An AirBnb host with a dilemma has divided opinion after she revealed to UK parenting forum Mumsnet, "I'm about to explode with stress."
She explained that her child was sick and another child was on holiday. She adds that she usually has an extensive to-do list before admitting guests, but is behind this time. She usually lock up one room with all their valuables, but haven't been able to start doing that yet.
"I know I'd get fined by AirBnb, but would I be unreasonable to cancel on guest? We live in London, there is other availability locally. Though pricier for less nice (making me also think I undercharge!)."
"Got a cleaner coming of course, but haven't been able to organise or do anything. Also behind on the one day of work I had to do this week (yesterday but couldn't because of said sick child).
"If we cancelled, I'd go to in-laws' a bit later this week, when sick child is better, and stick the telly on for him tomorrow to properly sort the place out and finish my work..."
Most early replies were rather scolding, pointing out that it was very late notice: "I don't know what you decided OP, but you posted this at 21:25 for cancellation tomorrow. That's really unreasonable."
"Very unreasonable I think. If you haven't got a contingency plan to deal with something as simple as a child's bug, you probably shouldn't be on AirBnb."
Others disagreed, saying they would want to know about the sick child; "What if the guest is pregnant and ends up in hospital from catching the vomit bug? I don't think you should rent out the room, even though it's last minute, even if the guest isn't happy, you're doing the right thing by cancelling."
Many people had been on the receiving end of such treatment, "This actually happened to me on a recent trip. Our first trip abroad with a small baby. It made an already stressful journey even more fraught as we had to organise accommodation on the way. You're being unkind to your guests, but I can see why you're doing it. On the plus side (for you), AirBnb don't seem to mind that much when hosts cancel with short notice."
"Totally unreasonable! Someone did that to me, I'd booked an AirBnb in Wales to watch the rugby. So flights booked, rugby tickets bought. Cancelled on me 2 days before. Cost me an absolute fortune and a lot of stress trying to find accommodation at such short notice."
"Totally unreasonable to ruin someone's break. I would talk to the guests explain the situation and see what they want to do. If they still want to come you need to let them."
"This happened to me with another "amateur" AirBnb. I got the text the day before, but I was actually already on holiday in the middle of a day at an attraction, as we were doing a "2 centre" holiday, moving from one place to another half way through. It completely ruined our day at the attraction as we were trying desperately to find an alternative. I've never used them since."
The conversation went on all night and into the next day before the "original poster" returned;
"Just an update: I didn't cancel, the guests have checked in all ok. I paid my cleaner to clean an extra 90mins on top of her 3 hours (and she knew about the sick child beforehand too and wasn't put off). I calmed down! I think I'm going to quit being a host now though. It's too stressful."
"Anyway, it's all done now. You were right, I wasn't thinking about the guests at all, I was deep in a very selfish, about to explode zone. I calmed down and sorted it out."