Guest booked for 16 people, brought 25. Advice?


I’m looking for advice as to how to proceed. We have a guest staying at our retreat who booked for 16 people. They have stayed 3 nights already and have one night left, but I have been unable to verify the actual number of guests in the group because I have never seen to the whole group together (our retreat is large - 3 cabins on 100 acres). However, it is quite clear there are more than 16. We allow this, but charge per additional person per night, as I made clear to the guest before she made the booking.

I have tried speaking to the guest who made the booking - but no success yet. I have left messages with the other guests for her to contact me, but again no success yet.

I just spoke on the issue with one of the other guests, pointing out that they only paid for 16 guests. She said she thinks the group is actually 25 people, but she was not 100% sure.

I have just recounted this conversation in an AirBnB message to the guest who made the original booking (so that there is a record of it) and asked her to indicate final numbers so we can finalize the payments.

My question is … what next? Do I raise an issue in the resolution centre now, or wait to see if the guest voluntarily pays up before they leave tomorrow? Or should I phone AirBnB now to alert them to the potential problem?

Anybody have any advice?


Phone them immediately!


Thanks. I spoke to AirBnB and was told to raise a resolution request, which I have now done. I explained I still didn’t actually know the final numbers, but was told to raise it assuming 25 people and let the guest disagree if they want to dispute the numbers.

First time in 4 years hosting I’ve raised any kind of resolution request. Had one raised on me once, which AirBnB investigated and dismissed.

I really hate doing this kind of thing, but the amount of money involved is quite large :frowning:


I rent a MUCH smaller space, but I have had guests sneak in friends a few times. Since AirBnB annoyingly doesn’t let you alter the number of guests for a reservation under way, I use the resolution center to request the money. If the guest won’t pay, I escalate and AirBnB has comped me out of their pocket every time. I don’t know if they’ll pay out of pocket for a larger amount.

You are smart to get this all in AirBnB messenger. I am friendly and non-confrontational to try to get the guests to confirm the actual party-size. I only had the guests ghost me once. During a one-night stay, he booked for two and said three might come, and I said that was fine but I charged $15 for the extra guest. When three checked-in, I messaged him and said, “I see your friend decided to come. No problem, let’s get that $15.” He didn’t respond to me and AirBnB couldn’t get a hold of him, so they just gave me my $15.

Sounds like you’re handling this well. Don’t feel bad about collecting what is owed to you!


Yes, I was worried by the sheer size of the additional amount - $900! I thought AirBnB might not cover such a large amount out of their own pocket - especially if the guest disputed it. And I was a bit short on actual evidence :frowning:

However, there has now been a development - lodging the claim in the resolution centre seems to have done the trick, because they came over to dispute the amount. Yes, there were 25 guests, but not for the whole period. So we agreed on a slightly lesser amount. And (again) I documented the discussion in an AirBnB message to the guest, and (again) spoke to AirBnB to let them know what was going on, and then (on their instruction) raised a new claim for the money (it turns out you cannot amend an existing claim - you have to cancel the old one and start over).

I will now wait to see what kind of review we get from them. They complained about the extra costs even though they knew in advance they would be liable for them, so I’m not exactly expecting a glowing review! :frowning:


$900 over 25 people is only $36 a person. Should not be that much sticker shock.


As I mentioned once (or twice) before I once had 2 guests book but noticed 3 leaving. One guy and identical twin sisters. As I didn’t see them together I assumed they were the same person. I contacted the guy and said he must have overlooked the extra person and he paid promptly. Best worst case scenario they admit the extras and then dispute your right to charge for them. As your listing says this and they agreed to your T&Cs they have no choice but to pony up. Worst case they dig their heels in and claim only the original number were present. If you have beds for 25 and they are all used you can use that as evidence. Good luck!

I bet they’re really pissed with the person who squealed. I’m envisioning some sort of human sacrifice ala The Wicker Man.


The booking was for several families with children, so the cost is not evenly distributed. Each family would have had to pay an additional few hundred dollars. I suspect the guest who made the original booking has made herself a bit unpopular as a result!


For some reason, this is one of my biggest fears with hosting on Airbnb. I always worry that I’ll come back to a house party but so far nothing bad has happened. Glad to see support is working with you on this and the guest is at least (somewhat) cooperative.

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I can’t even imagine having 25 guests.

Even if there’s parking for that many cars without upsetting the neighborhood, that’s a lot of stress on your plumbing and wear and tear on your property.

Don’t feel a bit bad about collecting what’s due to you. And give a factual review. If they complain in their review about being charged extra for additional unclaimed guests, they’ll be doing you a favor by alerting future guests of payment expectations.

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Was this during the stay or after check out?

I would not care if it was not for the whole time…once they stay, the beds are messy and there is extra cleanup.
Whole period concept doesnt cut it with me.


I agree about guests who occupy beds - they get charged for the whole booked period. But it is our usual practice to only charge “extras” for the nights the are actually here. This allows people to have visitors etc.

Other developments: The guests have just left. The mess is truly shocking. Clearly, they spent nearly all their time in our largest cabin, using the other cabins just as “bunk houses” (where they apparently slept several to a bed and also slept on the floors). So they had 25 people sharing the facilities (eating, washing, toilets, rubbish bins etc) of a cabin built for 8 people maximum. And it shows. Also, their children were not toilet trained. I had to explain to them how to use the composting toilet (which is used exactly the same as any other toilet) but that was clearly a waste of time because they just peed in the beds. I feel like getting a garden hose and hosing the whole place out. But I can’t, because we have another large group arriving tomorrow :frowning:

And they still haven’t accepted the request to pay the extra cost. Sometimes, you wonder why you ever got into this business :frowning:

I’m so sorry. Let us know if you get the money. I would be inclined to charge against their security deposit for the peed in beds & excessive cleaning required.

Well, surprise, surprise! They just paid the extra costs!

So I won’t be giving them the absolutely horrendous review I had planned … but it will still not be a positive review. We have spent (so far) 8 hours cleaning up after this group, and we are still not finished (and the next group arrives tomorrow!), The worst guests we have ever had before this (a rock group!) required a six hour cleanup by my partner and myself, so this is a new low :frowning:

Glad they paid. They deserve an honest review for bringing extra guests, kids peeing in beds and leaving place in such bad shape

During. I sent my “I see your friend did decide to come” message as soon as they checked-in and sent a reservation request. Funny thing is, the guy never replied but left me a short 5-star review!

Although no reply, did he pay?

If a guest didn’t reply I’d probably go over/out/down and try to catch him in person. It’s also always tempting to have the power go out and see if suddenly they are responsive to your messages. The problem with resolution requests is that they are hard to find/see. They aren’t in the message thread and they aren’t attached to the reservation. They are partioned off so I also include “you can find the request by checking your email, Airbnb will send a link. Once you accept it we are all set.” So it’s possible he just couldn’t find the request and it was such a short stay he didn’t get around to messaging you to ask where it was.