Do you have to pre-approve? Or Decline?

So a lady asked me last night for a booking that has 3 issues. Basically they want to arrive at noon and depart at noon the next day, but a) I don’t usually do 1 night bookings unless there is a gap, b) my checkin is at 3pm, c) checkout is at 10 am. So I message her back saying I could do the late check out, but if I have guests the night before I canyt promise a noon check in, because I need about 3 hours for cleaning. And I am willing to do the 1 night bookings since it’s on a weekend for a slightly higher rate. But now Airbnb is sending me notifications to pre-approve or deny. Am I required to do so, especially within timeframe? The lady hasn’t answered my response so I don’t want to pre-approve because I don’t want her to try to just book and then have the dates be wrong or something.

I would personally decline this enquiry because I’ve always had a bad experience when someone wants me to bend my own rules, particularly over check-in-out extensions. From experience, that’s a red flag for me. It could be that they haven’t bothered to read your listing properly; that’s another red flag!

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I don’t like this at all. Are they taking the bus to Carlsbad?

You’ve already messaged her back but in the future I would say “sorry no early check in or late check out. I take back to back bookings and I need the entire five hours to clean the house.” Once you book her in you are not going to be able to get a weekend booking. I would only take a one night booking if it was literally last minute (day of, maybe day before) and it was fairly certain that one day would be better than none. I would counsel a bit more patience as you see if you are going to get last minute bookings.

I got an inquiry yesterday and replied four hours later. I didn’t approve or decline and I’m not getting any messages pressuring me to do so but I’d ignore them if I was.

You do not have to do either pre-approve or deny, just respond to an inquiry. There will be no penalty. I previously was confused by this also so you’re not alone. If you still see a clock ticking just refresh your browser and it will stop.


Ok so since she hasn’t booked, are those dates blocked on my calendar? Could I tell her sorry, someone else booked and then decline her?

No they should be open until she books. You could block it, decline and then unblock later. I’d just message her again and say sorry you can’t accommodate her, no need to lie. If she inquires again requesting two nights then maybe. For one night? NO.


Hi @janeandcharley

Do have a look at Airbnb Help Centre - it covers the basics around managing bookings as a host including how to manage booking inquiries and requests.

If she hasn’t replied within the 24 hours slot, just send her a message to say as you haven’t heard back from her to confirm the booking you will need to decline.

The dates don’t get blocked on your calendar unless you have a confirmed booking.

You don’t need to lie it is your place and up to you to decide who you want to have stay (unless you have IB turned on).


I had one uncomfortable request so far and I actually reported the user, but I blocked the dates and then reopened afterwards. That worked well and then I didn’t have to get in an online argument with this person.

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Air seems hit or miss on this. I got an inquiry the other day and responded with my standard reiteration of my house rules and what staying at my place entails (I find it helps head off issues related to people not fully reading/understanding my listing) and still Air sends me reminders that I have X amount of time to “accept or decline.” I find this irritating.

I am not going to “accept or decline” until the guest has a chance to say “oh yeah, we’re on board” or “gosh I didn’t see that you are so far out of the city or that you don’t allow pets.”


I echo Helsi. These are basic questions with hosting. Review all of it before you do another thing. I don’t think you should even consider someone who asks favors like this on the first inquiry. They often are not good guests. Just decline. As Mandi says, guests are like street cars. Another one will be right along.

Oh its not the first booking. It’s like the 10th, although only started with our first guest today. I probably should have just declined but they were very polite and I had already said I could do late check out, because I can. The cleaning window is 5 hours but I only need 3. And the one night thing I don’t mind on occasion and they did pay me more for it.

Also I did review everything, and I have been doing research for literally 6 months. But then Airbnb sends 3 emails in 18 hours saying “pre-approve or decline” that sound very much like those are your only two options, and you start to second guess yourself.

I’m sure you know this since you’ve been researching but keep in mind you might come in and find a bigger mess than you anticipated or find something broken and wish you had more time.

Excellent news.

I really value having the quiet hours between 1-5 pm to myself; I’d go nuts otherwise. It gives me time to garden,(then clear up the mess…), put my feet up with a book or read the paper, a quick trip into town for supplies. I had people arriving last week who had her PA book on her account, after I declined a third party booking. The PA asked what was the earliest they could check-in; 5 pm. No further contact until the morning they were due, when I began to receive a near constant stream of messages;-

Guest: " How long will it take us to drive to Dover from Amsterdam? We’ve just landed"
Me: “I’ve only ever flown in. You could check on line. And are you arriving by ferry or The Tunnel”.
G: “Tunnel. GPS says 2 .5 hours to Dover”.

Yikes! It’s midday and I’m just going out.

M: " Here are directions from The Tunnel to the house. Please don’t use your SatNav as it will
send you to the wrong location Check-in is at 5 pm. I will be home by then to welcome you".
G: “We are at the ferry in Calais, leaving at 2 pm. Expect to arrive at 3 pm”.
M: “Have you factored in that France is an hour ahead of the UK? You will arrive at 2 pm.
Check-in is 5 pm. You could visit the Castle or White Cliffs nearby before check-in.”

In the face of such intransigence I cave in and say I’ll be home by 4 pm.

G: "We are just disembarking. GPS says ten minutes to your house."
G: “GPS sent us to outside the Royal Military School. Where are you?”

I reach home by 3.30 pm. Just taken my coat off when I see a lanky bearded chap rock up to the front door. Oh, you’re in, he says. Just I say, come in. No, we’ll sit in the car until 5 pm. That would be silly now you’re here; do come in (plastic smile in the face of his passive aggressive stance).

In they come, leaving their sons in the car, look around, coo and gush at the aged house, meet the cats, say the boys will love being able to cuddle them, then take a restaurant recommendation; he takes a dump, then they suddenly leave without saying anything. 20 minutes later " Sorry, have to cancel as our sons are allergic to cats. We didn’t know about them. Given we booked so late, can you refund the night?".

No, no, no. I didn’t.


“Sorry there is a charge (of an amount equaling the reservation) for using the toilet, early arrival and getting a tour, but I’ll credit your reservation towards the fee and call it even.”

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Haa! I took the lot without a qualm. Ridiculous people.


Ughhhhh. That’s annoying