ORLANDO INSANITY: Double Booking Nightmare Continues; People Finding Out Two Days Before Pesach


Two days ago YWN published an article about many people who booked homes in Orlando for Pesach only to have their homes cancelled or double booked.

Some people – including one website – accused YWN of fear-mongering, over-playing and exaggerating the situation on how many people were actually double-booked. One website – known for publishing fake news for years – went so far as to publish a story headlined “rumors of widespread cancellations false”. Strangely, but not surprisingly, this website then ran an article a day later advising people if there is any recourse. We can now report that the amount of cancellations are exactly as we originally reported – and possibly worse. YWN has been inundated with email after email sent by victims of double-bookings and nightmarish situations.

In fact, late Wednesday midnight, YWN was still receiving emails from people who were learning of their cancelations when arriving at their homes just two days before Yom Tov!

The following are just four of the latest cases, some of them simply heartbreaking – as people arrived after driving 20 hours to find out that another family was in their home.

The following emails sent to YWN have not been edited in any way, and are being published exactly as YWN has received them:

If you have been a victim of a double-booking this Pesach in Orlando or any other location in Florida, please click here to contact YWN. 

REAL STORY SENT TO YWN: “I am a family with 6 children and literally just pulled into my rented house driveway 15 minutes ago in Orlando (after a 19 hour drive) and our boxes which were delivered by a truck, were in a pile outside — and another family was living inside the house!”

REAL STORY SENT TO YWN: “We just drove 20 hrs and got here and we’re shocked to find out our house was “double booked. We have been in contact with the company for weeks and they did not mention a thing. We literally pulled in and asked for the house code and we’re told I’m sorry your reservation no longer exists. This is truly a disaster for us.”

REAL STORY SENT TO YWN: “My children flew in from Israel to be in Orlando and we booked tickets to be with her. We haven’t seen them in a year and half. Our home was confirmed, airlines tickets car rental food was ordered. Two weeks later our villa was cancelled saying credit card invalid. There was already a charge put through….”

REAL STORY SENT TO YWN: “I got scammed. Booked in January, just got cancelled today. Booked via VRBO, property #8123377ha, Host name Kevin Henry, Booked January 6th, Canceled March 23rd.”

REAL STORY SENT TO YWN: “I booked a house on Airbnb. When I heard about the double booking, I told my cousin who was there already to check and to make sure the house empty. When he got to the house some was there already for month. I tried to contact the host but they did not answer my messages. I called airbnb and they credit me back, but in the mean time my packages were on the way there. And we are stuck.”

[READ ALSO: Klal Yisroel Descends En Masse on Orlando, with 100K Expected for Pesach]

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. “ORLANDO INSANITY” – Perfect headline. I feel terrible for all those victims of double bookings. However, this entire Orlando business is indeed sheer insanity.

    How about instead of the headline from a few days ago: “Klal Yisroel Descends En Masse on Orlando, with 100K Expected for Pesach”, you run an article with the following headline: “Klal Yisroel prepares for a beautiful Yom Tov with their extended families, with hundreds of thousands cleaning and cooking to usher in this special Yom Tov at home.”

  2. Go home, ask you friends and family for help and make pseach as best as you can. Next year, go to Uman for yom tov…its probably a more secure option this time of year than Orlando. Its a free country and if you have the funds, its your right to drive 20 hours with 5 kids in a van to make Pesach in Florida but if you fail to book with a known owner and verify your booking repeatedly before arrival and your booking blows up don’t expect the rest of klal yisroel to feel your pain. They have enough of their own.

  3. One’s heart goes out to those people who are truly stuck.
    The noble thing to do is for the occupying tenants to invite the other family in and come to a reasonable financial arrangement. Too squishy? Unlikely.
    When Aza was bombing Sderot, many families took took in families from Sderot. Surely Orlando vacationers can do the same.

  4. Stay home and don’t waste money. Problem solved!
    PS, same families that blow a fortune on these things, are the ones always begging for a yeshiva tuition price break!

  5. Stop saying “stay home”, everyone has different circumstances. Even if someone in this terrible situation is simply a lazy filthy rich money waster, they still weren’t doing an Aveira or a crime by booking a house in Orlando for Pesach and aren’t to blame for the disaster which befell them. That’s not to mention those who simply cannot handle making Pesach but can spare a few thousand dollars. Obviously if a late double booker has even a slight suspicion that they are pricing out an existing booking and still go ahead with it ($30K for a house on March 25th? somethings wrong there).

  6. Maybe next time don’t go on holidays when the whole world is suffering

    במדרש שיר השירים רבה (פרשה ב’): “אמר רבי חייא בר אבא, סמוך לימות המשיח דֶבֶר גדול בא לעולם והרשעים כלים, ‘והגפנים סמדר נתנו ריח’ אלו הנשארים, ועליהם נאמר (ישעיהו ד, ג) והיה הנשאר בציון והנותר בירושלים קדוש יאמר לו כל הכתוב לחיים בירושלים”.

  7. Here we go again with all the nasty comments from people green with envy and stuck at home how the lesson to be learned is stay at home. Why is that the lesson? Who says? Are you God? And for that one commenter that said sorry we can’t feel your pain we have enough of our own take a good look at yourself in the mirror and try to figure out how you dropped to such low levels. I would hope that you have unlimited empathy and that the people in your life have the same for you. Truly disgusting….

  8. SUE! SUE! SUE! YWN, next year, if Moshiach is cholila not here yet, please remind the oilom of what happened this year so they won’t make the same mistake again.

  9. Please let us know the name of “that one website – known for publishing fake news for years”.

    It’s not loshon ho’rah because it has a to’eles for the klal to know that the website is unreliable and to be cautious when reading any reports there.

    Name their name!

    You have an achrayus to do so!

  10. Orlando is not nearly as expensive as going to a hotel with a large family so it is not just wealthy families doing this. Some families do not have homes large enough to accommodate their larger family and Orlando houses are often 8-9 bedroom for “only” $8k for 2 full weeks. It is a way for extended families to get together without the heavy burden of cleaning and more room. Most families in Orlando cook all the food themselves and have a very similar kind of Pesach they would have at home just in nice climate and change of scenery. If people want to stay at home, great but don’t judge others that want something different to suit their needs.

  11. How about this-when the family that is looking around for a place to stay hears people say “kol dichfin…” just knock on the door and ask for a place at the table and a bed.

  12. If you’re an Ehrlicha Yid and this happened to you I show sympathy and feel your pain. But if your a guy who recently due to COVID recently raised all your kollel tenants rents and throw in new “parking fees” and other fees to dry to milk Kollel guys dry,than all I could say is Yeish Din V’yeish Dayin, take a good look in the mirror and hope that this isn’t a mere tip of the iceberg that Hashem is showing you for taking advantage of people who give up the luxuries of life in order to sit and learn.
    You try to show off with the extra money you took from Kollel guys and it all flopped!

  13. Also if you’re big hustler who doesn’t care to steal a deal from someone who’s not as tough as you, you’re just getting a sweet taste of your own vicious actions.

  14. Call Chabad in Boynton Beach, Rabbi Sholom Ciment. Ask him and he will help you find a place to stay and make Seder. I will see him Friday 7.45am Minyan and arrange 2 homes for anyone stranded.
    If you are stuck Erev Yom tov, Boynton is 3 hours south of Orlando.

  15. @ Gadolhadorah,
    Yes, by all means go to Uman! Feed the Jew-murdering Ukrainians!
    Here’s a though…..STAY HOME WITH YOUR FAMILY, where you BELONG, and save a fortune in the process!

  16. I feel terrible for those that were taken advantage of this year for Pesach. As I recall this is nothing new in Orlando and I have to wonder if the same people are responsible as before. Chag Kosher VeSameach to everyone.

  17. yankelsays, the problem with Chabad is that they do not allow gebrokts or machine matzos. Oneg yom tov requires matza kneidlech like in der alte heim eaten by all gedolei Yisroel, and machine matzos have the great advantage of lacking human error which is inevitable with hand matzos.