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  • Writer's pictureMaestro Global Travel

What to do when your AirBnB cancels at the last minute

There is nothing worse than travelling with no place to stay.

When it comes to your precious holiday time, you always plan and book ahead. “Winging it” just simply isn’t an option. There’s often a few reasons for why you, and 4 million other users annually, might turn to AirBnB to book your accommodation, but unfortunately no one is immune to having your AirBnB cancelled right at the last minute.

Imagine this...

It’s been a busy year, and you’ve been counting down to this holiday since it was booked in earlier in June. You’ve just spent a little over 20 hours on a plane getting yourself to idyllic Iceland for Christmas break, and the moment you phone can be switched on, a message dings from your AirBnB host, cancelling the mountainside cottage you booked 6 months prior. This unfortunately, is a reality too many keen holiday makers are facing.

Where to stay in Iceland
Imagine landing here. A view of the Icelandic Mountains, no one would give up too easily.

So what can you do when your AirBnB host cancels far too late?

Luckily AirBnB has come to the rescue, by creating a safety net that allows you to get a full refund or account credit to the value.

Forget that you’re now in a foreign country, literally displaced at the airport...

Here’s what you can do to avoid holiday disaster:

If you’re game enough, you could check out what AirBnB does have left available. Hope and pray that it’s not peak time in a remote destination! You probably won’t find something as great as what you had but in this kind of case something really is better than nothing.

Make a trip to the local tourist information – provided it’s not the middle of the night of course. The locals there, in most countries around the world will more than likely be only too happy to call around for you and help you to find somewhere with availability. Don’t forget to offer them something for their trouble!

Get on the phone to your travel agent back at home ASAP! Your personal agent back home not only understands the situation you’re in, but has access to much more than you have yourself. They’ll have you back on track in no time.

Don’t forget to make a call to AirBnB directly too. They should be alerted to the whole situation in the first place, but there’s a chance they might be able to scrounge together some contacts or availability to help you out.

Sarcasm earlier, but AirBnB does offer a few features to limit things like cancellations and false advertising.

Booking with an AirBnB Superhost will limit the likelihood of you being caught out in a cancellation. These hosts are certified by AirBnB to deliver some very reassuring service. Some of their criteria includes being an active listing and hosting at least 10 people a year, having a 90% response rate and not having a single cancellation for at least a year.

To protect against staying in a falsely listed accommodation AirBnB have created a category titled “AirBnB Plus”. These listings are often entire homes that have been visited, personally inspected and professionally photographed by an AirBnB representative. Telltale signs of these listings, are Pinterest worthy photography, the Plus Verified badge that appears on the listing, and the distinct blog-style listing layout.

AirBnB Plus
A professional looking AirBnB Plus Verified home in the blog-style layout.

Last but not least! If your host mentions cancelling your stay, be sure to wait until they cancel the booking on their end. By doing this, the host is subject to AirBnB’s penalisations, as well as you’re more likely to be favoured and compensated by AirBnB.

Super bonus tips for booking with AirBnB!!!

Be sure to book a hotel as well, preferably one with a 100% refund usually up to 24 hours prior to check in. Unless of course you find yourself in the incredibly unlikely circumstances like a cancellation in destination, this will give you a backup accommodation option should your AirBnB fall through.

Travel Insurance. This is a must for any kind of travel, even domestic! Make sure your travel insurance covers extensively for travel delays and cancellations. This means you’ll be able to claim the costs of having to source another hotel last minute, or at least be somewhat compensated for the inconvenience.


If you're looking at booking an AirBnB accomodation for your next journey, get in touch with the Travel Concierge to arrange an alternate hotel at your Plan B.

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