they are absolutely positive they want to book. I'd rather have a guest not book at all then have one that books then cancels 5 minutes later.


Don't book a place without reading the cancellation policy! When you reserve a place, you prevent others from booking the same property.

I have one home I list on Airbnb. So I have a "strict" cancellation policy. Do you really think I am going to allow someone to reserve the property, not allow anyone else to book it, and then be stuck with refunding you money? So now I have lost ALL my income for those nights.

People listing on Airbnb are not hotels with 100 rooms that allow you to cancel the day before.

You are probably best suited with renting a hotel. Why are you on Airbnb if you want to cancel and want to block someone's calendar?

to Anonymous #1179289

But explain to me how you are really harmed if the guest cancels within 30 minutes of booking?


Airbnb's Cancellation Policy can be tricky. Here is a complete guide that demystifies the process--> https://www.tripping.com/industry/rental-companies/airbnb-cancellation-policy


I am a hot with a strict cancelation - we as host have the rights to return all of OUR portions of the money.

We are not trying to scam the guests but as a small one or two room bnb it effects us when someone that has had a reserved space for several weeks cancels the day of or before.

I used to have a more moderate policy only to find guests dropping their reservation shortly before their arrival.

If by chance someone has extending circumstances I will let them know if I can rebook the space I will refund my portion of the stay.

The airbnb hosting community is very open and kind one (with exception I am sure) and to blanket us with "scammers" instead of people opening our homes to guest to elplore areas if cities where no hotels are is rather disconcerning to hear.

Maybe a hotel would do you better?


I am in the same situation right now. It's my first time ever using Airbnb and I got dinged for $550.

Although I cancelled within less than 24 hours, I found out later that I would loose 50%. The host was very responsive when I was booking his place, but hardly after I tried to cancel. I am pretty bummed, but I know it's my fault. That just ruined my experience all together.

I will never use Airbnb or recommend it to anyone one. It's very hostile to guests.

Pleasant Grove, Utah, United States #969033

Did you try mediating the cancellation with Airbnb's conflict resolution? A shame if not, because they definitely would have sided with giving you a complete refund if you cancelled only 30 minutes after booking.

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