Looking for guidance- we haven't been able to find anything addressing this issue specifically in the community.
We got a message this morning from a guest (arriving tomorrow) who booked a couple months ago to stay during a big music festival this weekend. The guest is a first time airbnb user and early communication was great. We had reached out with check info and some preference questions on Monday. Crickets until this morning when the guest messaged that she would not be staying due to a death in the family. She offered no other details.
We responded with condolences and asked her if she was going to cancel and she said yes, but she did not know how to cancel, and she wanted us to know she was not coming. We responded again with more condolences and explained that we could not cancel her reservation. We instructed her how to.
We have a strict cancelation policy but offered to give her a full refund if we could rebook- which was pretty possible this morning due to the music festival. She immediately responded that she would cancel she appreciated the offer, but she never cancelled.
Something feels fishy- we have pretty good intuition are finding this odd- the lack of details and the not cancelling.
It feels icky to doubt the guest but we have been taken for a ride by a manipulative guest using a fake death to cancel before.
If she is reeling in shock and truly cannot figure out how to cancel we don't want to bug her, as this is small potatoes in the big picture. But, what if she shows up and we have not prepared the space? Or never communicates again and we just wonder all weekend if she might show up?
We have read on here about airbnb giving late extenuating circumstances refunds to guests who did not show or cancel. That experience would be disheartening.
It is a pickle. We don't want to be uncaring but we don't want to be taken advantage of either. Any thoughts?
Laura and Jesse
This may be too late but ...I'd prepare the space & wait for the chips to fall. Your intuition is telling you something- listen to it. My (family member)just died is somehow more believable than the stock phrase "death in the family". She was able to message you and is presumably coherent enough to also contact airbnb, have they heard from her? Did you already give her the means to check into your place? I hope all goes well but be careful, Sally