- Two Boy Scout troops from Georgia traveled to Key West for a summer getaway.
- WSVN 7 News reported that the troops rented two Airbnb homes to fit all 24 attendees.
- The group arrived at an empty lot with no rental properties to be found.
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Two Boy Scout troops from Georgia discovered the Airbnb houses they rented in Florida were nonexistent.
Troop leader Scott Mulkey and 24 Boy Scouts planned a trip to the Florida Keys this month for a summer getaway full of snorkeling, fishing, and camping.
“It’s more of a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing that most of the scouts do,” Mulkey told local outlet WSVN 7 News on Friday. “It’s just a good time for us to make some memories with our scouts while we can.”
Mulkey did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Mulkey told WSVN 7 News that troops 5506 and 506 had booked two Airbnb rentals that could accommodate the large group. However, the group reportedly sensed something was wrong with their separate bookings even before arriving in the Keys.
Mulkey noticed that it appeared the two groups rented the same house through different hosts, WSVN 7 News reported.
“The pictures were all exactly identical, and all for Big Pine Key,” he told the outlet.
According to WSVN 7 News, the groups decided to push forward with their plans after contacting Airbnb and being told the rentals were legitimate.
But all they found was an empty lot surrounded by mangroves and marshland when they arrived on Thursday.
Mulkey chronicled his shock in videos shared to Twitter.
“It’s supposed to be a brand-new home near the beach,” Mulkey said in one video. “Explain to me, how is this not fraud? There’s no home here. There’s no address here. There’s absolutely nothing here. Exactly what is it that we’re supposed to be renting?”
An Airbnb spokesperson told Insider that the groups would get a full refund.
“We are very sorry that both groups had to encounter this type of experience, and we fully refunded them in addition to offering Airbnb credit in case they are willing to give us another chance for their next vacation,” the spokesperson said. “This type of situation is extremely rare, but when it happens, we take action to protect the integrity of our platform. To that end, these listings have been removed and all associated hosts have been suspended pending further investigation.”
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