Airbnb Update: Now You Know

I recently told you about Airbnb and my first upcoming stay in an Airbnb house in Sedona, AZ. Before even setting foot in my luxury rental, I want to let you know of a HUGE downside to Airbnb. YOUR HOST CAN CANCEL AT ANYTIME.

Last week the owner of the house texted me to let me know that there was a conflict with the last night of our stay. It seemed that his calendar did not have an existing booking on it when our reservation was made and there is an overlap of 1 night. After a heated discussion that ended nowhere, we have been kicked out for our last night. The reason was simply that our stay was for 5 nights and the people coming after us were staying for 10 nights. So basically, the host can make more money from the second rental than he can our stay. I knew there were penalties if I cancelled but there seems to be very little penalties if THE HOST cancels. Here is what is on the Airbnb site:

If your reservation is canceled by your host you’ll have two options:

  • Transfer your payment to a new Airbnb reservation
  • Get a full refund

 

Cancellation fees for the host

These host cancellation fees will be waived for your first cancellation within a 6-month period. After that:

More than 7 days before check-in: You’ll be charged $50 per cancellation.

Within 7 days of check-in: You’ll be charged a $100 fee for reservations canceled within 7 days of check-in.

Other penalties

Automated reviews: An automated review will be posted to your listing’s profile indicating that you canceled one of your reservations. These reviews can’t be removed, but you can always write a public response to clarify why you needed to cancel.

Unavailable/blocked calendar: Your calendar will stay blocked and you won’t be able to accept another reservation for the same dates of the canceled reservation.

Loss of eligibility for Superhost status: You won’t be eligible to earn Superhost status for one year after your most recent cancellation.

 

To summarize, your host can cancel at any time and at the most they will be charged is $100 and have an automated review on their site that they cancelled a booking. And a review from the person who was cancelled, if they do so.

To continue the story, the host contacted me later the same day and offered me 2 nights free and “he was really sorry.”

By the time of my cancellation, I had already booked flights, excursions, restaurants, etc. After some lengthy discussions with my husband, we decided to keep the reservation, and make a new hotel reservation for the last night in Phoenix.

I was all gung-ho to try Airbnb and have the whole experience of being in a home and not a hotel but so far I don’t have good feelings about it. In order for this site to work, there is an underlying trust factor that goes into these bookings. For me, that is gone.

If you decide to try Airbnb, just be aware:)


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