A Travel Horror Story: Couple Spends Almost $12,000 On An Airbnb Listing That Didn’t Exist

By Kelsey Marie


Wanna hear a travel horror story? Paying for your Airbnb only to find out it doesn’t exist. This happened to Ian and Denise Feltham, a couple from the UK, after making vacation plans for Ibiza, Spain. 

The couple paid about $11,800 for a two-week stay in a luxurious Airbnb listing in a VIP penthouse, including a hot tub, Turkish bath, and marble-decked terrace. 

Traveling with their two Yorkshire terriers, the Feltham’s wanted an accommodation that was pet-friendly which led them to their dream Airbnb listing — or so they thought. 

Feltham began to feel concerned about the listing days prior to the trip and contacted Airbnb but he says he was passed around from one representative to the next. One of the representatives wrote the Feltham’s to let them know she was going on vacation and instead of offering help, she gave them numbers to call if they “felt the situation was urgent,” recalls Feltham. 

Lux Travel Collective posted the listing but had become unresponsive days before their scheduled arrivals. There were also lots of details left out which left the couple worried. 

The Feltham’s decided to show up at their already paid for accommodation only to be refused by the building’s reception. 

CNN Travel reached out to Ian Feltham through LinkedIn’s messaging system and he recalled having to scramble with his wife to find a pet-friendly accommodation after realizing the listing did not actually exist. 

“They are rubbish, faceless organization,” Feltham tells CNN in a LinkedIn message.

The Sunday Times told the story of the scammed couple resulting in the photos of the Airbnb listing being removed. According to CNN Travel, the photos were compiled from condos for rent or sale on the Las Boas complex’s website. 

The staff at the Las Boas complex says the Airbnb listing is fake and of the 40 units on the property, this accommodation does not exist. 

An owner of a Las Boas unit, Maria Cala says, “there are some nice penthouses in the building with direct access by lift” but there are no private lifts like the listing said. 

Airbnb is currently handling the situation and has released a statement: “Our handling of this issue fell below our usual high standards and we have reached out to the guest to apologize and refund them in full. We have suspended the listing while we investigate and are continuing to work with the guest to make things right.”

Travel Noire

Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie

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