Accepting bookings is very different from a new host not realizing how punishing the Instant Book feature can be. Having a guest book over New Years for ONE night is one of the things that can happen, and clearly this is a bad situation for any host - guests going around snatching up major public holidays for just one night - usually young people looking for a party. Clearly a listing should (if open for this holiday) be looking to accept longer bookings, and this blip in the middle of the holiday will likely be a problem for that, as typically guests are hoping for at least two to three days over the New Years break.
As far as how much pain and heartache for the guest that booked her space for one night over New Years, this doesn’t really fit the description DC describes in my opinion. It’s hardly a long sought holiday or a business trip. She wasn’t left hanging for weeks, as the host got in touch immediately. In fact if anyone if anyone got the short end of the stick in this situation, as far as hardship goes, it is probably much more likely to be the host - in lost income because she could have booked a longer staying guest over the biggest holiday of the year instead. These exact scenarios are why I stopped using the feature so soon after using it - it attracted just the kind of bookings you’d never even want. I really feel for you being penalized in this instance. But, as you’ve learned, airbnb doesn’t care much about different scenarios, or different people. They have policies that can be interpreted differently depending on whoever you get that day, and not a lot of empathy between them. As it is, they lost another host using their much touted Instant Book, but it won’t count for much to them I’m sure.
I agree Mamammia. Lesson learned. Never use Instant Book. My friend that uses it is constantly trying to get his guests that have booked one night stays with him into our place last minute I don’t do one night stays, so he asks someone else.