This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. Lauren Gumport was en route to a vacation on the island of Chios, Greece, in July, where she was set to stay in an Airbnb
for five nights with her best friend.
But upon her arrival in Athens to connect to her flight to Chios, she received a WhatsApp message from someone stating that their dad owned the Airbnb property, but that they managed it. The son said they’d be out of town — and that their dad didn’t speak English — but that Gumport would still be able to check in with the dad. Gumport, who works for the travel insurance company Faye, is no stranger to stories of travel mishaps. She sensed something was off but forged ahead with the Chios flight. When she arrived at the meeting spot near the Airbnb, no one was there. “It was hot and not in a touristy area, so it didn’t feel great,” she says. “We were exhausted from the flights and just wanted to drop our bags, so that was frustrating.” She had an international cell phone plan, so after 15 minutes of waiting for the owner, she called Airbnb customer service. An hour later, an Airbnb customer service agent finally offered to rebook them elsewhere. But with no other suitable Airbnb listings, Gumport declined the offer. Airbnb then offered to pay for two nights at a hotel. “Airbnb didn’t give any type of nightly cap on cost, and frankly the island didn’t have a ton of options,” she said. “We found a great hotel and sent Airbnb the receipt.” The two-night hotel stay came out to $443.50, and Gumport received a reimbursement from Airbnb to her bank account in a few days. Airbnb also refunded the $434.22 co …