How can a guest who cancelled, still leave a review?

Level 10
Lithia Springs, GA

How can a guest who cancelled, still leave a review?

I got this email from airbnb today asking me to review a guest who had cancelled. 


"Tell Amber and Tara what you loved and what they can do better


You can leave a review for your guest even though the trip was cancelled. We won’t share your review until after Amber leaves feedback for you."
This is a dangerous thing for a host since many times the guests do not get a refund and are MAD about that. Then, they get a chance to leave a review and you know it can't possibly be GOOD! Heck, the guest didn't even step foot on your property or even see it in person or meet you. How can they review you?
That's just crazy airbnb. 
So, if I do not leave a review am I correct in thinking that the guests potentially bad review won't become public on my listing OR their potentially less than 5 star rating be included in the ratings? 
24 Replies 24

@Donald28  Not sure what being a Super Host (which I have been for over a year) has to do with my opinion on this matter, but I think the review would have address the communication before arriving and if there is a check in, the process upon check in.  Of course if there is a negative review based on nothing, the host or guest can provide a response.  


Hosts have complained that guests can cancel without any penalty especially if the host cancellation policy is flexible.  Still the host can be negatively impacted.  I would want to know that the guest did that and if a host provided a review about the guest behavior during the pre-check in process, I think that would be useful to know.

Level 2
Texas, United States

Any updates to this? Have folks got bad reviews? I jst had one cancel and am debating what kind of refund to do.

Level 2
Hove, United Kingdom

I think a guest who has accessed your property and possible had a shower then cancels because their expectations were not met e.g. you be there to greet them even though you sent a long message saying you wouldn't be there. Then they give you a really poor review where airbnb pauses your listing. 

How can this be fair as they lie to get out of the booking ?

Airbnb needs to address this situation as this is the second time a guest has done this in the last month.

They shouldn't be able to give a review when they didn't stay.

Level 2
Windsor, CA

I agree ... I'm in the same situation now.  This is a set-up for failure unless you refund regardless of my "flexible" policy.  

Level 4
Rochester Hills, MI

The only reason I can see for allowing reviews from  a guest who cancels without even stepping foot on your property is for Airbnb to passive aggressively push a host into giving a refund despite their cancellation policy. We all know that guests who cancel always want their refund and will make up any Story to get it…. Someone died, Covid etc… when the reality could be bad weather the weekend they booked or their own personal issue.  Now the host has a decision… airbnb always sends a message for the host to give a full refund. If the host doesn’t refund or only offers a partial refund, they now have an upset guest with the ability to leave a bad review and sabotage the poor host. This is fundamentally unethical and business bullying. The host can’t win. They either lose the financial transaction if they refund or on the other hand risk a poor review if they uphold their cancellation policy. It’s a win- win for the guest & airbnb but a losing proposition for the host 😞 The bottom line is that guests who haven’t stayed shouldn’t be allowed to review the host… after all, they were the one who cancelled!!!!

I wonder why you assume all the guest are lieing. I have been a host and guest myself and every circumstance is different… my recent experience as a guest was very telling. True story. We booked a cabin for Tahoe for the weekend when California is flooded with historic storms, and weather alert travel advisory to avoid going out for safety reason and power outage warning. We are two families with a 6 month pregnant woman, 18 month old and 3 year old. We tried to ask for a refund and cancel, but host refused and claimed “storm was common in California”! Is he even from the region or read the National news ? He even refused to allow us change dates,  after hearing our circumstances; quoting their cancellation policy. We DID NOT lie, and felt completely hopeless that we will loose over a course of thousands dollars for nothing. We contacted Airbnb and after many calls and texts, Airbnb told us they have tried to ask the host to cancel but host refused and nothing they could do. Seriously Airbnb? I have been on the host side as well and have always been flexible when the request is reasonable. How tell me if you were in my shoe, would you want to be able to leave a review after canceling ( without any refund or rebooking options)?  I will definitely give a bad review and a true review!

Level 10
Toronto, Canada

I was under the impression you can get the review removed if the guest didn't check in though. 

@Zheng49 That is a myth. 



Just did a google search and this is in the first result.




The review system seems like it would be too easily abused by guests who fail to show up. It's almost guaranteed to be a negative review unless you refund in full. 




@Zheng49 What you found is not from Airbnbs TOS. Back in 2017 they made a change to the review system because of this

Now as long as the reservation isn’t cancelled before midnight the night before check in - the review emails will always be sent. That way the guest will be able to leave a relevant review. Of course if the guest writes about something irrelevant or are reviewing against the TOS  - a host can ask Airbnb CS to remove the review. But both guest and host will always get the review emails if the stay isn’t cancelled before midnight the night before check in as explained earlier.