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Cop26: Airbnb host in Glasgow banned after trying to charge summit delegate an extra $2,000

An Airbnb host in Glasgow has been banned from taking bookings during Cop26 after trying to squeeze an extra $2,000 from an American delegate with an existing booking.

The unidentified landlord demanded more cash from guest Tan Copsey, from Brooklyn, New York, that he had not realised the booking was during the global climate conference.

He said he was concerned about “missing out on a great deal of money.”

Mr Copsey, a director with climate-focused communications firm Climate Nexus, reported the host to Airbnb - which has now banned the landlord from accepting guests during Cop26.

He tweeted: “Having a great time with Cop26 accommodation, this guy tried to add another $2,000 to my booking. Lovely experience all-round.”

In the message exchange, the landlord said: “I have been made aware that over the course of your stay the average room price has gone up 400 per cent in my area.

“It troubles me that I have missed out on a great deal of money due to your early booking.

“I had meant to contact you earlier but was on holiday for three weeks recently and was distracted.

“I feel an additional $70 per night would be a fair adjustment in this case.

“If you care to look at alternative accommodations I understand.

The average price per night for inferior lodgings is about £400. The weekly discount still applies to the new rate. I should let you know that my property is in a super quiet neighbourhood. A five-minute walk from a train station that goes directly to the Cop6 venues. Sorry for not letting you know sooner.”

After it became clear Mr Copsey would not be keeping the booking, the landlord messaged: “I gave you the opportunity to agree to pay an additional fee to reflect the market price for short term lets during Cop26 in Glasgow. As you chose not to, I am cancelling your booking.”

Airbnb said it penalised the host, who has been barred from taking any more bookings during the conference.

A spokesman said: ”We have zero tolerance for this behaviour and have taken action against the Host and blocked them from accepting other bookings during this period. The guest has been refunded in full and we have offered support in helping them find alternative accommodation.

“Airbnb is donating all its service fees for stays in Glasgow during COP26 to Zero Waste Scotland.”

Upwards of 30,000 people, including 120 world leaders, are expected to attend the summit at the SEC from 31 October to 12 November.

Concerns have already been raised about the cost and availability of accommodation, and the Scottish Government urged people to open their doors to attendees as part of a COP26 Homestay Network, a programme set up to encourage families to offer a place to stay for free or for a low price.

Hundreds of households have already signed up for the initiative.

The Scottish Government previously said: “By offering free or low-cost accommodation, hosts can help ensure those unable to cover the costs themselves, particularly those from the Global South, can attend the summit and make their voices heard.”

Yesterday, MPs were told there was an “accommodation crisis”, with as many as 3,000 people coming to Glasgow for the global climate conference not yet having anywhere to stay and emergency accommodation being sought in gym halls and community centres.

It was previously reported that 20 properties on the Airbnb website and 30 on Booking.com were being advertised at more than £20,000 for the fortnight.

One two-bedroom duplex apartment in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove area is said to have been listed at £8,583 per night.

A Cop26 official previously said: “As hosts, it is of huge importance to the UK there are a wide of fairly-priced accommodation options available.

“We have been working with our hotel provider, MCI, to make sure this is the case.”