Woman Turns to Ted for refund help after winter storm canceled trip

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Tatiana Lamy planned on spending her birthday skiing in Denver.

"I've never worn skis, so I was going to be on the bunny slopes with the little people," Lamy said.

Lamy said her sister gifted her the trip to Colorado and she was set to leave on February 18, but like thousands of Texans, she ended up stuck in a dark, cold and powerless home for days.

"The snowpocalypse came and cancelled my plans pretty much," Lamy told ABC13's Ted Oberg. "We literally couldn't go because we were without power in Houston for about five days at that point."

She says she contacted the Airbnb host before the trip to let them know about how the power outages and weather conditions in Texas temporarily shut down travel and that she needed to cancel the trip because there was no way she could make it. She also asked about a refund.

"Basically, she told me that, at that point, they would only be able to refund me the cleaning fee, which I believe was like $300, but the total for the trip was almost $1,300 and that was basically pretty much unacceptable," Lamy said.

She said the host suggested she reach out to Airbnb directly to ask about their extenuating circumstances policy, but after doing that, Lamy said Airbnb couldn't help her with the refund either.

For months, she went back and forth between Airbnb and the host and soon thought the money was gone for good after getting nowhere with the refund.

"My brother had mentioned Ted to me some months ago just in casual conversation and once I got this final rejection, basically from Airbnb, I was like, 'Can you please send me the information?'" Lamy said. "I submitted it online and I saw something that said you guys read them, but you may not respond so I'm like 'God please let them answer this email,' so when you responded, I was like 'Oh my God! Thank you so much!' because I didn't know what else to do at this point."

Our Turn to Ted team reached out to Airbnb to ask about their refund policy in situations like Lamy's and they assured us they were looking into it.

Within weeks, the payment was refunded in full.

"Our Customer Support team strives to go above and beyond when things don't go as planned, and after a review of our initial support and the circumstances which led to this cancellation, we've provided a full refund to the guest for their reservation," Airbnb said in a statement to ABC13.

More information about Airbnb's Extenuating Circumstances Policy is available online.

Lamy said she knows she's lucky she survived the storm and her power eventually came back. But now, with how unpredictable Houston's weather is, she said she will always check the cancellation policy before booking a trip.

"It's an extreme relief because that was a lot of money," Lamy said. "it was almost $1,300 and I mean, for them to tell me that there wasn't anything that they can do to help me. That was very frustrating."

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