Best way to ask for guests arrival and departure information

On an occasion or two, our housekeeper has asked if our guests would be leaving early on the day of check-out, so that she could get in there sooner to get the place ready for the next guests who would be arriving later that same day.

I thought that maybe I could ask my guests what their itinerary (airline arrival and departure times) is beforehand so that I wouldn’t have to ask them at the end of their stay what time they would be leaving as it seems sort of pushy.

Can anyone help me with the verbiage on the best way to ask your guests about arrival and departure times without sounding offensive?

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Just ask. You’re not being pushy/offensive; you need to know. The relevant para from my initial email response to a booking request is:

Also, can you tell me where you are coming from, what time your
plane/train arrives in Mumbai on the xxth (Month), what your planned
check-in time is, and also what your planned check-out time on the
xxth (Month) is? Thanks.

(Fill in xx and Month as appropriate.) Since I’ve started using this wording, I’ve not had anyone refuse to answer these questions. If they did, I wouldn’t accept them. Sometimes they’re vague and say they’re not sure about checkout time. I guess that’s ok.

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My tactic for finding out check-in time is just to include language in my standard greeting message to let me know their estimated time of arrival (including flight/train info if applicable) so i can be sure to make sure everything is ready for them.

(Of course, I always have the room ready the day before, so this is really for my convenience…I just make it sound like it’s about them.)

Finding out check out time is a little sticky, because you don’t want to sound like you are trying to get rid of them. Plus, if your official check out time is noon (mine is) then they every every right to expect that they can hang out until noon if they want to. So, for me check out is more for my curiosity since i don’t need to be there to say good bye. I just have them drop their keys in the mail slot. I will usually just work it into the conversation when i happen to say them. Like…so…where you off to on Thursday after here? They will usually volunteer what time they are planning to leave in their response.

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I write this to my guests via the Airbnb email system:

“What time on (day) will you be arriving? May I please have the name of your airline and your flight number so that I can track your arrival status.”

When they arrive I ask them what time their flight is on the day they are leaving. However, bear in mind that arrival and departure times (arrival times in particular) change. Yesterday’s guest asked if she could arrive between 11:00 A.M. and noon. I told her that would be fine, but that unless the prior night’s guest left very early the guest room wouldn’t be ready. At noon, she emailed to tell me that it looked like she would arrive around 3:00 P.M. She arrived at 2:00 P.M.

Thank you, that’s helpful. I will begin doing this with my next booking. In the meantime, I will send something like this to my “already booked” guests a couple of days before they arrive so that I will have the information.

I always say to guests before arrival ‘as you know check in is at 4 pm’ but include it in a nice message saying that I’m looking forward to meeting them etc.

The night before checkout, if I haven’t already discussed it with the guests, my checkout message includes ‘as you know, checkout is at 11 am’ but again as part of a friendly message that thanks them for staying with us and so on.

As long as you ask in a friendly way, there shouldn’t be a problem.

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I often say something like “Hi XXX. I’m trying to plan my day tomorrow and was wondering what your planned time of departure is. My check out time is 11am, but if you do plan on leaving early please let me know as if I can plan my day with cleaning the apartment earlier, it makes everything so much easier.” Granted, this is with them knowing I have 4 kids and am on-site, etc.

But IMO, if you’re paying someone to do the cleaning for you, the planned window is pretty much set. I get them wanting to do it earlier as they probably have other jobs, but I don’t see you finding a way to word it truthfully that a guest would really care about.

Yeah. I found myself feeling a bit strange to ask this of the guests a day or two before they were to check-out. That’s why I’d rather nip it in the bud by asking this question off the bat, I guess…

With AirBnB being homesharing, most guests are probably ok with it. You could put something like this in a typical day or two before message:

“Hi XXX. As you know, AirBnB is a home-sharing community. While I have a check-in window and a firm check-out time, I also need to be able to greet you at check-in (or when to have self check-in, or whatever available) and make sure my cleaning lady gets the keys quickly after check-out. Can you please let me know when you plan to arrive (and let me know if that changes) and if you plan to leave earlier than X?”

For most hosts, Air is a side gig, so we either have to plan our whole schedule around turnover day, or have a day or two blocked in-between. It’s not unreasonable to ask as long as it’s reasonable and worded well. You could do a little white-lie, but best to be honest.

But since you have a turn-over window and pay someone to do it during that window, it’s harder for me to think of a good reason/excuse.

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I have self-check-in for guests. Once everything is set as far as payment, I write the guest and ask them to provide the following information ‘so I can set up your reservation slip.’

  1. The name of each occupant;
  2. Your address and a preferred mobile number while traveling;
  3. *The flight times for your arrival and departure (when known);
  4. Your probable mode of transportation to the condo (taxi, car rental/hire, etc.);
  5. Whether you have been to the area previously; and
  6. Whether you have ever stayed in a vacation/holiday rental.

If the guest has not informed me of their arrival/departure times within a reasonable time prior to their trip, I send a reminder and include: “This information helps the housecleaner in scheduling her jobs on those days.” It has worked 100% of the time.

If a guest inadvertently skips over any of the other questions, I will follow up and give the reason for wanting to know the answer. Without exception, they always come through and usually volunteer even more tidbits.

I never ask them when their expected arrival is, no matter their mode of travel. Part of it is because no one will be greeting them but mostly, it’s not up to them. I let them know from the get-go that check-in is from 3 pm, and checkout by 11 am. Based on their flights, I let them know shortly before their arrival whether they may have early access (gratis) or late departure (gratis) or whether a fee (half-night rental) is involved. They do not know in advance that they will be self-checking-in/checking out until I send their arrival instructions.

It’s my 7th year. I run a tight ship.

Apologies for getting carried away and giving more information than asked for…just felt like typing.


I wish I could have “liked” your post, but I have sadly run out of likes for the day. And that is a good wording that I wouldn’t have thought of since I don’t use a house-cleaner. As a guest I would totally give a time with that wording.

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No, this is great and it will definitely help us out! Thanks!

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We always ask. For flight details, how they are getting to us and the same on their departure. It makes practical sense. They don’t mind.