Cancelling 3rd party booking

Check in is within 12hrs

guest just messaged me that they are unable to check in as they are self isolating due to exhibiting covid symptoms

So since they can’t stay, they are sending a cousin and friend to stay at the airbnb

I am not comfortable with the third party booking and would like advice on how to play this

Do I contact Airbnb or the guest and get them to cancel?

If this matter is not resolved prior to check in time, is it possible for guest to leave a review?

I have a strict cancellation policy

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Tell the guest that it is against TOS for 3rd party booking, and if they do not cancel then you will be contacting airbnb about this. They risk being penalized for doing this, perhaps being thrown off. Make sure this is all on the airbnb messaging system…


Guest sick with COVID still qualifies for extenuating circumstances by my reading of Airbnb policy.

I think you could either tell the guest to contact Airbnb to cancel under EC, or offer to contact Airbnb and have them do an admin cancel due to sick guest EC. If they’re feeling poorly I would be inclined to offer the latter.

I think you’ve run out of time for a more creative option of the guest cancelling, the cousin joining and booking, and you reimbursing the guest from the cousin’s receipts. They’d still be out the Airbnb fees in that case, though.

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I like this option because the cousin is already planning on staying. It is time sensitive though.

Maybe not…a couple weeks ago when I read the newest version of the cancellation policy, Airbnb will refund fees to each guest upto 3x a year. Beginning with the fourth cancellation, Airbnb will not refund fees to the guest.

They will refund guest fees anytime the host cancels.

If you are not comfortable, then yes, contact Airbnb. Should be simple if the message from the guest was through the Airbnb messaging system.

They are allowed to review if the cancellation occurs within 24 hours before check-in, but whether Airbnb will remove it might be tricky and depend on what the guest says in the review.

I only do anything about third party bookings if the guest has been very blatantly obvious about it in the Airbnb message system.

This is because any host can get onto the wrong side of Airbnb and if a guest has said “I can’t come so my cousin is” and the host has said “that’s great. I look forward to meeting her” then that’s a black mark against the host.

I’ve had this a few times so explained that it’s against TOS, then told the guest to ask the replacement guest to contact Airbnb, quoting the booking reference, and ask them to walk the new guest through the process of joining and registering with Airbnb in their own right. This has always worked well and the new guest has always given me a good review for being helpful (although all I did was type a few sentences :slight_smile: )

What would be interesting though is to hear why the OP isn’t comfortable with third-party bookings? I know it’s against TOS but I’ve found that mostly they turn a blind eye.


The host is not covered by the Airbnb Host Guarantee if it’s a 3rd party booking.
Also how can you message your guest on the platform (which as we all know is considered good practice as Airbnb can monitor the chat) when the person who booked is not the guest?

This is a regular occurrence and I feel strongly that the Airbnb should prevent 3rd party booking on their platform at the point of a guest making a booking. Along with getting the names of ALL GUESTS …… but that’s a whole other issue!!


Do you truly believe that Airbnb covers you anyway?

You message your guests through the platform - through the account that has made the booking. In most cases I’ve had of this, the account holder has given their log in details to the third party.

In one or two others, the booking guest has given me the email address of the person who is coming. I don’t feel the need for Airbnb to ‘monitor the chat’. :rofl:

No … but as you well know any 3rd party booking literally means no Air protection of any kind and violates their ToS. So why accept the risk?


LOL! Probably not, but why take that risk?

Sadly any time I have inadvertently accepted a 3rd party booking, I have had issues with the messaging during their stay. And no review left by the guest.

I always mesage soley through the Airbnb app so there is a clear record of everything in the event of any issues during or after their stay. It’s not a question of me needing Airbnb to monitor the chat, it is simply covering myself. Again, going off platform is not a risk worth taking as far as I am concerned.

Perhaps I am a bit over cautious but it’s better safe than sorry. But each to his own!

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Definitely! As I often say here, all hosts are different. :slight_smile:

I’d always, always, always advise hosts to be self-sufficient though. Don’t get me wrong, I love using Airbnb but sadly, there are some hosts who believe that the company has their back all the time. This simply isn’t the case.

I’d honestly encourage hosts to be as self-sufficient as possible with their own STR insurance and with their own methods and strategies for dealing with guests to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Airbnb is a great company and currently the industry leader - which is fabulous. But hosts who are building a business should look beyond that.

JMO :slight_smile:

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When I contacted Airbnb the rep said while 3rd party bookings goes against their policy, it is up to the host on whether they want to continue the booking or not.

The rep said that if a cancellation took place, the host would be paid the full amount, However the guest can still leave feedback as there’s less than 24hrs before reservation starts

Now ask yourself, if I cancelled, kept the guests money, do you think the guest is gonna give me a 5 star review loool? What a flawed system.

The rep also said that the host would be supported by Airbnb if there were any guest issues lol

So long story short, I hosted the 3rd party booking

And I suspect that the covid guest is a liar. It turns out that the family member who took the place of the one suffering from covid, was a guest I rejected weeks ago. So they got their friend to book, then came up with the story to switch

Wow, I would put that in the review.


Like @Brian_R170 said. That is so dishonest and unethical, I would review as such, would clearly state that I would never host that guest again, and recommend the user account be removed. I have no tolerance for that.



You definitely need to put that in the review, with one star all the way.



  1. Guest departed yesterday and they have left the property in immaculate condition (i.e. top 1%, followed all of the rules, departed early and even left a ‘thank you’ note)

  2. I am in two minds about whether I can one star this guest

Cleanliness was a 5

Observance of house rules was a 5

Communication was 4.5

I know what the guest did was unethical, however I cannot prove that the booking guest lied about having covid symptoms, in order to let their friend (who i rejected weeks ago) stay.

My friends are telling me that I should ‘let sleeping dogs lie’. But they’ve suggested I mark that I would not host again and leave a note in the private feedback.

The irony in all of this is that my next guest is another 3rd party booking. Mother who booked for her 31 year old son, because he is too busy to do so himself lool
Mother has plenty of reviews, all five star, so in theory, things should go well