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Do you take the risk for the revenue?

I’m interested in the general view on 3rd party booking requests and if you may have handled this one differently.

Our location is a wedding destination. The bride sent an enquiry via her Air account requesting to book on behalf of an older aunt who is attending her wedding in August this year for one of our bedrooms for a week.

I replied that as the booking is 6 months out it would be good for the guest to create her own account and book when ready. I blocked the dates for her. The bride said that the guest doesn’t have the internet or a mobile phone but she would sort it.

A week later she messaged saying that it is sorted and would I unblock the dates so the booking could go ahead. I then received an Instant Booking from someone else, who happens to be a superhost, on behalf of the aunt.

I messaged the superhost as follows:

" I have had this conversation with the bride. It is against Airbnb Terms and Conditions to book on behalf of another person.

If this is the case and you will not personally be staying with us as part of this reservation I am requesting that you cancel this booking. If you do not, I will contact Airbnb and have them attend to it."

The following day the superhost cancelled with the message:

“Hi John I am an Airbnb host and often receive bookings by one person for another. I presume the person booking takes responsibility for the person staying. I was only trying to help a friend who was struggling with the technology. Didn’t mean to upset you. I’ll cancel the booking.”

Shortly thereafter I received a booking from the aunt from her new Air account and I replied as follows (I’ve kept the chatty bits in to maintain the context):

We’re looking forward to welcoming you on Thursday 13 August for xxxx’s wedding xxxxxxx.

Love your part of the world. In the late 70’s or early 80’s I sang some Aussie songs to children in a little school on the edge of the Sound before going out to the leases with a local mussel farmer. Beautiful. Don’t forget to bring some with you :slight_smile: Mussels that is - not farmers or children.

Yes it can be a runaround getting your first booking sorted but now that you’re set up who knows where you’ll go?

There are four main reasons why we require bookings to originate from the actual guest.

  1. Airbnb have a $1m insurance policy protecting you and us in the event of something occurring which is covered by the policy. If someone else makes the booking on your behalf this protection isn’t available.

  2. Airbnb is built on honest reviews which are associated with the account that made the booking. This can only work properly if the person staying is the person writing the review and being written about.

  3. In our case we are renting rooms in our actual house. We live alongside our guests while they are with us. For this reason we need to be fairly sure that the person staying is the person they say they are. This wouldn’t have applied to you but we host young ones mostly from everywhere.

  4. Airbnb is important (make that essential) to us so we are careful to follow the rules.

I realise that that is a bit of an essay but I wanted to explain things from our point of view so that you were aware of why we are insistent on this policy where possible.

Only 6 months to go. See you then xxxxxxx.

Bye for now
John

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I think you handled this well. I know there are a lot of hosts here who will say they take 3rd party bookings, no problem. But the major issue with them that I have read about with many hosts who’ve had problems with them, and which you didn’t include above, is that the person who stays hasn’t even read the listing description, house rues, anything, and arrives with false expectations or without a clue that they can’t smoke on the property, can’t bring their dog, etc, etc.

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I never take third party booking and to prevent sly guests from pretending they are showing up, I require the guest in the party be the first one to check in or together. Once had a guy do this then disappear and never came back to sleep.

What I suggest for elderly folks who are not computer savvy is to have their child create an account in their name and manage the booking for them.

When the booking actually occurs as a third party booking I have the guest contact Airbnb after they have set up an account for the correct person and have them cancel the original booking and transfer to the new. I write in my notes in the messaging field the I give permission for this. I also tell the guest that if they get an Airbnb customer service rep that say this can’t be done, to hang up and call back and get a new rep. I put the work on the guest so that I’m not wasting my time.

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So the bride/family is dumping an older person/Luddite at your listing with no way for said guest to communicate with the wedding party (no internet, no mobile)? I hope they’ve delegated someone to drive Auntie around and mange her logistics.

A superhost sent this? Clearly they haven’t read any forums or the TOS to know that their presumption is false.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

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We never look forward to hosting guests our own age. We discriminate against our own.

I don’t mind them, although they’ve been my most troublesome and high-maintenance. My concern is for this listing whereby 2 different people from the wedding party tried to help the older Luddite and I fear that the ball will be dropped and since you’re “staff,” the oldie will expect you to pick up the slack. Because she hasn’t read your note, no one has read it to her, and she’s “stayed in a B&B before.”

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Yes, I take several 3rd party bookings each year. I’ve had no problems but they are usually one night stays. I’m a resident host too. I always get the phone number for the person staying.

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and you can’t communicate with them on the platform either!

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Yes, I will take third party bookings and I’ve never had a problem.

The suggestion that guests are not covered by the Airbnb ‘insurance’ isn’t something that’s relevant. Most hosts have their own STR insurance and as we all know, claiming anything from Airbnb is not at all straightforward.

It’s only like having direct booking guests except it’s a little easier as Airbnb sees to the money side of things.

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