Got another booking request. Said “I’m booking for a weekend getaway for me and my brother”… Everything seemed fine. 2 great reviews. So I approved of course. And thanked him, with my usual ‘thank you’ message. Immediately received a message back from him…
“Hi Deb! I am going to be making my way to the cabin with the hope that my brother joins. Kind of a long story, but he’s in a tough spot. Regardless of whether or not he comes, I am looking forward to a getaway! I will be sending him a letter with an invitation and am asking him not to reach out to me if he DOES decide to join…but, I wanted to see if I could go ahead and get the address so that I can write it into my letter to him. Please let me know if this is a possibility?? I will plan to be there at 7 on Friday! Looking forward to meeting you.”
I bet I read it three times. I responded that 'I’m sorry but Airbnb doesn’t release address information until just before the arrival date. It’s a security issue. Also, because the cabin is on my residential property, I have to meet any additional guest other than the one who booked, so I would have to know IF and when he’s coming. Thanks! Deb"
I may be off my rocker ( no doubt a bit) but his message strikes me funny…A ‘letter’??? huh? and 'I don’t want him to contact me if he is coming '…??? I’m considering contacting Airbnb with this. Sure hate to cancel, as bookings are scarce these last 28 days or so. BUT…thoughts?
EDIT: It’s weird that the only two booking requests I’ve received in over a month have both been ‘odd’…The one before this, a few days back, I posted about. No info on the gal, no response, no ID, etc…In over five years have never had two in row like this, lol! And was hoping for my usual great, easy, no oddities bookings I’ve been spoiled by!
Why not just ask him for clarification? Nothing wrong with saying that you found his message a bit confusing, and you actually need a correct guest count. It is an odd message, and why he couldn’t give the address to his brother a day before arrival, rather than now, doesn’t make sense.
As far as asking for the address, it isn’t true that Airbnb only releases it shortly before arrival. As far as I’m aware, it gets released as soon as the free cancellation period is past. It’s probably right there on his confirmation.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t. I’ve had plenty of guests who’ve needed the address for various reasons and I’ve simply given it to them.
Well, in my case it is true because a few days before arrival is the end of the free cancellation period. I have a moderate policy. And yes, I could give it to him myself. But I don’t. Them getting it just prior to free cancellation is adequate in my mind. Why would you want it any sooner?
And the other odd statement that he is going to ‘send him a letter’ struck me. The reservation is for the second weekend in July, and I don’t know why he wouldn’t just email him. And I would assume that his confirmation would tell him that he would get the address as soon as the cancellation period passed. Giving him enough time to send an invitation. Doesn’t anyone think his statement “…am asking him not to reach out to me if he DOES decide to join…” is curious as well? I’m thinking this is too much information for me, why would he choose to tell me this? I really am not comfortable with guests sharing their personal issues, it’s just a red flag with me
I have not heard back from him. I think explaining to him that I would have to know ahead if his brother was coming would be the same as asking for a correct guest count, I just said it in a more clumsy way. I will go ahead and ask him for clarification, but I’m afraid it will sound like I am being nosy about this ‘brother issue’. And not sure how to word that.
Trying to be kind, but have had a few ‘scam, and weird’ types in the last few months, and feel a bit cautious when something feels funny. I think hosts who have their listing in or on their residential property feel the need to be more secure and comfortable with a prospective guest, then those who host/operate off site or with a management company. And I understand that. It seems lately that I’ve gotten more strange inquiries, just this year.
It’s definitely wise to be cautious with strange requests. It could be some kind of scam, or it’s possible that his brother isn’t tech savvy and doesn’t email and maybe doesn’t even use the phone. That’s the only explanation I can think of for writing a letter, which has more or less gone the way of the dodo.
On one hand, you’re saying that he’s giving you too much information and then on the other hand you are saying you want more information.
I understand that you’re uncomfortable with this guest for some reason but I have to say that none of it seems even remotely odd to me. He sounds friendly, polite and forthcoming. And those things make for a great guest.
I also don’t think the letter is odd. I can think of numerous explanations for it being a letter, both dull and fascinating. Perhaps they traditionally write letters to each other (my sister and I write letters, in fountain pens no less!), or his brother doesn’t use a computer (more common than you may think) or the potential guest wants to send a hand-drawn invitation to make it special… who knows, but I really can’t see why it matters.
Just because it’s not how you would do it doesn’t mean it’s odd. And even if it was truly odd, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be awesome guests.
Well, I think you misunderstand. I did not initially want more information, it was suggested here that I ask for clarification. And I felt in doing so would make me sound ‘nosy’. I think the one thing that really was 'odd ’ in him saying he did NOT want his brother to tell him he was coming. That just makes no sense to me. That would mean neither he nor I would know …and I need to know any additional guests besides the one who booked. So all I did was ask him about that after a commentor’s suggestion. I haven’t heard back, he’s a young man from his profile, so I still find all this odd. However, I have approved it, and I guess the chips will fall where they may. I will insist that if his brother does come, I will need to know when and I will need to meet him. And he can work that out however he wants. That may seem strange to some hosts, but this is my home and in today’s world…I have to be extra cautious.
Sounds like it might be some kind of reconciliation or surprise. I’d go with my gut and release it if you are comfortable.
I have a mentally ill sister and we regularly make plans that include her without being confident she will show up. He’s both over and underexplaining - his brothers struggles are none of your business - but ultimately I think “I communicate with my guest by mail so I need the address in time to send it to them by post” is a reasonable if unusual request. Personally I like to have all my addresses and maps and tickets whatnot compiled before I leave for a trip, which could be a month before I arrive at a particular Airbnb.
If I need information to be comfortable with a reservation, I ask. Hasn’t failed me yet.
My brother behaves very brusquely with me and seldom expresses much wish to get together. I can see myself saying something that might sound a little cryptic, partly because I am sensitive about it and it hurts my feelings, but also because my brother communicates with me with what seems like resentment. It’s hard to explain which might be the case for him. I can see my brother getting annoyed if he would have to let me know if he was coming so I might say don’t worry about it. But, we would be very safe guests to have on your property.
yes, this is what i’m assuming too. There’s some mental illness at play, or weird sibling dynamics.
Yes, we communicated further and I stayed with the booking. But no address until Airbnb releases it. Just a business policy I see no reason to change. He seems very sincere, and I hope I’m not mistaken.