How to deal with your first AirBnB rejection

...and avoiding a stay at heartbreak hotel.

If this isn’t the first of my posts that you’re reading, by now you may have noticed that when traveling, my preferred choice of accommodation is an AirBnB. For those who don’t know, AirBnB is essentially a peer-to-peer service that provides individuals with the opportunity to lease a spare room or their entire home to those looking a more authentic, and often cheaper, alternative to a hotel.

To book a place to stay, you just create an account, connect your Facebook profile to allow hosts to get an idea of who you are, and select your search criteria to find somewhere that meets your needs. Airbnb hosts can either chose to accept all bookings automatically or to review each booking before accepting or rejecting them. So far, all of my AirBnB stays have been memorable so when booking an upcoming weekend trip to Paris, taking a room with the service was a no-brainer.

After spending some time searching on the site I finally find somewhere. It was perfect; a private apartment with bright and airy décor, situated the picturesque Montmartre area, owned by a friendly looking woman named Lucie and, most importantly, within budget. I submitted my request to Lucie, including a small paragraph explaining that it would be my boyfriend and I staying there for the night, closed the tab thinking nothing much more about it.

Ping. My phone lights up, I glance at it, expecting to see my reservation green lighted and to carry on with the rest of my day, but no. Lucie rejected me.  I was left in shock, never had I found the Virgin Mary so relatable; Lucie’s apartment had full availability on the dates I requested, but I was left with the sentiment that there was no room in the inn.

Getting over this rejection was a painful experience that truly changed my outlook on the (AirBnB) world however, through pure will power I eventually got over it and came out a stronger woman, and in the list below, I’ve detailed the five steps in dealing with your first Airbnb rejection so that you can do it too.

1. Denial

It must just be a glitch, right? Surely someone in Airbnb HQ will rectify the problem and you’ll be packing your bags in anticipation of jetting off, arriving at your choice accommodation in no time. There was no way that they could have seen your profile, glistening reviews from previous hosts, and read the message praising their impeccable interior design taste, but still chose the reject the request.

2. Acceptance

This is the point you finally realise that refreshing the page in frantic delusion will do nothing to turn that dreaded dead, dull and grey ‘rejected’ notification into its glistening green alternative. Lucie has made up her mind and you won’t be waking up in that apartment to that view of the city.

3. Don’t take it personally

Rather than questioning whether your eyebrow game came across a tad too strong in your Facebook profile photo or whether it was the fact that back in 2007 you liked a page entitled ‘Running away from your own fart’ that led to the denial of your request, it’s time to consider that maybe it had nothing to do with you at all. In all likeliness, your rejection probably came from the fact that the room was not actually available. They may have offered the room to someone via another platform, or they’re just not able to provide the service at the time and have simply failed to make this clear on the accommodation listing.

4. Realize it’s not you, it’s them

In the rare case that they had rejected you solely on the basis of their impression of you as an individual, to truly move on from this traumatic experience, it’s necessary to realize that it is not you that’s at fault here. It’s them. Perhaps they were intimidated by your eyebrow game. Perhaps the fact that you were honest enough in 2007 to admit to your crude habit of running away enticed the fear that you would also be honest enough to drag them in a review of their listing if anything were to go wrong. Either way, they’re the ones that are at fault for making a snap judgment about your eligibility to stay in their home.

5. Brush yourself off and try again

This small setback should not define you. You are, as any host in their right mind will see, an amazing tenant and with the millions, literally millions, of listings on the site you will find someone who truly deserves your head in their bed without a problem. In the case of the trip to Paris, I bagged us an equally appealing apartment with an impressive view of the Eiffel Tower. And if, even when you do find a replacement, you’re still feeling down about your first rejection, just reassure yourself that their Wifi connection was probably shit anyway.

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