The fact is that Airbnb doesn’t want their hosts to cancel bookings. Your guests don’t want you to cancel bookings either. Understandably. If you cancel, then your guest’s trip is in jeopardy. Airbnb – and similar services – need dedicated hosts who don’t cancel. This is simple common sense.
But from time to time, hosts do. If there are extenuating circumstances (your house has fallen down, you’re unconscious in hospital, you’ve been kidnapped by pirates, your head has exploded etc.) then you can cancel penalty-free, no problem. But hang on, ‘penalty-free’?
So if you cancel for no good reason (a good reason as far as Airbnb is concerned, that is) there are penalties? Yes, there are.
All hosts and all services such as Airbnb are conscious of developing trust. After all, if a guest books into a Marriott or a Hilton, they can be pretty confident that the hotel isn’t going to cancel their reservation for no good reason. Hosts and online services are striving to gain that level of trust too.
So Airbnb definitely applies penalties to business-owners (hosts) who do not take their responsibilities seriously. What sort of penalties do they impose?
- A financial penalty. This will depend on several factors such as how far in advance you cancelled the booking but suffice it to say that you do not want to be subjected to these financial fines
- An automated review. Again this depends on the timescale. Cancel in advance and an automated review will appear on your listing. It says, clearly and distinctly, that you canceled the guest’s stay. This does not engender confidence in your abilities as a host. Or you might even receive…
- A bad review. If a guest arrives and you then cancel, that guest is entitled to review you. You cancelled and thus, presumably, caused the guest to experience inconvenience to put it mildly. They are hardly likely to review you favourably
- A blocked calendar. Your calendar will remain blocked for the duration of the cancelled booking; you will not be able to replace the booking with another
- Loss of Superhost status. Many hosts agree that Superhost status is over-rated. And quite possibly they are right. But a single cancellation means that a host automatically loses that designation
- Possible account suspension. If a host cancels more than a couple of times (actually, I believe it’s three times) then the account is kept under supervision. This means that you are effectively ‘on probation’ and your account may be suspended or deleted
It’s really not worth it, is it?
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.