Risk of host canceling w/ AirBnb

Old Apr 27, 17, 3:15 pm
  #1  
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Risk of host canceling w/ AirBnb

We are looking at hotels and AirBnbs in the Seychelles.

Off and on you can pick up AirBnb gift cards on ebay for 10% off and then get 5x using a Chase Ink card.

I've seen some offers for Hotels.com where you can potentially stack 10-20% off gift cards, 5x points from purchasing from ebay/staples, and then be able to also use coupon codes.

A huge positive of AirBnb is that there are a lot of options in the Seychelles (like on La Digue). There are a lot of guest houses and apartments. I could book directly, but the rates are very similar to their Airbnb listings and 10% off and 5x points would really add up after 8-12 nights.

The major risk is purchasing Airbnb gift cards, booking the room/home, and then having the host potentially cancel months in advance (we are going in late December) or cancel last minute. There are only a few "super hosts" that may be concerned enough about losing their status that they aren't likely to cancel.

Do you think it's worth the risk to buy Airbnb gift cards for the cost savings and the 5x points?
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Old Apr 29, 17, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Astrophsx View Post
We are looking at hotels and AirBnbs in the Seychelles.

Off and on you can pick up AirBnb gift cards on ebay for 10% off and then get 5x using a Chase Ink card.

I've seen some offers for Hotels.com where you can potentially stack 10-20% off gift cards, 5x points from purchasing from ebay/staples, and then be able to also use coupon codes.

A huge positive of AirBnb is that there are a lot of options in the Seychelles (like on La Digue). There are a lot of guest houses and apartments. I could book directly, but the rates are very similar to their Airbnb listings and 10% off and 5x points would really add up after 8-12 nights.

The major risk is purchasing Airbnb gift cards, booking the room/home, and then having the host potentially cancel months in advance (we are going in late December) or cancel last minute. There are only a few "super hosts" that may be concerned enough about losing their status that they aren't likely to cancel.

Do you think it's worth the risk to buy Airbnb gift cards for the cost savings and the 5x points?
All the standard cautions. Check review for host cancellation notices, communicate with the host, if it feels hinky, look elsewhere.
The single question I would have with the Airbnb coupons is does using them impact the amount received by the host. If it does, and if it's visible to the host, there would surely be a financial motivation to bump a discount booking for a full rate one. Not to say any particular host would do that, but something to consider.
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Old May 1, 17, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
All the standard cautions. Check review for host cancellation notices, communicate with the host, if it feels hinky, look elsewhere.
The single question I would have with the Airbnb coupons is does using them impact the amount received by the host. If it does, and if it's visible to the host, there would surely be a financial motivation to bump a discount booking for a full rate one. Not to say any particular host would do that, but something to consider.
The coupon/discount is on the purchase of the Airbnb gift cards. So there should be no impact on the host.
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Old May 1, 17, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Astrophsx View Post
The coupon/discount is on the purchase of the Airbnb gift cards. So there should be no impact on the host.
Thanks for the info.
Then, I'd say a host with a good history should be trustworthy.
Personally, I am reluctant to book any property with a "strict" cancellation policy. That's more about the possibility of my plans changing, but I have found that hosts with more flexibility about cancellations than the frankly confiscatory Strict policy are also less likely to consider the entire booking a one-sided transaction. YMMV.
Btw, have you checked HomeAway and looked for local rental agencies?

Last edited by rickg523; May 1, 17 at 1:34 pm
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Old May 2, 17, 6:21 am
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btw:
I doubt that the ability - for the host to cancel a reservation without any penalty - would hold up in each jurisdiction.
Germany (e.g.) has very pro-tenant laws, hence, a host cannot just walk away from a rental contract. Time will tell once it is tested in a court of law.

The option for hosts to cancel reservations is a major point why I am (not just me) are staying away from airbnb.
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Old May 4, 17, 12:15 pm
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I posted a similar question once and was told to go with a superhost. Supposedly they can't get that status if they have any history of cancelling.
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Old May 5, 17, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by TravelingNomads View Post
I posted a similar question once and was told to go with a superhost. Supposedly they can't get that status if they have any history of cancelling.
That's what I've tried to do, but they can be limited in number depending on where you are going. We are going to the Seychelles and on one of the islands there is little to no super hosts.
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Old May 6, 17, 6:29 am
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Yeah, we're headed to some rural areas in Bulgaria and found the same. I guess we'll just have to be flexible. Thankfully we'll be going off season, so there should be vacancy somewhere.
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Old May 6, 17, 10:37 pm
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My one and only experience with AirBnd resulted in the host cancelling a couple of weeks prior. At least I was able to find a suitable replacement accommodation at a similar cost. I've shied away from using them. On the flipside, my co-worker raves about his experiences with AirBnb, the cost savings, spacious beautiful locations, more bang for the buck so to speak. I guess it is a YMMV, but for me, I feel comfortable in knowing that I have a reservation with a minimum chance of cancellation.
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Old May 7, 17, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by arollins View Post
My one and only experience with AirBnd resulted in the host cancelling a couple of weeks prior. At least I was able to find a suitable replacement accommodation at a similar cost. I've shied away from using them. On the flipside, my co-worker raves about his experiences with AirBnb, the cost savings, spacious beautiful locations, more bang for the buck so to speak. I guess it is a YMMV, but for me, I feel comfortable in knowing that I have a reservation with a minimum chance of cancellation.

I'm kind of with you. We did an apartment rental (not through Airbnb) in Dublin for a day and it was such a hassle. The apartment was a good mile from the city center that was advertised which was annoying, we couldn't check into it until after 5pm which was inconvenient, they took a ridiculous $200 deposit (it did get refunded eventually) and lastly we had to wait a good 20 minutes or more to check in because the place was packed. The apartment was nice and spacious, but it was just too much hassle to carrying our bags that far. On the flip side, I've heard that some Airbnb's are awesome because the host will sit down with you to chat and share some of the culture and give recommendations; kind of like many of our B & B's. That is something that I would appreciate. The cancellation aspect is frustrating though.
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Old May 7, 17, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by TravelingNomads View Post
I'm kind of with you. We did an apartment rental (not through Airbnb) in Dublin for a day and it was such a hassle. The apartment was a good mile from the city center that was advertised which was annoying, we couldn't check into it until after 5pm which was inconvenient, they took a ridiculous $200 deposit (it did get refunded eventually) and lastly we had to wait a good 20 minutes or more to check in because the place was packed. The apartment was nice and spacious, but it was just too much hassle to carrying our bags that far. On the flip side, I've heard that some Airbnb's are awesome because the host will sit down with you to chat and share some of the culture and give recommendations; kind of like many of our B & B's. That is something that I would appreciate. The cancellation aspect is frustrating though.
This is where it is important to read the reviews. Sometimes you need 20+ reviews until someone will write something negative. I'm at the point where I will typically will not book a place unless there is one review that has at least some sort of constructive feedback for the host.

There should be a pin on the map in the general area the Airbnb is located. If it was a mile from that zone I would have instantly canceled as you are given the address as soon as they confirm the booking.

Another thing I wish Airbnb would do is say when the place was originally listed. If it was listed three years ago you should be able to go through the reviews and see if the host has ever cancelled a reservation. More than a few times is a red flag. Though, they do give you the number of days so you know if they were last minute cancellations.
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Old Jun 2, 17, 7:31 am
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Exclamation it worked for me in NYC

I carry AirBnB toll free contact number with me when I travel. If the host cancels LM, I call AirBnB and ask them to find me something comparable? This was a win for me (in NYC) as all that was available was more high end stuff. On the other hand, it was a disaster in Duluth where I had to leave messages & texts. When no one replied, I went to a hotel and AirBnB refunded me the cost & service fee, but would not reimburse me for the hotel.
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Old Jul 14, 17, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
I carry AirBnB toll free contact number with me when I travel. If the host cancels LM, I call AirBnB and ask them to find me something comparable? This was a win for me (in NYC) as all that was available was more high end stuff. On the other hand, it was a disaster in Duluth where I had to leave messages & texts. When no one replied, I went to a hotel and AirBnB refunded me the cost & service fee, but would not reimburse me for the hotel.
How is that acceptable? AirBnB would have had to refund you everything anyway, cause they did not provide the service you paid for. It seems AirBnB cancels last minute a lot
So it us basically like picking chocolates from a box, never know what you will get (or where you will stay)
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