X User Shares Airbnb ‘Horror Story’ After Being Denied Entry Into Pre-Booked Apartment; Netizens Outraged

Reaching out to Airbnb support proved equally frustrating.

by Nikitha Sebastian
X User Shares Airbnb ‘Horror Story’ After Being Denied Entry Into Pre-Booked Apartment; Netizens Outraged

Airbnb is facing criticism on social media following a Californian guest’s ordeal. Brandon Li, a Canadian-descent co-founder of a healthcare start-up, took to X (formerly Twitter) to share his Airbnb “horror story” in London.

Airbnb ‘Horror Story’

Li’s troubles began when his flight was delayed, causing him to miss the designated check-in window. Despite informing his host about the delay and the potential late arrival fee for self-check-in, upon arrival, he discovered the lockbox wasn’t working. Things went downhill from there. The host, displaying a lack of empathy, remained unresponsive to Li’s messages regarding the faulty lockbox.

Reaching out to Airbnb support proved equally frustrating. Li documented the entire situation, requesting a refund, coverage for last-minute hotel expenses, and an investigation into potential fraud by the host. However, Airbnb’s initial response was to ask the host if they’d be “willing” to offer a refund, essentially leaving the decision in the host’s hands.

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Viral Story Exposes Potential Systemic Problems

Li then inquired about AirCover, a much-publicised program designed to protect guests in such situations. Disappointingly, he was informed that AirCover didn’t apply due to policy restrictions. Further attempts to speak with a manager were met with delays and unsatisfactory explanations. Exhausted and stranded in the early hours of the morning, Li highlighted a crucial point: the ability for hosts to change lockbox codes during a guest’s late check-in window, especially for self-check-in arrangements, creates a security vulnerability.

The situation continued to deteriorate. By morning, Airbnb had closed Li’s case without resolution, and the host denied him access to the apartment. Li’s frustration mounted as he documented the ongoing struggle – the host refusing entry and a refund, and AirCover’s apparent ineffectiveness. Finally, after 18 hours of disputes, Airbnb acknowledged that Li should be allowed to stay. However, having already secured alternative accommodation, Li requested a refund. This eventually came through, along with an offer to cover his next Airbnb stay.

While a happy ending for Li, his ordeal raises serious concerns. His story sparked numerous responses on X, revealing similar negative experiences with Airbnb. Li’s experience underscores a critical message: a system shouldn’t require a viral social media post to prompt action.

Also Read: Never Felt So Loved; Dubai Vlogger Pampered By 70-YO Airbnb Host In Jaipur; Relishes Yummy Food & Garden Views

The company must prioritise guest safety and security, ensuring that situations like Li’s Airbnb ‘horror story’ become a rarity, not a cautionary tale.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva (Representative Image)

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