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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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