Booking Requests not giving option to message before Accept or Decline

In the past we have run into booking requests where we would have liked to message or talk with the potential guest before hitting accept or decline. Where we have been able to contact guest in the majority of cases we have accepted them. The only time we have declined is where it became apparent that our listing would not be a good fit for their requested needs. We recently had a booking request but without any option to message until after we had accepted or declined. In that case we declined and were then able to message guest with reasons. In this case they wanted to be close to a specific area and we were fifty miles away. In my message I pointed out that and asked if they realized they would have a long commute. I also suggested that they look for listings in a town much closer, but if they really wanted to book here, we would accept them. They responded thanking me for the info and were glad I had pointed it out.

We therefore avoided having what might have been an unhappy guest. Airbnb lost nothing as they were going to follow my advice, but I believe that Airbnb will have a strike against us for a decline when it is their system that caused that by not allowing messaging first.

i think that you can usually respond to guests via the inbox, whether they are booked or not.

You did have the option to message with the guest. Airbnb recently and aggravatingly changed things so you have to go to your Inbox to reply. Or go to the Today page, where “message” appears by the guest’s photo.

It’s one of the most irritating things about the platform, that they change things without the courtesy of a notification, so hosts are left trying to figure out where to access this or that, or in your case, thinking something is no longer possible.

I’d wager this change was part of their “keep the bookings rolling in as fast and furiously as possible” attitude. God forbid anything gets held up by a host actually wanting to communicate with guests before deciding whether to accept or not.