Denial of Service attack by Anti-Vaxxers

We recently had to turn down a booking request from an unvaccinated guest. It says clearly on or listing that we require guests to be vaccinated. We do accept genuine medical exemptions, as I explained to them, but you need to produce a medical certificate verifying you are exempt. Naturally, they could not do so. This person then proceeded to complain that I was discriminating against them, and that they would leave me a bad review and also get all their friends to do the same. Rather stupidly, they made this threat on the AirBnB message system, so even though I didn’t see how it was possible for them to leave us a bad review, I immediately reported the thread to AirBnB. Thought “what a dingbat” and that we had dodged a bullet.

Turns out we had not - well, not entirely. We then had a run of spurious booking requests. All identical bookings to the one we had just declined (dates, number of guests etc) and all - amazingly - from guests who lived in the same very small town. None of the bookings eventuated of course - all were either withdrawn after a while, or failed guest verification. But each one blocked our calendar for hours each time (guests apparently get 12 hours to verify their ID but can request to book during this time) - one straight after the other, with barely minutes in between, and me unable to either accept or decline them or even message the guest (which seems to be a new “feature” - I used to be able to do this).

I phoned AirBnB and informed them we were being spammed by non-genuine booking requests that seemed to be designed only to block our calendar, but AirBnB said there was nothing they could do. I suggested to them that their policy of allowing guests to book BEFORE they had their identity validated was the problem. AirBnB declined to comment on this.

Thankfully, this person seems to have now run out of friends.

Just venting, but also alerting others to this type of potential “denial of service” attack.

Anyone have any ideas on how to handle it better?


Oh, and before anyone points it out - yes, we do have the “Require guests to go through verification” option selected.

But apparently guests can still book - and hold a booking for up to 12 hours - while they are being verified.

No. It sounds like you handled it just fine. I guess you could’ve blocked off those dates but the result would have been the same - no legit booking.

There was a day, I think it was a few months ago, on Twitter there was a sort of bash-Airbnb-day where people were suggesting to more-or-less screw-over and feck with hosts and I received more than 25 different spam requests and inquiries. I just let it play out until it was over. There wasn’t much else to do.

Why??? Either you don’t want to be exposed to the virus or you do, you don’t owe anyone that.


Ironically (given the guest’s complaint about discrimination), here in Australia we are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of vaccination status. We are required to accept valid medical exemptions, or offer a suitable alternative service (how, exactly, we are supposed to do that when our “service” is accommodation is never made clear).

I don’t know that it would have helped any, but I would not have concentrated exactly on all the spam requests designed to block your calendar, but on the fact that it was your declined guest who instigated this, as they had told you they would.

It was a direct threat that they then carried out. I would have pointedly asked Airbnb if this is the type of person they condone being on their platform- they were using the Airbnb platform in order to get their friends to harrass you and purposely block your calendar with requests they had no intention of actually booking.

It’s this guest who should be banned, the others were just foot soldiers.


Wow, I had no idea. That surprises me. Sorry, that’s a weird spot to be in.

Tent at the back of the property? ; )