Can someone other than the booking party check in?

I have a guest who wants to let their boyfriend check in for them, earlier than they will arrive.

I don’t really like the idea of this since I’m letting someone other than the registered airbnb user into the property.

What is the airbnb policy about this?


Since the booking party is responsible (no third party bookings) I have it in my house rules that the person checking in first must be the person who booked.

The way I see it, the boyfriend could check in and the girlfriend never does and then you have a 3rd party booking.

I’m not sure what Airbnb’s policy is.

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That’s exactly my concern. We have in our rules that we don’t allow 3rd party bookings, but we didn’t think to add the check in part. We will do that going forward.

I’m on the fence on this one, she has good reviews and everything seems legit, but there are some minor red flags. For one, she never mentioned them coming separately until today (day of check in) Secondly, She said in the beginning her and her boyfriend were coming from SF, but now he’s going to be here before her? That makes me wonder whether he lives here, and we do not like the idea of young locals checking in especially if they are not the booking party.

Tell her you’d like to meet her when she arrives and see where it goes from there. If she dodges, then something’s probably up.

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Thanks, good idea. I told her he won’t be able to do self check in, I need to meet him. Now I’m going to tell her I need to meet her when she arrives as well.

One one hand I feel like I’m letting them know I’m super up tight, but on the other hand we’ve hosted over 50 guests and no one else has ever done this.

This was her response when I informed her that he would need to check in with me personally:

No problem, I’ll let him know. He may just wait til I arrive to check in in that case but I’ll get back to you. Thanks!

I’ve been hosting for 3 months and already have had 3 guests do this and it worked out fine. Communication is the key. If they’re doing something that is out of the ordinary and appears to be breaking your rules and/or Airbnb’s policy, then you shouldn’t feel bad about asking a few more prying questions.

Once you’ve been doing this for a while you’ll find that this is relatively common. I’d say that it happens to me every few months or so - that the friend/husband/partner checks in first. It’s never been a problem for me and there’s never been anything wrong with the guests.

Sometimes it happens at the end of the stay too - the person who booked checks out early (usually to catch an early flight) and the other guest doesn’t leave until checkout time. Again, no problem.


We often have some other family members, the ones who arrive first, be the ones to check-in. We’ve even had the booking party’s flight being cancelled due to bad weather and it was 48 hours before he could meet up with the rest of his group, who had settled in days before. I guess I can’t imagine turning away people who are expecting this to be their lodging, even though someone else arranged the booking.


If you are able to prove that it is a third party booking you should contact the guest and ask them to cancel and rebook with the correct account. Third party booking is against airbnb policy:

You will not be covered by airbnb insurance if anything happens in your home. Also it will most likely make the communication very difficult since the person traveling to your home doesn’t have your contact info, didn’t probably read your house rules, listing, check-in instructions etc… and you can’t contact them either…especially if they are foreigners.

It happens to me rarely but it does happens. Most of the time you will notice it because they will either tell you in the message or they will “sign” their first message with a name different than on the account. Then ask them. Your cancellation policy will be upheld (mine is strict) and you can send them a refund when they rebook with the correct account, that way no risk for you to lose your payout (depending of course of when they cancel and your cancellation policy).

The last time was a few weeks ago, someone made a reservation for two people but he wasn’t coming with them. I told him to cancel and I will send him a full refund as soon as he rebook again. For some reason he cancelled but never rebooked… but I kept the whole payout and rebooked the room to somebody else later.

Another case for having each person on the booking. I require an additional person fee and the full names.