‘Stranded’: Internet Backs Couple Who Ditched In-Laws Over Airbnb Dog Rules

Members of a popular internet forum flocked to the defense of one woman who left her in-laws without a place to stay after they brought their dog to a pet-free Airbnb.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Rich_Butterscotch850—otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP—said she made it clear that pets were strictly prohibited from the family’s vacation rental home and described her rage when her sister-in-law still arrived with her aging dog.

Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for canceling the AirBnB and leaving SIL basically stranded after she brought her dog?” the post has received nearly 15,000 votes and 1,400 comments in the last 11 hours.

Writing that her sister-in-law was adamant about finding a dog sitter, OP said she was assured nothing would go awry. But when she, her husband and in-laws showed up to their Airbnb location in Tampa, Florida, she was immediately made aware of one major issue.

“My [sister-in-law] and her husband were already sitting in the driveway,” OP wrote. “When they saw me pull in she asked if we got the keys yet, which we had.”

“[Then] she said ‘Oh good, give them to me quick so I can get Brute [inside] without being seen,'” OP continued. “I just stopped dead in my tracks and was like, ‘Are you f**king kidding me?'”

Before her sister-in-law even had a chance to rush the dog inside the rental property, OP said she and her husband got back into their rental car and left, returning the keys to the Airbnb owner for a full refund.

Using their Airbnb funds, OP said she booked a hotel and proceeded to spend a week soaking up the Florida sun. Her in-laws, on the other hand, were not so lucky.

“During this whole time my [sister-in-law] is blowing us up saying she [can’t] afford to stay down here…and says she [didn’t] bring anything with her,” OP wrote. “I just straight up ignored her because in my eyes, she tried ruining my trip that I 100 [percent] paid for.”

“[Now] my [mother-in-law] is down our throats saying the least we could have done was give them some money for food instead of leaving them stranded,” OP continued. “I told her ‘Nope, they can just drive back home and get food there.'”

Airbnb, once considered a cheap alternative to expensive hotels, has become a staple for travelers within the U.S. and around the world, boasting more than 5.6 million active listings, according to insurance website The Zebra.

Over the last six years, data collected by Statista shows a major increase in domestic Airbnb usership, growing from 29 million users in 2016 to a whopping 45.6 million in 2022.

However, while Business of Apps reports that 2021 saw 300 million bookings on Airbnb—a 55 percent jump from 2020—not all travelers are able to find the perfect vacation home using the behemoth rental platform.

Despite the move away from traditional hotel rooms, not all Airbnb locations are pet friendly, and those who bring pets despite pet-free policies are subject to eviction, heavy fines, poor reviews from owners and, much like ravenous party animals, can be banned from the app altogether.

In her viral Reddit post, OP noted that when she returned the keys to the Airbnb owner she’d rented from, she was told that the rental home’s pet rules were flexible, and that an exception could be made for her sister-in-law’s pooch.

It didn’t matter, however, as OP opted for a full refund and quickly secured a hotel room without thinking twice about her in-laws, or their dog.

Traveler furious at sister-in-law over dog
Members of Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole forum showed support for one woman who left her in-laws “stranded” in Florida. Above, a woman looks distressed while sitting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle.
dragana991/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the post, Redditors applauded OP for standing firm and slammed her sister-in-law for blatantly breaking the terms of a rental home she hadn’t paid a dime for.

“[Not the a**hole],” Redditor u/superfastmomma wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received more than 21,000 votes.

“If a person can’t find a dog sitter they stay home,” they continued, “If a person can’t afford snacks or food they absolutely have zero zero excuse for going on vacation.”

Redditor u/yahomeboysatan, whose comment has received more than 5,000 votes, offered a more pointed response.

“She ruined her own plans by refusing to follow explicit rules that she clearly knew she was violating,” they wrote. “She left a day before you so she had plenty of time to discuss bringing the dog if she really had issues finding someone to watch it.”

“It seems to me that she never seriously considered leaving the dog behind and thought she would get away with it if she didn’t mention it before arriving,” they added.

In a separate comment, which has received nearly 2,000 votes, Redditor u/LynnChat lamented over dog owners like OP’s sister-in-law and the reputation they create for all dog owners.

“People like your [sister-in-law] give those of us who travel with our dogs and rent vacation home a bad name,” they wrote. “If it doesn’t allow dogs I don’t rent it.”

“I would never ever pull the kind of selfish stunt she did,” they added.

Newsweek reached out to u/Rich_Butterscotch850 for comment.

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