I'd like to share a few experiences of usign airbnb thie weekend
It's mid summer and i'm trying to book ahead some accommodation for the winter ski season to take my youngest child on a ski trip to the Alps
Due to the usual issues around this, limited ski season, school holidays, etc the number of weeks that leaves is really the christmas period and the spring school half term - Mid Febuary so already we are on to a loser.
So this weekend I've booked a number of places I have found adverstised on the site, made my payment and had my booking accepted.
In three cases, after the booking I have had the host contact me and either request more money or cancel my booking saying that the property is not available for the week booked. This is of course gihly unlikely, the host has either failed to update the prices for the summer / winter season or is just using the site as click bait to get more money though false advertising.. I can accept that there might be the odd one where this is true, but it's exceedingly strange that in the same town this has happend with three properties !!
Now I understand that the host gets some penalty for cancelling and in "theory" cannot reant out the "SAME" apartments / property again in that period, but there seems so many loopholes / failures here.
The host even though penalised is likely to remove one listed property and then add a new one. The price differential makes the exercise worth doing.
Now I have foudn a fourth which so far has not yet cancelled me, but there is every possiblity !!
What worries / angers me is that this is leaving me exposed, up until we are actually in the accomodation, with the possibility that this could happen again, even worse the closer to the trip.
I think that as the "broker" of the service that airbnb shoudl have some stronger safeguards here with regard to guest protection.
For example, if the host cancels then bewteen the host and airbnb they should be liable for finding new accommodation as close as possible to the original location or an agreed new location and absorb the cost differential. This difference should be recoved from either a central airbnb pool of money or from the host (from future bookings potentially) or there should be some additonal insurance system that guests can buy into, similar to holiday cancellation inusrance.
My concern is that I arrice in a resort with limited accomodation to start with and the host cancels ( for more money ) and I am left with no option but to check into a local hotel ( or worse not even local ) at the full rack rate.
Be interested in what others think about this ??
Airbnb does everything it can to help make it difficult for hosts to cancel, @Bruce. https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/990/i-m-a-host--what-penalties-apply-if-i-need-to-cancel-a-reser...
With over 80,000 bookings a day, very few of them are cancelled. https://www.quora.com/How-many-bookings-does-Airbnb-have-per-day . Part of the premium you pay with staying at a major hotel chain is their ability to farm you out to another hotel to which they have a relationship should something go wrong on their end - guest smoked in non-smoking room, guest refuses to check out, etc. Airbnb doesn't have this luxury. Hosts are all individuals, not chains of hotel systems.
Perhaps you should purchase some kind of trip insurance, or book a hotel if the Airbnb platform isn't enough for you. Guests cancel on hosts all the time. And can often weasel their money back regardless of the host's cancellation policy that is accepted upon booking.
I am a new host to AirBnB and am told that cancelling on a booked confirmed Guest carries great penalties to the Host.
The Host has to have a really good reason and has to prove it to AirBnB.
To have 3 Hosts cancel on you for no reason is really bizarre. Not good at all!
Hi, I made x2 cancellations last year, one being a genuine mistake whilst I was getting used to the site, and I have been penalised for it ever since and have been unable to get my status up to the superhost status- ever since. I feel the
@Bruce You are exactly the type of guest every host wants to approve for a reservation. It makes me angry when hosts cancel a booking for any reason other than extenuating circumstances. As a traveler on this site myself, I count on the host being professional especially if I have other reservations, plane and activity, that cannot be changed.
I don't know if the influx of new hosts is related to your experience of cancellation because the management of pricing is often learned by making mistakes for long range reservations. I think the best strategy for travelers is to search for Super Host listings because not only do these hosts meet high review standards but also no cancellations within a year. New hosts usually would not have met the requirements.
I agree with this response. Not that SuperHosts are infallible, but they've usually learned the ropes on Airbnb enough to understand how their calendar and pricing works, and have a proven track record for at least a year without cancellation. I know as a new host it took me a bit to understand that the default calendar opened dates without my express knowledge and I had to change settings to prevent that.
For trips where I know accomodations will be hard to come by, I prefer to book with SuperHosts.
Whether its attributable to cultural or personal ethics, you'll find some people on here who see a booking as a contract while others see it as a potential agreement. Rather than asking themselves "Am I able to host these dates? How should I price them?" they allow the system to open dates 3/6/12 months out automatically and at their default prices. When they get a reservation request, they're then evaluating their availability and pricing. This is absolutely not how Airbnb intended the process to work and whether through poor reviews or complaints, I don't think this type of host will last on the platform for very long. I've experienced the same book/cancel cycle in my own travel, and from what guests tell me, so I know how frustrating it is. Sorry you're experiencing the same. :/
Yes, I agree. This is sound advice. I made x2 cancellations last year and am still paying the price for them now. I am aiming for super host status and want to offer this security to my guests
@Bruce I am very sorry you have had this experience. Cancellations by hosts are regarded as a serious matter on Airbnb.
If a host cancels your reservation, do not cancel. Instead, insist the host cancel, especially if they did not have their calendar availability up to date or their pricing. If a host wants you to cancel, you can use this link to formally request that they cancel or honor your reservation as originally book:
Also, please know that even if a host deletes a listing and recreates it, the cancellation penalties will still apply since the cancellation goes on the host's profile, not the listing itself (except for the cancellation review). Airbnb tracks host cancellations and any host who cancels in an unacceptable manner is removed from the website permanently and is not able to establish another account.
If a host cancels your reservation, Airbnb will send you a notification offering at least a 10% credit if:
- The cancellation occurred within 4 weeks of the start of the cancelled reservation and;
- You elect to have your refund applied to a new reservation.
The eligible credit will be available for 30 day after the cancellation.
Lastly, please always communicate and pay through Airbnb. Ski resorts are favorite venues for asking for wire transfers. something you should never do.
Again, sorry you have had this experience but I hope this information is helpful to you.
If the 10% policy is set, why not list it in the help pages which only state some help may be available without giving a number? I truly hope it's because in many cases 10% wouldn't even come close to finding similar or even clearly inferior accomodation at short notice and in that case airbnb would do more - possibly off the back of a Better Business Bureau complaint whcih I've read sometimes is needed for fair treatment.
Also, I can understand an initial decision for the compensation to only be available if used for a new airbnb booking but actually that makes little sense on some cases. Suppose there are no suitable airbnb alternatives at short notice, or if there are but at 100% more not 10% whereas a hotel is 50% more (or even 100% more but its a hotel and thus actually guarentees a room unlike airbnb and once messed up a guest doesn't want a repeat problem!).
All in all it's clear airbnb is aware of the issue as policyhas improved and moreover by all accounts sometimes acts well, but it has a long way to go before being reliabe and has me really unsure if bookings can be relied on given how incredibly difficult a late cancellation is and how far airbnb is from proming to ensure you aren't potentially 1000s out of pocket: if only there were insurance you could use to make up for airbnb's shortfall in service.
fwiw I recently booked a hotel for CES (expensive, many hotels sell out) rather than an airbnb solely due to this issue. I.e. had a specific airbnb I preferred. Until there is at least insurance available or I have a solid plan B of my own, I'm unlikely to use Airbnb again. Whilst I'm sure it would be very rare, ruining a trip due to cancelled / non exitant accomodation with no insurance cover at zero notice isn't acceptable.
There is a long list of UK Holiday/Travel companies that have gone bust over the years, Monarch was probbly the most recent, and we are talking about hundreds of thousands effected.
There are no guarantees in life, well death and taxes, you can use the AirBnB site to just select those Hosts who have had many bookings and have not cancelled, basically the same thing you are doing when booking an established Hotel.
I gather you have not been a frequent traveler with Air BNB, @David. While I agree with you in theory, I also agree with @Bruce. There are many types of reservation circumstances that are not flexible. If Air BNB does not have control over the hosts as it is simply a booking platform, and Air BNB is promoting the alternative share economy hospitality, I think they could increase trust by offering an option that mitigates the actions of hosts.
For many guests, myself included, the travel plans are not flexible and there is much investment both financially and psychologically in the whole travel plan, of which Air BNB is only a part.
Philosophically it is very admirable that Air BNB promotes the idea of "live there" with ordinary people opening their homes to others and expanding the idea of travel, however, Air BNB must be realistic in this arena of hospitality. Individuals may act irresponsibly or unethically or just have stuff happen in their lives and others are sadly affected. In order to keep a level of trust, Air BNB needs to address the lacking of trust for both guests and hosts.
Many Travel companies when you book offer Travel Insurances as an extra, part of the service and a money maker.
I have mentioned before that AirBnB seem to be missing a trick and this could also help deal with many of the issues we see on this site.