Auto message from guest requesting a booking

Hi Guys,
I don’t have instant booking set on.
Got a request yesterday from a guest that had just joined Airbnb. No info whatsoever besides his name. The message read…‘Hi, Thanks for your message. Looking forward to staying… kind regards.’
I replied, ‘I didn’t message you.’ To which he replied ‘sorry was an automated message.’
I declined his request…first time I’ve done that. I have taken booking for a few guests with no reviews before, made that judgement call based on their messages, which were really polite and with a little added info re trip etc, I have never been disappointed.

I think it’s a little sneaky of airbnb to have this auto message, and silly really, as I knew I hadn’t messaged him, so that was annoying. I’ve never had that message before, or any auto message from a guest. Then when I wanted to decline I had to explain why to both airbnb and the guest…I couldn’t move forward without writing something in the box to guest. I should have just put a . or something but didn’t think of it at the time! So I was honest.

I have to go with my gut on airbnb. The only time I didn’t I had my only really bad experience. This is my home so I’m not taking chances just to make airbnb happy. I wonder will it go against me? I’m not worried if it does, just curious.
Has anyone else come across this auto message?

I can’t agree, it makes complete sense for guests to get an automatic message when they use IB to confirm the booking has been made. In what way is that sneaky - just normal practice to get a confirmation whether Airbnb, theatre tickets or an airline booking for example.

I can’t see why you declined the booking without first taking the time to find out more about the guests plans for his stay, so you could see if there was a good fit.

If you use IB (indicating you are happy for guests to book without interaction) - why would you then go and cancel without first messaging him to allay any concerns. @climur

I don’t go on my ‘gut’ I make a business decision based on my experience as a host and the information provided by the guest, following up first to garner any additional information i need before making a decision.

1 Like

If you read my message again properly, you will see I said I don’t use IB. Also, it was me as the host who got the auto message from the guest…first and only message. No info provided by guest at all, on his profile or in any message. I go by gut as an experienced host, and it hasn’t let me down yet. Except as I say, that one time when I ignored it trying to give the guest the benefit of my doubt.

1 Like

What makes you think Airbnb generated this message? It makes no sense for Airbnb to do so. If it really was an auto-generated message, I’m suspecting it was done by some 3rd party system the guest was using, and possibly an attempt at a scam of some kind.


Ah yes, it didn’t occur to me at the time, when he said it was automated I presumed he meant airbnb automated, but you’re probably right…maybe some third party system and not airbnb at all. I hope not. Even more glad I declined now if that’s the case though.

I find it highly unlikely that a guest with no reviews would have made enough bookings to know what types of automated messages Airbnb generates. That fact that the guest knew it was automated tells me the guest knows what generated it, and I am pretty sure it was NOT Airbnb. There has been an increase in scams since the pandemic and this may be one, or it could be a 3rd-party booking service which is also violation of Airbnb’s terms of service.


@climur I agree that hosts should go with their gut, as the intiuition usually proves to be correct. However, I myself wouldn’t have declined simply on the basis of that message and the fact that the guest was new to Airbnb. I don’t use IB either, and I have had requests from guests who were also new and sent a first message like “I’ll be there around noon”, when I haven’t even accepted the request yet.

New users quite often don’t understand Airbnb process or protocol, it’s not always rude, nefarious, or entitled. I have found that if I send a friendly message back, thanking them for the request, and asking a few questions, that results in a much more forthcoming and conversational response and those guests have turned out to be fine, even wonderful.


Does the Airbnb messaging system allow guests to have saved messages like it does for hosts? If so, I can see how a guest could make this mistake, although it wouldn’t technically be automated, and you’d think the guest would catch it really quickly.

If the Airbnb system doesn’t allow saved messages for guests, I don’t see how a guest could make that mistake when submitting a reservation request to a host for the first time.

1 Like

I would not have declined/cancelled based on this or almost anything else, that is why I am on IB with no requirements, no ID, no picture IDC. My current guests had 4 prior stays and only 4 stars. A host in Italy gave them a bad review, said that they broke house rules and annoyed the neighbors. When they arrived yesterday I welcomed them and said, by the way whatever it was you did in Italy don’t do that here. They chuckled and said ok. They are fine guests, they are extending an extra day. Heads in beds.



Not fair coming from a host with a local government that separately requires you to collect photo-ID before check-in. :wink:


True, but I forget half the time it is a PITA

I am setting up systems through Owner Res to get rental agreement and ID collection automated so I get it done.


Yes, that’s why I messaged him back, to give him the chance to get back to me with a more personal informative message. I didn’t get that, so then declined. As I said, I’ve accepted guests who are new before, but they have all send a personal request with a little info which made me comfortable to accept the booking, and it’s been great so far.

I guess what we all accept is different, based on our circumstances, property, and other things! What I’ve been doing so far has worked very well for me. :slight_smile:


I have IB, but DO have the government ID required for people to do so, and I’m glad I do. Last week someone sent a “request to book”, which many times means they can’t IB due to ID requirement. I had him upload the ID and accepted the request once that was done.

Within the hour Airbnb cancelled his reservation after running the background check on the supplied ID.


Does Owner Res run a background check as part of their service?

Of course not, OR is a booking engine not my mother. I manage my listings, and I would never run a background check on a guest. Do you think the Hilton runs background checks?

No need to get snippy about it. I have no idea what OR is or what they do.

ID is the only requirement I have set on IB, I don’t require prior hosts’ reviews.

As a single woman, I feel a hell of a lot safer in my shared space knowing that guests have no serious criminal record and are not on the sex offender registry.

No, but most hotels require ID.

Update. Now his fiancée is trying to book, but is also having some issues, payment being one of them, maybe she also failed the background check? I’m happy to have airbnb take this off my plate for my STR bookings.

No. But they do use a Do Not Rent list (basically a blacklist). I know someone who is on it (drummer, naturally ,)

This is a good point. And all hotels require an ID. And a credit card too.

1 Like

So do I.

This is a my business, I would never depend on AirBnb to “vet” guests. Wether or not they have the guests ID is meaningless to the host because they do not share it. It is up to the business owners to protect their investments and not depend on AirBnb.

All that being said I have no requirements to IB with AirBnb. I have only had one real asshole guest in 3 years and that was just a mess and extra people, no damage.

I had a guest a couple weeks ago with 4 reviews, 3 5* and one 1* . I read the reviews and when the guest checked in I told him, by the way whatever it was you did in Italy don’t do that here, what happened there stays there. He was a great guest and now has four 5* reviews.

I must either be lucky, or people know they cannot take advantage of me.
Either way, heads in beds.


Not to mention they have security staff to deal with unruly guests.