Airbnb cancellation policy & IB

When building a new listing Airbnb repeatedly pushes for instant book. I’m aware of 3 cases where the host turned it off & it miraculously became active. I know this host had turned off IB.

New host received IB with message it’s a booking for family members, she’s local so 3rd party booking.

New host attempts to cancel and gets warnings of penalties & up-charges for moving the guest for a more expensive rental!

It’s IB so up to 3 per year should be no penalty.

Calls Airbnb, they agree to cancel with no penalty because it is a 3rd party booking.

If you use IB it seems now we must call Airbnb to cancel unwanted bookings.

Update: Airbnb contacted guest & told her to cancel. She didn’t. I will update later

Update 2: house next door has a cabin style apartment in basement. Neighbor knows my host friend & local booking guest. Now pressuring to accept booking.

She accepted the booking now afraid it will damage neighbor relationship if declined.
Next day booking guest cancelled reservation. Something about parents not being comfortable. IB now definitely turned off.

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Sadly a different Airbnb rep might tell you something different. All we can do it document and keep pushing. It seems there have been a few more instances than usual of Airbnb coming through for hosts lately. May you be one of them!


The last time I used an IB cancelation (5 months ago?), I called in. And the CC said that they no longer do it from their end and that I had to do it online. He even offered to walk me through it while still on the phone. I said no thank you but then he said, “well make sure you either choose either something or something as the reason so that it is penalty-free.”

Sorry, I don’t remember which two he said, but I think they’re fairly obvious when you’re looking at them. But as @Christine_Shirtcliff noted, a different rep might say something different.

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I require information from my guests within 24 hours of their booking. When I get their answers it becomes obvious if it’s a third-party booking. I then explain they need to cancel within 48 for it to be penalty free.

I then tell them that before they cancel, they should set up an account with the actual guest. Once approved, they should cancel the third party booking and immediatly send me the request for the correct people. (I ask them to send me their name).

It’s a pain in the a$$ but it works. If the guest at that point won’t cancel, then I would get Airbnb involved via the app to request a cancellation do to an Airbnb rule being broken.


I’m a cohost and always recommend new hosts turn off IB for the first few months to help them become familiar with vetting guests @Annet3176

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I do too. We determined that although this host has turned off instant book at least 2x when the listing was published it turned on again. Lesson learned-check IB status when goes live. Airbnb really pushes for IB.


yes you need to turn it off once the listing goes live @Annet3176