A Boston couple say they got the scare of their lives during an Airbnb stay in Los Angeles, ending with broken glass, police helicopters and thousands of dollars lost.
Medical residents Jaleesa Jackson and Chiedozie Uwandu thought their stay at an Airbnb property would be relaxing, but it turned out to be a terrifying experience, they said in an interview with the Boston Globe.
The two traveled to sunny Los Angeles in June, staying at the guesthouse of a so-called “super host” with the short-term rental company.
The first morning of their stay, they told the Boston Globe that they were awoken with loud knocking and yelling at the front door. Turns out, the person on the other side of the door was their Airbnb host, who they say dismissed the incident and said, “Sorry about the confusion. Life’s too short for me to give you an explanation. Have a nice time in LA.”
It didn’t end there.
That night, a man came crashing through the window of the bedroom where Jackson and Uwandu slept. That man was the same Airbnb “super host,” who broke free from Uwandu’s hold and escaped.
The pair recalled police helicopters flew overhead, and officers eventually brought the Airbnb host, JJ, back to the property. The couple said they discovered that JJ rented the guesthouse from an elderly woman and that he was not authorized to rent the space.
Jackson and Uwandu said in the interview that they checked into a nearby Hilton after the experience, spending $2,300 for the room, parking and other expenses. They said they asked for Airbnb for $5,000 to compensate their wild stay, but the company offered them $2,500 and five therapy sessions instead.
“There have been over 300 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date; and negative incidents are extremely rare,” Airbnb said in a statement to USA TODAY when reached for comment about Jackson and Uwandu’s story. They added that the host had been removed.
The company later added, “Our original handling of this incident fell well below the high standards we set for ourselves. We have apologized to Dr. Jackson and Dr. Uwandu for our insufficient response. We are currently working with them to make this right, and we are reviewing every aspect of this case from the reports of the host’s disturbing behavior to our response. Our community’s safety is our priority, we are deeply sorry for the anguish and inconvenience our guests have experienced and again we are working to make it right.”
USA TODAY has reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department for comment.
Even actress Gabrielle Union weighed in on the too-bad-to-be-true experience the couple endured.
“This is a nightmare and @Airbnb needs to do WAY more to protect their guests and make things right when they go so wrong,” Union tweeted on Tuesday. “This could have ended alot worse.”