Ian and Denise Feltham from west London spent £10,000 ($12,297) to book a luxurious apartment in Ibiza, believing they were getting a “hot tub, Turkish bath and private lift to the VIP room at the Las Boas complex"— unfortunately, the place did not exist, writes Zoe Drewett of the UK’s highest-circulating newspaper Metro.
The complex had 37 reviews and a five-star rating. The couple took their Yorkshire terriers, Ross and Honey, on their trip. Upon their arrival, Ian and Denise were informed by the receptionist: “There isn’t such a thing as the VIP Penthouse in Las Boas.” Ian states, “A gentleman who lived in the building said they get tourists turning up all the time and that it’s a very big problem,” as quoted by Kate Palmer of London-based daily newspaper The Times.
|Photo Credit: Denise Feltham on Facebook (via Metro UK)|
Thus, the couple booked a place at the last minute at a dog-friendly accommodation 40 miles away, setting them back £200 ($245) a night. According to the Felthams, they became suspicious when Lux Travel Collective, who had listed the site, did not provide them with the arrival details of their stay. Ian attempted to contact the company’s number, but the receptionist could not “find any details about the booking.” Airbnb told Ian that he could only get a refund if they showed up at the apartment and “were not given a room.”
|Photo Credit: Denise Feltham on Facebook (via The Times UK)|
The Felthams flew to Ibiza with their dogs, but they were turned away. The apartment was still listed until The Times contacted the company. The firm then decided to remove the listing and a full refund offered to the couple. “What checks did Airbnb even do? I now realise the photos on the site could’ve been from any one of 30 apartments in the building,” Ian comments.
An Airbnb spokesperson acknowledged that the lodging company’s handling of the issue fell below their usual standards. They reached out the Felthams to apologize, as well as offered them a full refund. The spokesperson adds, “We have suspended the listing while we investigate and are continuing to work with the guest to make things right.”