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Can I check in early?


Ice cream parlor when I waitressed in college. Came home after my weekend shifts soaked in that sour milk smell. Couldn’t eat ice cream for years. Manager hit on me, obnoxious students walked out without paying. After several shifts where they wouldn’t let me punch in because it wasn’t “busy enough” (have some free ice cream, they said, while you wait. Blech.) – I went to a party instead, arrived an hour late for my shift (in a rather mellow condition), they were frantic busy, “Where were you?” I said “OK, from now on I will get here when you ask me to, and I will punch in as soon as I get here.” Guess I learned some assertiveness! Also I was quite popular in my dorm because I always had tip change for the laundry machines.


I worked several retail jobs but the one that stands out (and will show my age) is the candy dept at Sears when I was in high school. We had to clean that gross popcorn machine every night so I always left smelling like palm oil which is what it was cooked in. We had piñatas on the shelves above the department and we used to use the giant cans of oil to stand on and get them down for customers. One day I was working by myself, had people lined up all the way around the circular department. Someone wanted a piñata. I hurried and somehow slipped climbing up, pushing the top of the can aside. My leg went into the can of semi-solid oil to above my knee. This made a huge mess and obviously slowed me down, but some of the customers started yelling at me, asking if they were ever going to get their candy or popcorn and what was taking so long. As a teenager it was too much. I ran in the back room bawling. I toughened up after that experience.


@Matthew_Haines I allow early check-ins and late check-outs. I let them drop off their luggage in a dedicated storage unit (next door). Guests like this a lot and I think this generates a lot of good will. Sometimes I have an early checkin of the new guests AND (and the same time) a late checkout of the leaving guests. It all works perfectly fine, it costs me nothing.


My shared listing is near a railway station and about a quarter of my guests ask for early check-in or to leave luggage to collect later as they use night trains.
Some arrivals are very early - 5 or 6 am.
Of course at the beginning of hosting I tried to bend over backwards to help hosts and agreed to pretty much everything.

So there were door bells rang at silly o’clock in the morning - de facto check-ins where suitcases were opened up in the hallway and guests expected to use the bathroom/ have a shower / faff about with wi-fi for half an hour and generally disturb the peace.
Late check-outs or left luggage - well it’s like having a curfew imposed on you.

Nowadays to manage things I do allow guests to leave their luggage early - although never before 08.00 and I no longer allow them even to step inside the door.
For luggage left behind, only if it fits around my plans that I agree to it. Personally, sometimes you just psychologically need that break from the guest when they say goodbye, instead of waiting for them arriving back at 10pm and and asking to fill flasks, change clothes, use the small room.

Some guests appreciate it though and maybe leave a little gift for the service, probably the ones that put themselves in your shoes and the ones that know how much the railway station charges per bag.


YES!!! This is exactly my experience. The more favors you did, the more they would have to complain about! I think it says more about the personality of the guest… the ones who ask are just …what is it? Feel entitled to more? What is it??

That must have been INFURIATING to extend a courtesy about bags and have them complain!!! I have had this, but never to the extremes you are describing.

This is the major reason why I don’t do favors! Even the nicest guests can and will turn around and whack you.

As a former member of this forum used to say… they are the ones with a smile and a knife behind their backs.

No more favors.


This is ridiculous. Just book another night in St. Petersburg if that is the case. Don’t let them back in for all that. If it is strictly about luggage make sure they can’t do all that. I wouldn’t allow them to leave luggage but that is just me.

I tell the story of some obnoxious guests I once had.

About an hour before checkout, I get THE KNOCK on the door… “Just wondering if we can stay longer…our next check in is not until 4 and we want to go to the beach.”

Me: ahh sorry, no, I have someone coming today. I have to get started cleaning.

Him: well can we leave our luggage in the room and our food in the fridge then? Otherwise everything will go bad. And just a quick shower when we get back from the beach? Otherwise we’ll be out of the room.

me. No sorry I have to clean everything starting now.

Him: well what about our food? It will go bad.

Me: really sorry, how about one of those styrofoam coolers from the market?

Him: well can we at least leave luggage.

Me: well not in the room, but up in my carport.

Him: why not the lanai?

Me: (relenting) well okay. (Luggage later found to make marks on the wood, which then needed painting)

Him: oh, we want to use the snorkel gear too, we will return it in an hour.

Me: no, I can’t let you do that.

Him: why not, it’s just sitting there. Promise to bring back in an hour.

Me: well okay, but I don’t really like doing that. If you lose anything then the next guest doesn’t have gear.

Him; just a quick one, back in an hour.

Hours and Hours later… no gear back and does not return it until 15 minutes before next check in at 4. He’d also left all his smoky clothes in the armoire, gross. I had to remove them and lay them on the luggage.

Him: can we use the bathroom?

Me: sorry! It’s just been totally cleaned for the next guest who is about to pull up.

Oh… after the favors I did, and no review at all was left by this clod. He was an unemployed musician and the wife was a professor.

When it’s your time to go, please go. I don’t want to see you hours later when you said it would just be an hour. Asking for favors until the bitter end. No. Go please! What part of check out and leave do you not understand? Didn’t say that but thought it. Kicked myself for lending $50 snorkel sets out to people who should have left at 11. Kicked myself for succumbing to the arguments and pressure of this guest, who couldn’t even bother to leave a review. Never ever ever again. These are the things you live and learn.


I think some of the problem with these types of people is that they are cheap to begin with. Which telegraphs a lot about how they may act. When I travel and have a late flight I just buy another hotel room night! How hard is it!??? For instance, in Kyoto, it was only $45 USD to ensure my comfort for the whole day until my train left at 3.

I don’t understand people. These sorts of traveling dilemmas are nothing new. Hotels have desks, lobbies, and bellhops who will watch your luggage. A small airbnb should not be expected to!

Confession: When I stayed in a hotel in Seoul, I asked the desk to watch my luggage while I went to Japan. I was coming back to one more night at the hotel, a small residence place. They said sure but I had to leave the luggae in the lobby where they weren’t responsible (and ANYONE could have taken it!) Fortunately in Korea there’s not crime like that and the luggage was still there and fine upon my return! If they had said no, I would have taken it to my son’s dorm room a couple blocks away. So, a full disclosure here, in that I have done this myself… but only at a hotel!


Is there not a left luggage at the railway station?


I recall you writing about her after the first stay. You sounded a little tentative about her at the time but your gut reaction was valid because she sure did you a dis-service this second time around.

“…need I say more” (harrumpf!), the nerve of her giving you such a crappy comment and review when you welcomed her back.


I took that as a compliment. She was saying if it wasn’t great she wouldn’t come back! I don’t know about the 4 star review, but other guests won’t see that part anyway, right?


It’s easy for everyone to be like Nancy Reagan and “just say no” to early check-ins. But if you can accommodate it without too much effort or added expense

Today my 4 guests turned up on my doorstep at 1Pm for a 5Pm check in. The rooms were ready so I let them in. They are very nice but they took a shower, spent time in the kitchen and ran a lot of hot water away whilst they were at it not to mention the washing hung on the front veranda for the whole street to see - not a done thing in these parts. The bonus was the very nice piano recital they gave I suppose but generally I find early check-in means extra costs that i wear which I find irritating. However several have in fact noted their gratefulness for the early arrival in their reviews which seems not to be the norm. As someone said, “different markets”! But I think that after reading this post, I might harden up.


I used to try and accommodate guests who wanted to check in early - but don’t do this any more as I would find I was rushing around to get the cottage clean and then the guests would get waylaid by visiting an attraction en route, or starting off late, or getting caught up in traffic and turn up past the normal check in time anyway.


Checking in an hour early WITH your permission is one thing. Showing up 4 hours earlier than check-in time without asking is not acceptable.


We have a front door combination lock. I tell them the maid (me) will set he combination to the last 4 digits of the guests phone number when she is done cleaning - always by 3 PM. If I get done early, fine, they can enter. If not, they can’t enter and go have coffee at the corner store. I love the combination keypad deal. No keys to be lost, no way an old guest can have access, etc. The combination changes with every guest. When I have no guests, it is set to my secret number.


So what do you do when you have 3 days between the last guest checking out and the next guest checking in? Do you then accomodate them? I do. Why not?
I’ve travelled and just wanted to drop off the gear check in and have the rest of the day free.
Late check out? Absolutely yes if there’s no one checking in in the next couple days. In fact, in that case I offer without their asking.
We compete with hotels, BnBs, motels, campsites. Anytime I can offer something special and it’s no inconvenience for me, I do it.


Agree, you will find some posters on here are rather hostile toward guests. Need to take their comments with a grain of salt.


Just the response has some red flags. If I saw he was a guy who asked for early check in and TOLD the host he was having friends over I’d decline him.

Again, I would venture that if you had not caught the overnighter the next day he wouldn’t have mentioned it and would have skipped out.


What do you mean? Hostile because guests break our rules or try to take advantage of us or want us to be like hotels?

If anyone here were hostile to guests I doubt we would have last one month in this business let alone eight years, like I have done.

It’s a balance. You cannot let guests walk all over you. But if that’s how you want to run your Airbnb it’s up to you.


I thought that one of the nice things about this forum is we could do a little bit of venting. I’m sure most, if not all of us, get great reviews and do our best to keep guests happy. Yes, I’m grateful and appreciate the customers that are paying to stay in my place. However, that doesn’t mean I need to be a doormat, and it also doesn’t mean I can’t complain a bit on this forum, even if I was nice as could be to the guest I’m complaining about. As far as early check-ins & late check-outs, for me it’s not the act of asking that irritates me, it’s the way in which they do it. For instance yesterday’s guest told me he’d be arriving right at 3 (check-in time), but said he would actually be arriving in the city around 1:30. He said if it were ready any earlier he would come earlier, but he totally understood if it wasn’t. He didn’t act as if he were entitled to an early check-in. He actually was able to check in a little early and he was very appreciative. I didn’t mind him asking at all.

Vs. my guest the day before that booked last minute, then asked if they could check in at 9:00 AM. When I told him we had back to back bookings and the unit wouldn’t be ready before 3, he told me he’d be there at 1:00. :frowning: Were we nice to him? Yes, (although in hindsight I wish I would have declined him as he left our place a huge mess after only one night) but it sure feels good to vent about him on here. Does that mean I’m “hostile toward guests?”


Hear hear. Some of them can be crundts :rofl:

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