Couple Says They Were Locked Out Of Airbnb Rental

Imagine being stranded in a foreign country in the middle of the night. That's what happened to one local couple when they were locked out of their Airbnb.

John Gray and his husband Garth Person have traveled all over the world. One of there favorite places to travel is Israel. They browsed through Airbnb and found a home ... the perfect home.

"It had expansive beach views, it was all new, we were excited to go," said Person.

The couple would be arriving in the middle of the night, so the host provided them with a code for a lockbox where they would find the key to get inside.

But when they got to the lockbox, they said there was no key.

The couple said they were locked out and their host was unresponsive, so they had no choice but to walk in the middle of the night, in the rain, until they found the nearest hotel, which cost them $340.

They were furious and called Airbnb.

"She told me, 'You know, oh yes this is a problem. You know, we take this very seriously,'" said Gray.

They said Airbnb re-booked them with another host for the rest of their stay, agreed to reimburse them for the hotel and offered 10 percent off their next booking. But when the couple got home, they said Airbnb backtracked.

"Two or three different times they said, 'Sorry. We can't help you,'" said Person.

The couple said Airbnb wouldn't reimburse them for the hotel, or provide the 10 percent credit.

But after days of back and fourth they said Airbnb agreed to give them $97 back.

"To be stranded in the middle of the night, in the rain storm, in a foreign country, $97 is an insult," Grey said.

So, NBC 5 contacted Airbnb.

The company apologized saying, "We strive to provide exceptional customer service and work hard to support our community when things don't go as planned."

A supervisor acknowledged that an agent did promise to reimburse them for the hotel stay, but didn't write it down in their notes.

After we got involved, the company agreed to refund them $340 for the hotel and an additional credit for their next stay.

Airbnb does have a travel refund policy and said it will reimburse guests who experience travel issues, but it's at Airbnb's discretion.

The couple said the host told them it was a mix-up and that he put someone else in their unit by mistake.

They said the host refused to pay for their hotel, so thankfully Airbnb stepped up and did the right thing.

Contact Us