I rented out my tiny Airbnb - and came home to find 50 US servicemen having a party

PUBLISHED: 09:50 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:50 17 May 2017

Sara Bear's barn conversion where it is claimed more than 50 men and women from RAF Lakenheath attended an unauthorised party. Picture: Sara Bear

Sara Bear's barn conversion where it is claimed more than 50 men and women from RAF Lakenheath attended an unauthorised party. Picture: Sara Bear


An American serviceman is being investigated after he allegedly punched a man who came home to find his two-bed holiday let occupied by more than 50 military personnel.

Sara Bear and her partner let their converted barn, which is behind their family home in Breckland, out to the public on the hospitality website Airbnb.

Ms Bear claims a servicewoman from RAF Lakenheath booked the property under the pretence that there were two of them who wanted “a quiet weekend”.

In the early hours of Saturday morning Ms Bear and her partner were in Norwich when they got a text from their neighbour telling them they needed to get home.

When they arrived home at around 1.15am she said there were more than 50 servicemen in her “tiny” holiday let.

She said: “When I walked around the holiday let it was just rammed. They had brought smoke machines, their own sound machine, disco lights and tables. I called the police and we started asking people to leave.”

She added: “Most of them just left fine. They were quite respectful. They were surprised when we turned up. A couple of them were annoyed we had ruined their party and they had a lot to say about it. One of the servicemen punched my partner.”

He suffered cuts to his cheek and mouth. Norfolk police have said they are currently investigating an assault.

Lieutenant Elias Small, 48th Fighter Wing public affairs officer at RAF Lakenheath, said: “We are aware of the alleged incident involving an airman from RAF Lakenheath and are cooperating fully with the investigation being conducted by police authorities.

“While I can’t discuss ongoing investigations, I can tell you that we hold our airmen to high standards and expect them to treat their fellow wingmen and community neighbours with dignity and respect.”

An Airbnb spokesman said: “We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, have removed the guest while we investigate, and are providing our support to the host. There have been over 160 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings and bad experiences are extremely rare.”

Ms Bear said the “sheer volume” of people has caused tiles in the kitchen to come loose and damage was caused to her freezer door.

The 37-year-old added: “I just don’t think it is right that 50 people, whether they are university students, friends or airmen representing another country, have a party in some body’s home in false pretences.

“I think it is important that this is not allowed to happen again.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories


Ely Craft, Spirit and Wine Festival returns to The Maltings on Sunday December 2.


Ely’s Christmas lights switch on 2018 is set to be a thriller evening as crowds will be rocked by Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury tributes.


A clever Ely student has qualified for two maths competitions aimed at children in the year above her.

Yesterday, 18:25

The chairman of new Brexit Secretary’s North East Cambridgeshire constituency association tonight welcomed his promotion – but in the same interview felt it was time for the prime minister to go.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Ely Standard weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy