I’ve never had any issues with airbnb but this is going to be very dependent on the owners. Have to look at reviews and choose carefully.
I’ve also heard that fees have gotten ridiculous recently.
The first owner that canceled had very good reviews. We had been in contact since August and it was always a positive experience. His last correspondence was December 20th and then we got the "punch in the gut" email on December 23rd.
Make sure you leave a bad review on their page. Anyone else looking to book that property should know that they'll cancel last minute without notice.
It's extremely unlikely the host canceled just because they wanted to. Airbnb punishes hosts massively if they cancel without cause. They fine them in actual dollars (which they use to help rebook the guest) and more importantly on the host side they punish the host massively in the search results, such that it's unlikely the host will be able to get many more guests as no one will be able to find them.
There are really only 2 main reasons a booking ever gets canceled on the host's end. The less frequent of those is that the host sells their property and the new owner doesn't want to take their guests on. I do realize that does suck when that happens but unfortunately not much can be done about that (other than Airbnb re-booking you, which they will do), though that's probably less likely now as not as many people are selling to cash out as they were during the boom.
By far the most common reason is that something happened to the home. Because, after all, these are still homes, and **** happens to homes and this isn't a Hilton with 800 rooms on site and 15 maintenance people under contract for 4 bucks an hour.
I've only ever had to cancel on guests once, when we had a foundation issue that caused the finished basement to flood. We had to cancel a month's worth of guests to repair it. Thankfully Airbnb was able to re-book them all and they were all understanding people that were super nice. Which was nice because I feel terrible
(it literally keeps me up at night) when someone's vacation is made worse by booking with me even if it was something out of my control, and selifishly I was already not feeling great after getting notified of a pending $40,000 repair bill alongside $10k in revenue lost to the cancelations. It was a rough month.
Frankly I think covid was the worst thing to ever happen to Airbnb because it brought too many hotel travelers, with hotel expectations into the industry. They want a 6br house for $300/nt ($50 per couple!) with a kitchen and a game room and a heated pool and get pissy when they have to put that dish (that they don't even get at a hotel) into the sink.
I'm not really sure where things are going to head now with Airbnb being a public company that has to continue to show growth for shareholders, but a large segment of new users coming in are a bad fit for Airbnb. It's a decent fit if you want...
A really cheap place that is a room in someone's home, IE crashing on the couch like the original intent of Airbnb
A vacation rental for multiple families or with a private pool, etc that you wouldn't get at a hotel.
It's not really a good substitute if you're looking to replace a hotel with a nice 1br place that gives you more than a hotel and at a cheaper price than a hotel and with service similar to a hotel. Homeowners and even moderately sized management companies just can't compete with hotels on reducing costs through scale and it's frankly kind of crazy to me that there are people that expect them to be able to.