Funny inquiry about cleaning and service fee

Got this inquiry that made me laugh out loud.

Hi. I need a place on the island from 1/4-1/6 and then again from 1/10-1/12. I was wondering if no one books it from 1/6-1/10 could we pay only one cleaning fee and one service fee?

I blocked the night of the 10th and sent her a preapproval. She didn’t book, but I gave her a lot of credit for creativity!


I could see only charging one cleaning fee if a guest doesn’t care if the place didn’t get cleaned and no fresh sheets or towels provided, if it did stay empty in the interim, but she obviously doesn’t understand that the service fees have nothing to do with the host, nor that there wouldn’t be two service fees for 2 bookings.

It depends how a host’s availability is set up- I always leave one night between bookings anyway, so if a guest wanted to stay twice with a 2 day break between stays, I wouldn’t be able to take a booking for those 2 days anyway, and I might actually tell a guest to make one booking for the whole period, deduct the cost of 1 night, and not do any cleaning or linen change between the 2 stays.

So what she’s asking for was indeed creative, and might actually be accepted in some cases.


Interesting. It is a no go for me. I get the place cleaned immediately as I accept same day bookings. So, I’d have to clean the place twice for her even if it remained empty in between.


This is actually interesting (beyond the creativity) because it tells us that guests think the service fee is something that we hosts charge and have control over, and that it’s a flat rate rather than a percentage that Airbnb takes. I’ve long suspected that this is what most people think, and I’m 99.99% positive that’s what Airbnb wants guests to think.


My guests with split bookings are usually repeaters so I end up booking directly since it is complicated and expensive for them. Alternatively I have a listing that I rarely open and if someone new wants this arrangement I open and have them book that listing for the total number of nights, block the actual room they will be using and it all works out much easier. I don’t have a separate cleaning fee so I discuss expectations in-between stays if no one will use the room in-between. Most say forget changing sheets but appreciate clean towels and replenished supplies, and tidying up without major disinfecting practices.

1 Like

yep. they don’t go to any effort to explain their service fee.


What AirBnB wants is for the hosts to pay them the service fee (“simplified pricing”) so AirBnB looks innocent. With the new total price option for searches, AirBnB is in a much better place to force all of us to simplified pricing. Then we’ll have to do more explaining because the guest will never see the service fee.


They actually kinda do. It’s right there in the pricing breakdown on the listing page, again in the breakdown on the payment page and it’s also explained in several places in the new user “get started” stuff. Of course, they’re not waving a big banner at the top of the page about it but ultimately they’re dealing with the same averse-to-reading guests that we are.

I’ve never had it come up after nearly 400 stays. Most people aren’t so daft. We all use numerous services that all come with fees every day. Nearly everything has a fee. I just paid our (very expensive) natural gas bill and the gas itself is oddly cheap but the bill is 80% fees. (And BTW, $%&@!*^# ThredUp is charging service fees for returns now, ugh I didn’t realize when I ordered too many things).

Personally, I think that any guest who acts dumb about having to pay fees is out there in the world acting dumb about other stuff too (and probably tweeting about it as well, lol). I just don’t think we need to concern ourselves with those people. They come around but they’re not the norm.


Agreed. I do my best to not encourage these people to book.

You give Airbnb too much credit. Airbnb has botched this service fee thing. All other OTAs have known for a long time that showing their commission would turn off guests. So, they don’t show their service fees.

Airbnb has finally realized that breaking out fees makes no sense at all. I just wish they would show the total including all fees and taxes. Guests don’t need to know how much the accommodation cost is, cleaning fee or service fees. A total is all they need to know. That’s how most people budget.

I frequently get requests saying my budget is $abc. They never say my budget is $x for accommodation, $y for cleaning and $z for service fees.


I agree that’s how most people budget, and guests have been complaining for years about seeing a reasonable nightly price, only to have it double or triple when they go to book it when the cleaning, pet and service fees and taxes are added on.

But I’m a person who would still like to see a breakdown if I were a guest. I would want to see, for instance, how much the host was charging as a cleaning fee, because I could decide if I thought it was reasonable or not (an informed decision, taking into account where in the world the listing was, i.e. what average wages are for a cleaner, the size of the place, etc). I don’t like it when hosts list a really low nightly price to lure people in, but then have some outrageous cleaning fee, and I would decline to book with a host who ran their business like that.

1 Like

Genuine question: what would need explaining in that scenario?

I think one of the scenarios this would get tricky is refunds. That whole thing about

“Full refund” refers to your nightly rate only. Refunds on Airbnb guest fees depend on several factors.

wonder how this will get handled.

Cancellation policies for your listing - Airbnb Help Center

If guests see no service fee they would assume that the price on the listing is all going to the host. They would have no idea that 15% is deducted by Airbnb from the host’s payout.


well, guess what? Yesterday she instant booked :frowning:
She probably didn’t find anyone else to accept her ridiculous proposal.

No mention of any fee refunds yet, but I think it may be coming. I have blocked the night of 10th to prevent her from booking it. I’m kicking myself for not blocking her. If I open the night of 10th and she books 10 to 12, then I’m in for an annoying conversation.


You never know. Just because a guest asks a question like that doesn’t mean they are entitled types who will give you a hassle. Good luck.

I’m surprised this close to the days that no one else booked it.

Now you have to explain the 15% (?) commission when you are asked for a discount.

Good luck and keep us posted!!

Guest came and her stay was uneventful. Asked for some extra beach towels and supplies, which I’m happy to provide.

I left her five stars and she also left me five stars.