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Our recent experience with Airbnb, as guests

First, the executive summary: while our Airbnb reservation had been confirmed, it was cancelled half an hour before we arrived at the appartment. Airbnb didn't help us to find on time another place where to stay, didn't provide us with any real compensation, and refused to publish our review of the host.

Now, here are the details:

Our youngest son has to take two very important competitive exams in July, in Paris. With my wife, we decide to accompany him, so that he can focus on the exams, while we handle the day-to-day logistics. On my side, I'll take this opportunity to visit one of my clients. In June, we use Airbnb to book seven nights at an apartment which is placed between the four different examination centers.

Sixteen days later, when we arrive at Paris Orly airport, we discover a vocal message that Luckey, the Airbnb subsidiary which manages arrivals and departures for the appartment, left during our flight. Luckey confirm the reservation, and they will welcome us at 3 PM, as planned.

Around 2:20 PM, we receive an Airbnb notification, which informs us that the reservation is cancelled. No real explanation, only a message that can be summarized by "We are sorry, we had to cancel your reservation".

So, we are in Paris, for perhaps the most important week in the life of our son, and we don't have a place where to stay anymore.

We call Luckey. They say that don't know anything more than what is in the cancellation message, and that we should contact Airbnb. We call Aibnb, and spend around 30 minutes on the phone, mainly waiting for someone to answer. We talk to three different persons, the last one being rather unpleasant. Two of them tell us that they investigate the origin of the problem and that they will call back 20 or 30 minutes later. One of them tells us that they will immediately send us a list of available apartments.

Three hours later, Airbnb has not called us back, and has not sent us the list of apartments. Consequently, we decide to book rooms at an hotel. We will receive the list at 9:15 PM.

Six days later, Airbnb had still not called us back. They simply sent us an email to inform us that we would be reimbursed, but that it could take up to 15 days. We were indeed reimbursed.

We got a (small) credit from Luckey, for a next rental. Fifteen days later, Airbnb offered us a (small) credit as well, but we should make a new booking before 14 days. We don't travel a lot, we will not be able to use this credit.

But the most salient point is Airbnb's refusal to publish our review of the host. That means that no Airbnb customer will know that the host cancelled a reservation half an hour before our arrival to their appartment. That brings up questions about trustworthiness of reviews on Airbnb website.

Until then, we were happy customers of Airbnb.