Bookings by Travel Agents

This is a first for us. We own/operate a small B&B in a high volume location. We have had a couple of minor issues in the past that have prompted a rule that we only book with the person who will be staying in the room.

A few months ago we booked a room during a high volume weekend. When I sent the pre-arrival email I received a response from the person who booked stating that her “clients” (gave the names) will be the actual guests for the 1 night booking. It is inferred that she is a travel agent. Her email address suggests that may be the case but not a business name. When I look more closely at the payment info, it appears that the person she named as a guest, payed for the room.

Anyone experience a travel agent booking for a client. It may be nothing but then . . . ?

I would ask Airbnb to cancel as it’s a third party booking @Jeaton76


It’s been awhile but I’ve had a few of what they call For Work bookings or Trip Planner bookings. It is a legitimate way to make third-party bookings. People who book travel for others, travel agents or not, can sign up through Airbnb to be a Trip Planner. I think it’s often someone booking for employees but mine have been twice from an insurance company and once from an art gallery.

If you look at the reservation it should be noted somewhere. Here is what it looked like in Feb 2020. This Trip Planner was from a home insurance company and she books Airbnbs for clients that are displaced by something that is covered by the home insurance, like burst pipes or fires, that kind of thing. Above this photo is the guest information as usual (on the website) and this note is at the very bottom; however, I was initially only communicating through the Trip Planner, she has her own profile. After the booking went through, I was then communicating with the guest through his own profile.

It may look different now, but it is also likely that this travel agent is not properly signed up with the For Work program. In my experience people who are properly connected to the program explain what is going on right away, they don’t leave you guessing.

Because some people book for others for their business on Airbnb, some people think they can just do it too, not realizing that there is a specific program to do it through. I’ve come across a few of these. They are not doing anything nefarious, they are just uninformed. I usually send them the link to the For Work so that they can get signed up properly and have been thanked for it.


I’m OK with this when it is clear upfront and I really get paid!


But the at Work programme is where companies book on behalf of employees - as it says on your screenshots.

I don’t believe it’s something travel agents should book for customers… do you really think a travel agent would take responsibility for damage caused to your property by one of their customers.

Are you okay with not being paid/supported through Aurbnb if the third party damages your listing ?

Of course not, but since mine is a homeshare, I am pretty much on top of what is happening and have only had minor damage over 10 years. i don’t have much faith in Airbnb supporting me even if the guest books directly.


That’s true but personally I wouldn’t have a third party in my home that hasn’t even had an ID check and other basic checks .

Update - The person who booked the room is an independent online travel agent working for the couple who are staying. The booking was secured using the guests CC.
I have spoken with both the guests and the “agent” and am very comfortable with the arrangements. Apparently the guests are people with the means to engage someone to take care of things like booking rooms on AirBnB. We feel that it is extremely unlikely that we will have any issues with this booking.
I also had a conversation with the “agent” regarding the issues related to liability when she books another person’s lodging on AirBnB.


If you think that “people with means” is some assurance they will be good guests, that’s pretty naive. Plenty of hosts have had bookings from well-off guests who had a huge sense of entitlement, were demanding, paid no attention to turning off heat,AC and lights when leaving for the day, left the place a mess, and treated the staff like dirt.
A guest’s financial situation is no assurance of good behavior.

But I hope it’s a problem-free booking.


We’ve not found that to be the case and are far from naive. We are seasoned B & B hosts and on-site. It will all be good.
If we get that cynical we would move on and find a new adventure.


Cynical is not the opposite of naive. I’m glad you’ve had good experiences, I’m just saying that money is not a harbinger of good behavior. I have a budget priced listing for 1 guest and far from being poorly behaved guests simply because they chose an inexpensive accommodation option, they have all been wonderful, respectful and generous guests.

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@Jeaton76 did not say that. Having means explains why the guests had someone else book for them, it is not that having means is a harbinger of good behavior (or vice-versa). It’s that people with a decent amount of money often pay other people (third parties) to do minor tasks for them.

There tends to be some natural suspicion about 3rd party bookings, that something nefarious may be at play or that there is some type of subterfuge. A good example is the recent post about the group of 22-year-olds that showed up and partied after an adult booked for them.

However, in this case there is nothing nefarious, there is no subterfuge, this third-party booking is simply explained by the guests having enough money that they don’t do these kinds of things for themselves, they pay to delegate them. It only means that they aren’t being sneaky so the natural suspicion of a third-party booking is not due in this case.

I have friends with personal assistants who haven’t booked anything, renewed anything, stood in line or run mundane errands for themselves in 20 years. They also don’t book their own Airbnbs but it’s not because a bunch of teenagers is going to show up and trash the place instead.

I had a personal assistant for many years. She booked everything for me, ran errands, etc., just as you said. Every booking was made in my name with a credit card in my name. If she had to use an email, she made the booking from my computer at my house, using my email (one that I set up in my name for her use). They weren’t third-party bookings in any sense of the word. No one would have known that I wasn’t making the booking myself.


I agree and that’s how it’s done by personal assistants, it wouldn’t be a third-party booking even though someone else was booking. But this was a travel agent and most people are not going to give a travel agent their log-in information/access to their account.


I wouldn’t be very willing to accept a travel agent booking. Probably not willing at all. There is no direct line of liability on the part of the guest.

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Theoretically, per Airbnb anyway, there would be if it was done correctly. Either this travel agent did not process the booking correctly or we don’t have all of the information. Anyone with an Airbnb account can book for other people through the ForWork site. There is not any other qualification for signing up for it.

But I was also surprised to find several travel agent sites with instructions for their agents on how to book an Airbnb for clients. And some articles from as far back as 2017 announcing coordination with Airbnb for travel agents to book for their clients through dedicated software outside of the ForWork program. I don’t if I missed it or if they just didn’t tell us about it.

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I think the word “Theoretically” is of great importance in this context.

Isn’t it always :joy: