Direct book, still inquiry + pre-approve / decline

We have direct booking on for our two listings, if it is 1 day in advance and for periods up to 2 weeks.

Today someone has asked me a question about the listings (private or shared bathroom) and I will reply in a few minutes, but I also have to pre-approve or decline. This lady has 6 (?) verifications and it’s for next week, so she should be able to direct book. She doesn’t have any reviews in her account, but we don’t have that as a condition for allowing direct booking.

I am puzzled why the systems asks me to pre-approve or decline. Does anyone have an explication for this? Could it be that she doesn’t have a credit card attached to her account?

Thank you!

If they inquire, the pre-approval button is automatic. They will be able to book easily with the Book IT link in AirBNB’s email to them, or they can work their way back to the listing to use IB. At this point, they act the same way. [I only know this since I did an IB last night. Getting back to the listing from the email was impossible.]

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What do you mean direct booking? Instant Book? What you are describing sounds like a request. So it’s asking you to preapprove the guest who asking questions. This means it’s not a booking yet. Just a question. So if you preapprove it, then the guest will be able to book without further permission from you.

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Yes I meant Instant Book, sorry for my creative language use :grin:.

The guest is asking me if the room has a private bathroom. The answer is “No”.

But now my dilema:

  • Do I answer and pre-aprove since I do want her as a guest? With the risk of her not really reading my answer, making the reservation and being dissatisfied.
  • Do I answer and decline, since she is asking for something we can’t offer? With the risk that she still would like to stay although we don’t offer a private bathroom. Or the risk that she will take it as me declining her because of her as a person.
  • Do I answer and don’t hit pre-aprove or decline, since I don’t know why and what I have to choose? With the risk of AirBnB “punishing” me for not replying.


  • If I decline, can they still Instant Book?

Wow, you’re really over-thinking this!! <grin

Was this an Inquiry?? Or a Booking Request?? Two different things.
An Inquiry is just a question: Does the room have a private bathroom? Once you answer, the potential guest will make up his/er mind whether they want to book or not.

A Request to Book is just that: Will you accept me as a guest for these nights… You are offered a place to send them a message along with your approval or disapproval of their request to stay with you.

  • Answer and pre-approve is the correct response!
  • If you answer and decline, she cannot book.
  • If you answer and don’t select approve or disapprove I’m not sure the system will send the message; I think you have to choose one or the other.
  • AirBnb does not “punish” you for anything; but there are times when you have to follow steps a, b, c and not skip to step q.

After a bad experience once with pre approving a guest (she claimed she was booked in at the wrong rate and even mentioned it in a review) I never pre approve. If they want to book bad enough they will.

I would avoid a guest who asks too many questions or who appears not to have read your listing. Red flag.


There were two elements:

  1. A question.
  2. A 24-hour clock counting down. And the choices: Pre-aprove, decline, send special offer.

So, is this an inquiry or a booking request?

Just a minute ago she booked another place, but we don’t care that much because, apparently, me and my hubby both didn’t like her / felt uncomfortable with her, but didn’t tell each other.
We have decided to communicate our doubts better to each other next time :blush:

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Usually it will say

So and so has requested to book the GutHand rental!

Can you post a screenshot of it so we can tell you for sure?

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Since she decided to book another place it doesn’t show up any more. Next time I will for sure take a screenshot !

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Oh… This was just an inquiry. The special offer tab doesn’t show up on requests. I avoid trouble by never pre approving. If they want it they will request it.

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I am going to push back. I have asked my to-be host 7 questions none of which are answered in her listing. She has answer exactly 3 of them. Sometimes, guests ask questions because they want to make sure that they are picking a host and space that feels comfortable. I went with location.

So, I am going to head to Florida not knowing if there is a coffee machine in the unit. Obviously, I will have a Melitta in the bag.


When there is a Pre-Approve option, it is an inquiry. For a Booking Request, the only positive option is ACCEPT.

If I am unsure of a coffee situation I now take my little Maxim single serve coffees with me. We discovered these at a hotel in Korea. We liked them so much we had to ask the hotel front desk for more every day! Upon leaving the country, I noticed maxim brand coffee was available in the duty free shop as one of the great things you could buy as a souvenir of your stay in Korea , along with Kim chi. :smiley: I kid you not. Before my son left his study abroad in Korea, I had him bring me a big box of Maxim. Unfortunately it was the sugar free kind and didn’t have the same taste as the ones in the hotel. Well recently, he found the right stuff in a small shop in Hilo and surprised me on Christmas morning with it.

Now before everyone jumps up and down about how ghastly instant coffee is, I implore you to try it. It’s really really good! And better than the crap most hotels would be offering.

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I’ve had both good and bad experiences trying to be an airbnb guest. I will keep trying it first but won’t hesitate to give up quickly when it is a pain in the @$$.

Based on what I’ve seen posted on this forum, right now she is thinking you are going to be a pain and she’s sorry she accepted you. Watch for a post about you on the forum, LOL


I don’t see that @smtucker has done anything that would qualify her as a pain in the ass. I like it when potential guests ask questions. That way I know that they are making sure that they and my listing are suitable for one another.

We had a guest recently who left early and dinged us on stars. Her first communication on arrival was to express disappointment that the bathroom was shared. Even though the listing clearly states multiple times that the bathroom is shared; I would have preferred that she ask than be unhappy.


I know! She is thinking “it is a damn SuperHost and she asks too many questions. She will be a pain in the butt, but I am happy that my last two open days in March are filled so I will tolerate her if I must.”

In my defense, her entire listing is 72 words. She mentions the pool three times, the marina twice, and the beach twice. I am not going to the beach or use the pool. No mention of what I will find in the kitchen, or if it is comfortable, or if there is a coffee machine. Let us say that she is hoping that the location will be all she needs to make a living. She joined AirBNB in December 2016 and has three condos listed in the same neighborhood. They all look just as sterile and un-lived in as this one does. I am looking forward to this whole visit and meeting her.

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I’m sure she will be a better host after your visit.

I have no doubt that all of your questions were justified. As someone whose first choice is Airbnb when I travel, I’ve seen many listings that aren’t up to snuff.


Obviously they are hosts who have yet to discover this forum. :smiley:

She just raised her prices on this unit by $30 per night!

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