The British press has been awash with stories of the couple from west London who discovered on the first day of their two-week holiday to Ibiza that the luxury penthouse apartment they had booked through Airbnb - for an eye-watering £10,000 - did not exist.
Despite the fact that the apartment listing had 37 reviews and a five-star rating, when Ian and Denise Feltham arrived on the island, they were told the devastating news by a receptionist who also revealed this wasn’t the first time guests had been duped in this way.
The couple was then forced to shell out an extra £200 a night for alternative accommodation.
The crucial thing about this story is that Ian and Denise already had their suspicions before they arrived, when Lux Travel Collective, who had listed the site, failed to send arrival details in the lead up to the holiday or respond to any further messages. However, Airbnb told the couple they wouldn’t be refunded until they turned up to the apartment. Thus, they were left with no alternative but to fly to Ibiza.
Airbnb has since admitted it was at fault and apologised.
What this story does show is that anyone booking luxury accommodation would be wise to use a reputable agent like Simplexity Travel which guarantees that all its travel partners are rigorously checked. In the unlikely event that a problem did occur on arrival, alternative arrangements would be made at once with the minimum of inconvenience for those travelling.