Guest arrival after check in window - thumbs down?

My check in window is until 10pm. My rates are too low for me to lose any sleep. I also have a friendly but verbal dog when it comes to new people and neighbours.

The guest originally wanted to arrive at 8pm no later than 9, then arranged in advance to arrive at 9.30 instead, fair enough. On the day he messaged me at 9.15 pm to tell me he wasn’t going to arrive until 10.15. No apologies whatsoever. He excused himself by saying he couldn’t message as he was driving (he had people in the car so could have actually) and there was loads of traffic getting out of London (no shit Sherlock). When he arrived it transpired one of his friends had been ill and there was a delay leaving London. There’s always a reason! He didn’t say why he did not message me at that point to let me know he would be late. Seems to me he’s got naff all respect for my time. He wasn’t even going to settle his bags in at that point, until I said if he did that in the early hours that might set the dog off again. Thumbs down?

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Your non-negotiables are your non-negotiables. He’s probably don’t going to give you a good review anyway so you may as well be honest your assessment.

BTW, I’ve had guests who had a bad review and they booked other Airbnbs after their bad review so this idea that if one of us gives a bad review it ends a guest’s Airbnb adventures is in error.


People who don’t respect my time piss me off enormously.

But there again, hosts who are in the business of providing hospitality should make sure that life is easy for their guests.


Because it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

As someone who is almost pathologically incapable of being late I find it annoying when people say: “I’ll just be 10 minutes late” when they know full well it is more like an hour. On the other hand when my weekend guests say “We’ll be there at 7pm after leaving work” I know it will be more like 8 or 9pm because they don’t realise how many people are leaving town at the same time and the traffic slowdown on the freeway on a Friday. Then again I don’t have to meet them. I only ask people when approximately they plan on being here so I know if I have to rush the cleaning and turnaround or I can take my time and have lunch first. If I had to actually meet people I think I would be a lot more annoyed about lateness.

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Bearing in mind he is not paying for an hotel or 24 hour check in, it would be easy for him to leave London in good time. It would have been even easier for him to message me from London to let me know he was running late - 2 minutes max! If you want other people to make life easier for you, you have to pay them.

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Yep indeed if it’s an arrangement to meet someone and you’re keeping them up it is different. If you live in London you KNOW the roads are busy with people trying to escape on the weekend. If you live on the outskirts, you don’t go back IN towards the centre to pick up friends like my guest did, you get them to come out to you!

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Was he only 15 min after check in decline?
I hate it when they tell me they are late AFTER the time they specified-so i am already there waiting; and don’t simply end message with “my apologies”.

In the end he arrived at 10.25pm, check in ends at 10pm.

Yep, obviously they would have known they were not going to arrive on time because they didn’t depart on time, so why not message then.
Someone said it’s easier to apologise than to get ‘permission’ to be late in advance. Maybe there’s some truth in that, it gives them the illusion for longer that they’re a good person because they’re rushing and not taking responsibility.
To me it’s worse, a double whammy of lateness and no communication. I don’t know how to get through to people that my time is important and times are arranged for a reason - they give us freedom to do stuff and peace of mind. People who are late steal our time and imprison us in a limbo waiting state where it’s hard to get stuff done or relax.


I looked up this entrepreneurial saying from Grace Hopper and found it interesting. In this case however the contract and agreement had already been made, both in my listing which says 10pm at the latest and in our agreement which said 9.30. I wish Airbnb had the facility to change for late check in, but it doesn’t. (I also wish it had the facility to charge for kitchen use, but that’s another story).
So my interpretation of the saying is that I should just give him thumbs down and apologise later, maybe!

When I lived in London I would allow 1 hour for people to turn up late. Still one friend left me waiting at a restaurant for 2 hours!

This sounds very familiar. I have the same check in window. Check-in time is 10 pm strict. Not any later.

So I had this guest who booked, supposed to arrive yesterday, who told me he wanted to arrive at 8pm no later than 9. At 8.30 pm, he writes a text message stating that he would be “more than two hours late”. Just after midnight, I started texting and then trying to phone back. No reply whatsoever.

Turns out he was driving from Bordeaux, France, to Cologne, Germany, a distance of 1,100 kms and his French phone doesn’t work abroad (i.e. in Belgium and Germany), so he was using the phones of his fellow Blablacar passengers to write messages to me (and of course, those people didn’t reply to my texts or calls back).

He finally arrived at 0.30 this morning. However, he turned out to be a nice guy, giving me a bottle of French wine as a welcome present. I hardly ever get any presents from any of my guests, so this was kinda cute. He was stuck in the traffic jam around Paris, that’s why he was late.

I would love to exclude guests travelling by car from booking my place, since they almost always arrive late. However, I don’t think this option exists.

@Jess1 - You can set a late check-in charge in your house rules, and politely remind the guest of that when they give you their check-in time. Then, if they are late, simply request money from them through AirBnB, and notify them the fee is for their late check in. Often, the knowledge there is a financial penalty for being late will change a guest’s behavior.


That’s really useful thanks! Perhaps a small fee for a little late, more for even later. Like the dog groomers! Mind you my pooch would never let me be late.

I can definitely feel a late charge coming on in my house rules! After midnight would be a premium, since it would spoil the next day for me. It’s not just the waiting up that’s a problem, it’s also the fact that I am wired on work mode ready for guests, and it takes me a while to wind down afterwards.

And if they are a bit vague about check in, I never know when to shower! I always decide to clean and prepare the rooms before a shower, no point getting sweaty after a shower. Then when I’m done cleaning, I get the fear - what if they turn up a bit early, and I’m showering? So, I’m generally not at my freshest when they arrive. I’m not saying I’m stinky, but I would rather have had a shower.


Sometimes I ask them to message me when they get to the city limits or whatever so I get forewarning of when they arrive. I also sometimes ask that they wait in a pub or cafe if they’re early because I am working. They really cannot expect 24 hour check in without paying for it.

I could always have an extra squirt of Issey Mayake Majeure :slight_smile:

If I’m expecting guests and they’re late, I find a sure-fire way of getting them to turn up is to have a shower or even just go to the toilet … works every time!


I almost always end up giving self check-in instructions to people on a road trip for this reason. They never arrive when they thought they would, and I think it makes it less stressful for them. If they decide to stop and eat, sightsee, or get stuck in a traffic jam, they don’t have to rush or keep updating me. We live very close to the unit so I still ask them to message when they arrive and if one of us is available we can pop over, but we don’t have to plan our day around it.