Airbnb wrecks travellers’ holiday plans as battle with cities intensifies | Technology | The Guardian

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You have bought your plane tickets and sorted out your accommodation but then, just days before you are about to set off on holiday, Airbnb suddenly cancels your booking with no explanation, wrecking your plans. This is what happened to Surrey couple Roger Ridey and Alice Woolley, who had to scrabble around to rearrange their holiday after Airbnb – the company, not the hosts of the property – pulled the plug on their week’s stay in San Francisco, 10 days before they were due to arrive. They were told their booking, for which they had handed over £1,638, had been cancelled following a change in the law in the Californian city. Their experience exposes what some may see as a major flaw in the system, because Airbnb permits San Francisco hosts to advertise properties that holidaymakers won’t know are “under review” and may later be turned down by the city authorities. If city officials reject an application to let out a property, any future bookings are cancelled, which is what seems to have happened in this case. Airbnb has been facing legal battles in cities around the world, including San Francisco. Many are introducing tough regulations and it appears that holidaymakers are being caught in the crossfire. With summer holidays just weeks away and with rules being tightened up in more cities, Woolley and Ridey are warning that what has happened to them could happen to others. Read All Comments:

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