Declining a booking request as I feel uncomfortable - How to go about it?

First time in 2 years I am declining a booking request. The reason being the guest has negative reviews and I am not comfortable hosting her in my home. She constantly broke house rules, was disrespectful to hosts and left the homes in a mess. I don’t want someone like that in my home.

I have already messaged her saying I am not able to host her, I am hoping she books somewhere else but I have to decline before the 24hr timer runs out. I tried clicking Decline and ticking uncomfortable with the guest but AirBnb seams to inform the guest I am uncomfortable!! I am not sure I want to disclose this to the guest I don’t find it is professional. The other option is to say the dates are unavailable and then I cold unblock the dates.

How would you go about this?

so sorry - dates are unavailable as booked on another site - block the dates…hold them blocked for a couple of days and then open them because there was a cancellation


Why would this be unprofessional? That’s what the uncomfortable checkbox is for. It’s about time the guest understood the consequences of her bad reviews.


Personally, I am delighted to learn that guests are being told why their booking has been declined. Of course, she already knows that she has less than stellar reviews, but to be declined because of these, might just hurt enough to make her change her disrespectful behaviours.


I normally just block the dates so the calendar is not available for the guest. This way I’m not penalized for too many declines. But in the case of the guest you mentioned, I would be honest and tell her it’s because of her negative reviews. If It’s on Instant Booking and you are uncomfortable with this guest, AirBnb will not penalize you for declining.


I agree with @PETRELLI and @Joan. It doesn’t seem unprofessional at all and why should any host bother about the feelings and opinions of a guest who is obviously a bad lot? It seems better to me to be honest rather than pussyfoot around.

Well you did ask…

I would reply to her request saying that you are declining her because of her bad reviews. I’d tell her that I am understandably selective about who is able to live in my property.

However, if I really wanted to fill those dates, and the money was good, I might try ‘I have read your recent reviews and as you can imagine, I am reluctant to accept you. If you can assure me that you will be a respectful guest in my home, abide by the house rules and leave the place in great shape then I will give you this chance to redeem yourself’.

That would probably scare her off but I’ve done that with guests and they have been exemplary!


Just decline and mention bad reviews. Move on.


If you pick this option doesn’t Air say we will block those dates on your calendar so you can’t go back and unblock them? Or can you do this yourself before rejecting the booking?

Do it myself

Was it an instant booking?

I said almost exactly the same thing to a guest who had several bad reviews. She promised, but turned out awful, using my neighbours as front desk staff and so it went on. My bad review just got added to the others.

Dear Travellin Bug,
I recently cancelled a guest because I realized she would never be happy and would probably leave a bad review. First she wrote me a sob story about how she and her cousin were on a very tight budget, and could I give them a discount. I’m a pretty soft touch, so I did. In Hawaii we have to collect the tax in cash or through the resolution center, which is clearly stated several times in my listing. When I notified her that $36 would be due in tax, she responded that I had quoted her a price and it should include the tax. I thought “This b—h is never going to be happy, and why is she coming to Hawaii if she’s that broke?” I sent her a message saying that I had already given her a discount but didn’t think I should have to pay the tax from my own pocket. Her response was that they were on such a tight budget that an additional $36 would mean they couldn’t afford the room (which was only $69/nt BTW!) I told her she would be happier somewhere “more affordable” and I was going to cancel her booking, which I did. It was within the 24 hour period so there were no penalties, and since I rarely cancel anyone Airbnb didn’t penalize me. There is a space in the cancellation area to tell them exactly why I was cancelling which isn’t shared with the guest. Now, I’m not bragging, but I’ve been a Superhost for four straight years. I rarely have issues with guests, but I just had a bad feeling about this one. If it starts to get complicated and you have bad feelings about a potential guest, it’s better to cut and run than suffer the consequences.