Airbnb internal glitch cancels trips after account deactivations

Worldwide: An internal glitch during “routine maintenance” on the Airbnb platform accidentally caused the cancellation of guests’ bookings and the deactivation of some user accounts  

Airbnb allayed fears that the glitch was a hack or data breach, saying that it was instead a “system issue” that affected “a very small subset of user accounts”.

A number of users reported seeing “Reservation cancelled” on their accounts, as well as an immediate refund.

Others took to social media to complain about delays of up to three days in getting a response from the platform over deleted reservations and deposits. Some hosts, meanwhile, added that they had seen “more than a dozen” of their bookings cancelled in one go and that Airbnb had so far failed to get back to them.

Promising a “thorough” investigation into the matter, Airbnb said in a statement: “We apologise to those users impacted by this incident and have restored their accounts, in addition to providing rebooking support for impacted reservations.”

It comes less than two months after a previous Airbnb “glitch” was reported, whereby hosts claimed that they were able to see other hosts’ private inboxes on their accounts, as well as discussions between hosts and guests, including details about addresses and codes to enter the properties.

At the time, customer service at the 24-7 support line recommended to clear browser cookies or to use a different internet browser if and when hosts could see others reporting the same issue.

The error will be unwelcome news to both Airbnb and potential investors seeking to invest in the company’s upcoming initial public offering [IPO], which is scheduled to be filed next week and give the platform a $30 billion+ valuation.

Airbnb is preparing to list on Nasdaq and it is reportedly considering also listing on the Long-Term Stock Exchange [LTSE]. LTSE  launched earlier this year and aims to incentivise companies to focus on long-term investors, set up diversity and environment initiatives, and review their corporate governance.