Video Shows Wedding Guests Stranded After Booking Luxurious Airbnb That's Under Construction
"Left .. Standing on the side of the road."
More than a dozen wedding guests found themselves seriously out of luck when they discovered their Airbnb rental had gotten cold feet: It was still under construction when they arrived. The guests say they had no luck getting help from the company until a relative's TikTok videos went viral. Read on to see the not-ready-for-prime-time home they discovered, and what happened after that.
Renee Menzies posted the story on TikTok last week. In town for a wedding, twelve of her relatives arrived at the Airbnb listing in the Australian resort town of Byron Bay. They discovered a few things were missing from the home. Like a floor. And an oven, and a refrigerator. "My family turned up to this today," Menzies said in the video, which has racked up more than 230,000 views and more than 500 comments. "A completely vacant home, in the middle of a massive renovation."
The home was clearly uninhabitable: Its rooms contained little more than industrial subflooring, walls were only partially painted, and a stove and refrigerator sat outside on the back porch waiting to be installed. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.
Menzies alleged Airbnb gave the party "No warning, and when they rang you for help you accused them of lying, wouldn't help find somewhere else to stay and wouldn't provide them a refund," she said. "You left 12 people and 3 kids under 3 literally standing on the side of the road."
The next day, Menzies posted another video, claiming the company had left her family high and dry. "Hey @airbnb still no communication from you after our family turned up to this yesterday. Left stranded on the side of the road, literally, with 3 toddlers and nowhere to go," she said. Menzies said it took days for the family to receive a refund but that they were reimbursed for the additional expense of finding another place to stay.
"Don't think there'd be many windows left in that building if that'd happened to me!" wrote one commenter. "This is unbelievable!!!!! The owners thought this was okay to stay in?" said another. "That's why hotels and motels are better! And you don't get charged a $200 cleaning fee (unless you trash it)," said another.
In a statement to Newsweek, Airbnb said it had worked to resolve the situation. "We were disappointed to learn about this experience and have fully refunded the guest and provided rebooking assistance," the company said. "We have taken appropriate action on the Host while we investigate further and reached out to the guest to provide further support. In the rare event something isn't as expected on arrival for a stay, our Community Support team is on hand 24/7 to help." "Our team is very much focused on ensuring each stay is a positive experience for guests, Hosts and the wider community," the company added. "That's why this year we introduced AirCover for guests, the most comprehensive protection in travel, included for free with every stay."
@reneescbfs Hey @airbnb – my family turned up to this today. A completely vacant home, in the middle of a massive renovation. No warning, and when they rang you for help you accused them of lying, wouldn't help find somewhere else to stay and wouldn't provide them a refund. You left 12 people and 3 kids under 3 literally standing on the side of the road. #fyp #foryoupage #airbnb #airbnbaustralia #rentaldisaster #airbnbexperience #airbnbdisaster #byronbay #holidayaccommodation ♬ Oh No – Kreepa
@reneescbfs Hey @airbnb still no communication from you after our family turned up to this yesterday. Left stranded on the side of the road, literally, with 3 toddlers and nowhere to go. #airbnbdisaster #airbnbexperience #airbnbaustralia #airbnb #foryoupage #fyp #holidaytiktok #bryonbay #nswtourism #airbnbfinds #airbnbhost ♬ CUFF IT – Beyoncé