Taylor Swift fans angry as Airbnb hosts cancel bookings at last minute ahead of Sydney concerts

 

Some Taylor Swift fans have been forced to pay exorbitant prices for a bed after Airbnb hosts in Sydney cancelled last minute. ()

In short: Taylor Swift fans attending her concerts in Sydney claim Airbnb hosts are cancelling their bookings at the last minute.
The ACCC says accommodation providers must not “mislead consumers about the reasons for any cancellations”.
Hotel occupancy and short-term rental occupancy rates across Sydney’s CBD and Sydney Olympic Park are nearing 100 per cent capacity.

For some Taylor Swift fans, getting to Sydney hasn’t been a true ‘Love Story’, with claims Airbnb hosts are cancelling their bookings at the last minute.

It has left some with no choice but to pay exorbitant prices for a roof over their heads.

 

Fans in costume line in a queue to buy merchandise with a black 'Taylor Swift The Eras Tour' sign

Swift is playing four sold-out shows at Sydney Olympic Park stadium this weekend.

 

About 75,000 are expected to attend each night and the Australian Hotels Association is anticipating a

A man with tattoos of Taylor Swift on his arms looks at the camera.

Taylor fan Matthew Robinson has been forced to pay a large amount for a new hotel after his Airbnb in Sydney cancelled last minute. (Supplied: Matthew Robinson )

Matthew Robinson is flying from Brisbane to Sydney tomorrow to see the singer perform on Monday night.

Despite putting down a deposit in July 2023, and making another payment last week, his Airbnb host cancelled on him and his friend on Monday.

“He and I kind of had a meltdown about it,” Mr Robinson said.

“We booked the Airbnb pretty much same day, as soon as we got the tickets,” he said.

Mr Robinson said the hosts told them the property had been damaged by the prior occupants and it was not in good enough condition for them to stay.

He had originally paid $1,200 for a two-bedroom apartment for four nights and is now paying a little over $1,000 for a “downgrade” in a studio hotel room.

“Hotels in Sydney especially this close to Taylor were just exorbitant,” he said.

“Airbnb prices were between four and five thousand dollars.”

Hotels give rooms to people willing to pay highest price

Taylor Swift Facebook pages are littered with complaints from fans experiencing similar situations, some claiming the property owner cancelled on them and shortly after re-posted at a far higher price.

Isabella Schofield said her family’s hotel bookings was cancelled, and they nearly fell for what appeared to be scams on a major online booking site.

“A place had photos of this beautiful hotel but when we put in the address for the hotel it came up as some place that was for sale,” Ms Schofield said.

“There was one where … when we put the address to see how far it was from Accor (stadium) we found at that it wasn’t even real,” she said.

Her family group of six managed to get last-minute tickets a week ago.

“The scamming wasn’t just with the Taylor Swift tickets itself it was for the bookings as well for the accommodation,” she said.

A young blonde woman smiles at the camera.

Taylor Swift fan Isabella Schofield.(Supplied: Isabella Schofield)

They are driving nine hours from Brisbane because she said it was a cheaper option than paying approximately $1,000 each for return flights.

She has now secured an “expensive” hotel and expects to pay about $5,000 herself, considering fuel, accommodation, tickets, merchandise, and food.

Hotel occupancy and short-term rental occupancy rates across Sydney’s CBD and Sydney Olympic Park are nearing 100 per cent capacity, making it difficult for anyone to book at the last minute.

Accommodation Australia expects it to be a record-breaking February.

The ABC has spoken to people that arrived at their hotel in Sydney to find out their room has been given to someone else willing to pay a higher rate.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said accommodation providers must comply with the Australian Consumer Law, including “not misleading consumers about the reasons for any cancellations”.

It said, “where services are cancelled in circumstances where the provider has not met these consumer guarantees, consumers are entitled to a remedy”.

And “where the failure to meet these consumer guarantees is a major failure, consumers are entitled to their choice of a refund or replacement service”.

Airbnb said they enforce a host cancellation policy to minimise disrupted plans.

“In addition to a cancellation fee, other consequences apply, such as preventing the host from accepting another reservation for the listing on the affected dates by blocking the listing’s calendar,” they said in a statement.

“In these rare cases, we encourage guests who have experienced host cancellations where the property is relisted for the same dates, to contact our 24/hr customer support team so that we can investigate and take the appropriate action.”

Taylor’s boyfriend touches down

Meanwhile, Taylor Swift’s NFL Super Bowl-winning boyfriend Travis Kelce has touched down in Sydney after days of speculation if he was coming to support her on tour.

WATCH

Duration: 34 seconds

Taylor Swift swung by Sydney Zoo during her visit, while her boyfriend Travis Kelce landed in the Harbour City this morning.

Fans are hoping he will make an appearance at one of all the four Sydney shows at Homebush, starting on Friday night.

Swift herself was spotted on a day out at the Sydney Zoo yesterday with some of her dancers.

She and Kelce were spotted at the zoo again on Thursday night.

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