Asking AirBnB to cancel reservation - Is this normal?

We got a reservation from a son for his father. His messages clearly indicate that he won’t be staying himself, and that it will only be his father. So it’s a third party reservation. I’m not automatically against this, because sometimes guests are just not tech savvy to handle all the AirBnB :poop:. So I asked our standard questions to the son: Arrival (flight, bus, time)? And dietary restrictions for breakfast? The son basically answered: Here is his phone number, call with my dad.

This was a bridge too far for me, because it only indicated that communication between father and son is problematic, and the father without a doubt doesn’t know what he’s getting into. I also don’t think that it’s our job to be calling his father. So we felt uncomfortable and decided we wanted to have this reservation canceled.

So knowing the advice most on this forum always give, I called AirBnB. The guy on the phone totally understood, but instead of just canceling he send it to a case manager. :flushed:
Is this normal?:thinking::thinking::thinking:

Now I’m having this conversation with a case manager through messaging:
Raquel: … Thank you. So, feel free to correct me, but, as far as I understood, you don’t feel comfortable with the fact that your guest, who booked the reservation , will not honor the reservation. His father will go in his behalf.
Me: (Explanation) + Can you handle the cancelation of this reservation, assuring that there will be no repercussions for us?
Raquel: I will contact your guest and will return to you as soon as possible.
Raquel: If, eventually, I need to cancel in your guest behalf, can you consider any kind of refund, please?
Me: If you free up our calendar today, we don’t mind refunding 100%, of course as long as it doesn’t cost us anything. I think we are on flexible, so my guess is, he gets a refund anyway.

Is this the normal process? It looks like they’re doubting canceling :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:. All this while it’s clearly against their own policies. Why does she need to contact the guest? Why does she ask me about the refund when we are on flexible?

Raquel: Thank you so much.
Me: Raquel, just to make thing clear: The son Henry never had the intention to stay. He made the reservation for his father. But most likely his father is totally clueless.
Raquel: Yes, I understand. I am already in contact with him.

Meanwhile the son sends me a photo of him and his father, starts explaining that his father isn’t good with apps, and kind of asks if we can accept the third party booking.
AKWARD ! So basically now AirBnB wants us to accept third party bookings? :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:

ME: Hi Raquel, As you can notice in the messages, this guest has started communicating with me again. I guess that this is in response to your communication with him. Please clarify for me if you (AirBnB) are now pushing me to accept a 3rd party booking against Airbnb Terms of Service?
To be honest, I am a bit surprised by this course of events.
RAQUEL: Hello, As I told you before, I am in contact with your guest, in order to inform him that Airbnb does not allow 3rd party booking and that he needs to cancel. Because transparency and trust are crucial to ensure a secure Airbnb experience, it is not possible to book on behalf of someone else. Third-party bookings are in violation of our Terms of Service, and as a result we cannot ensure protection under said Terms of Service, cancellation and refund policies, and other safeguards. Please keep in mind that we never encourage 3rd party booking or any kind of reservation that can make you feel uncomfortable as a host.
RAQUEL: I can assure you that I am here to help you.
ME: Glad to get that confirmed. Thank you. Now would it be possible to clear our calendar?
Also, to be honest, I would rather not have this guest, even if you guide him to making his own account. I hope you understand that this is getting off on the wrong foot, and that we don’t want to be faced with an unsatisfied guest to begin with.
Thank you so much Raquel.

Is it normal that she is asking the guest to cancel, instead of just cancelling herself?

Oh bother, sounds like you have a clueless CS person as well! Maybe send another communication to her. “please clarify for me if you are instructing me to accept a 3rd party booking against Airbnb Terms of Service”

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Thanks, I have just asked her in exactly your wording.

Oh :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::poop:, am I abnormal to feel really awkward about this course of events? I don’t want to have friction with guests before they arrive. Exactly for this reason we decided to not continue communicating with this guest but instead to have the reservation canceled. And now this happens.

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Argh, you have a dummy on the line at CS, they made a third party booking which is against the TOS. They need to cancel it for you and stop fiddle farting around.

As for the guest begging, just say no. Guests who are trouble before they arrive will always be trouble after.


I wouldn’t call him trouble yet, it’s just: I don’t want a “dad” in my place who is clueless about what AirBnB is about, clueless about our house rules, etc. … And who will write the review afterwards? No, no thanks AirBnB.
If the son had just shown that he was communicating everything well with his dad, we would have accepted. But is it so impossible to call your dad and say ‘Hey, when and how are you arriving in Lima’ ? Aarrrggggghhhh :confounded::confounded::confounded:

@dpfromva @konacoconutz Have you ever canceled a third party reservation and was this also the course of events? I was expecting that they would just simply cancel after our phone call.

Okay, call it “pre-trouble.” :rofl:

I’m not on IB so I vet every reservation request super carefully, including perusing what they’ve said about other hosts via the handy dandy chrome extension.


Totally disengage with all communication with the guest. Just ignore them. They only care now they know they’re going to get daddy’s booking cancelled. Had he not been so rude and responded to your dietary and checkin questions none of this would have happened. Let him work that out

@GutHend, I recently had a similar experience, and I think it boils down to abysmally trained CSRs.

In my situation, the guest contacted me 3 days before check in to let me know she wouldn’t be able to come, so she’d be sending some friends of hers in her stead. Like you, I will entertain certain 3rd party bookings, but I just didn’t like the sound of this plan.

Called Air and the rep I got first totally misunderstood what I was trying to tell him, accused me of leading a guest offsite to book and threatened to kick me off the platform. Once he figured out what I was talking about, he contacted the guest, who didn’t want to cancel and figured out a way to make her reservation after all. I no longer really wanted the reservation for the same reason as you, didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot. But the CSR would not cancel it on my behalf. The guest came and things worked out okay, she never left a review and was very pleasant while she was here


No I’ve resonded negatively to inquiries from third parties. I’m on IB but have prior positive review requirement turned on fortunately it has not come up. I guess well rated guests are not as likely to attempt this