I was planning a visit to Tokyo and was looking at accommodations. I found a really nice place and try to book it, but it is pending on host's response. After the first booking, I was keeping looking and found another one that is promising. I tried to book it for the same time and it was accepted immediately. However at this moment I realized that I did not want the second one (I missed something important), so I tried to cancel the second booking. I got refunded for the accommodation fee but not the service fee.
Per Airbnb cancellation policy:
The service fee is refundable up to 3 times per year if you cancel within 48 hours of booking the reservation.
The service fee isn’t refundable if, at the time you cancel your reservation:
I cancelled the booking immediately and I am pretty sure I have not cancelled before this year, so either there is a bug in the system or I fell into the third category.
I do have a pending reservation at the same time, but I did not think it is a valid reservation since it is still pending and not finalized yet. Why does it count?
Think about it: I cancelled a reservation and because I still have a pending reservation at the same period, I cannot get service fee back. However, if I cancel the pending reservation first, I will obviously not get charged for anything because it is still pending. And then I can cancel the finalized reservation to get my service fee back. After that I just need to reserve the first one again, and the result is exactly the same.
So the order of cancellation matters? It does not sounds right to me.
@Tianyi Air BNB does not have "pending reservation" but it can be a "pending payment" which more about authorizing your payment. You can request a reservation from a host that does not use Instant Book meaning you need to wait for the host to respond and approve your request. So from the host perspective, they can accept another guest as you have no hold on the reservation you want.
As to getting your service fee, it might be best to speak with Air BNB. Here is a guide to contacting Air BNB.
For "pending reservation" I meant that I was waiting for the host to approve my request (BTW I selected Instant Booking in filter but this one still shows up, which is probably another bug). Those "pending reservation" does not show up in trips so I, naively, think that they does not count.
Since the host rejected my request few hours after I cancelled the first one, I was left with no reservation but service fee paid, which does not make sense in my opinion.
I had to change my travel dates. My host accepted the new ones but then I had to change them back to the old ones. She sent me a new alteration request but the price went up by £75, even though I reverted back to the original booking within 48 hours.
Does anyone know why?
@Anna Many hosts have dynamic rates which can change on a daily basis, so if you were changing your dates it is possible that the rates for your original booking increased while you were booked for othere dates. Air BNB system will pick up the rates that are in the system at the time of the booking.
I have asked my host but she says she’s getting the same amount of money as before. Could this be a penalty for changing twice?