Airbnb changed instant book rules without notification

Maybe I missed an important email, but just received an instant book confirmation regarding a guest which showed “No Reviews” under their profile. This is a first, as previously all instant book guests without prior reviews were required to send in a “booking request” first. I feel that I should have been given the opportunity to opt put of instant bookings because of this change.

Do you have this second box checked?

Personally, I’d like it if AirBnB would give us the option of letting new users InstantBook but not those with a negative review. Unfortunately right now these two groups are linked.

1 Like

There have been no changes that I’m aware of. Did you double-check your booking settings to make sure the box is still checked “All guests must send a reservation requests”? I’d call Air and ask what happened…

Maybe off topic or maybe not. I could have sworn I had blocked 23-26 of Dec due to being too busy with dogs to add in Airbnb guests. But last night a request came through for a guy who has my town listed as his hometown. He books for one but tells me he and his wife will arrive at 4pm. I’m primarily irritated as I really thought the night was blocked but I also have memory lapses and even (surprise!) make mistakes. So I reply to him and tell him I’m submitting a change request to book for two. He accepts it but then I get an email from Airbnb that the payment request hasn’t gone through, they won’t be held liable for this (thanks Airbnb, what are you good for?) and that I can cancel penalty free.


So I didn’t really want to host anyone tonight anyway and certainly not anyone having money/payment problems. I tend to disregard “red flags” that bother others and I host people with no reviews without issues. I host people with payment problems without issues. But I decided to take advantage of my opportunity to cancel penalty free. I had to call since the reservation started in less than 24 hours. It took 30 minutes and two phone calls to get it done and I blew my top over them saying over the phone I could cancel penalty free because “I’m not comfortable with the guest.” No, I want to cancel because the guest has not paid. Given that I’ve hosted over 500 people in 4.6 years and only cancelled 3 reservations this experience really annoyed me.

To the point of this thread, I wonder if Airbnb is glitchy or if they have low supply and high demand and they just decided to change some settings for a few days.

1 Like

That’s wild. I suppose you could say, “yes, I’m not comfortable hosting someone for free” but then you’d have used one of your annual free IB cancellations. If those even still exist anymore!


I think they do. And I so seldom cancel and provide so many 5 star stays that I should get as many as I want. LOL. I was pissed though I said “I don’t care if I lose my SH status I want this cancelled now,” because I’d already been waiting 15 minutes. A guest can book and cancel right away if it’s within 24 hours but a host can’t. Like you are physically dependent on Airbnb to cancel it. I suppose I could have messaged the guest and said "look, you should cancel now so you can get your money back because I can’t host you, I just found out my grandma died. (She died in 1968 but I could say I just found out.)


Resolved, and thanks to Xena!
Just checked my listing and found that the relevant box was unchecked. Strange, as I had not edited any changes in quite a while and only a week ago had manually approved a guest with no prior reviews. In future I will check my listing regularly to make sure nothing changes.