14th February 2020 – (London) A 31-year-old Taiwanese PhD student, Louise Hsin-Yuan Peng studying at Yale University was shocked when her London Airbnb host cancelled her book when she flew there due to coronavirus fears. As soon as she landed at Heathrow Airport, the landlord sent a message to her and she felt discriminated by the xenophobia shown.
Louise has not travelled to China for years and she was appalled by the host for not reaching out to ask her about her travel history before the cancellation. She had to stay over at a friend’s place for one night before staying in a hotel for two nights. She booked the Airbnb apartment in London for 3 months to carry out her research work and she had to find alternative accommodation as a result.
She complained about the incident to Airbnb who subsequently refunded her due to discrimination.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has called the incident “disgraceful and un-Australian”.