Guest I've never hosted, 5 star host recommendation from ... ME?!

Woke up to an IB reservation message.

“… my friends Jack and Jill (not their real names, message paraphrased) recently stayed and they loved it! Excited to be able to stay there ourselves!”

Surprised because my IB requirements are the strictest possible such that ususally they send an inquiry.

Doubly surprised when one of the guest’s multiple positive reviews is from… ME!!!

Call Air. They look into it and tell me that she was with Jack during his recent stay. I said, no, she wasn’t. Even her message indicates she wasn’t. Well, Jack says she was. I say, no, she wasn’t.

What I learned is that Jack linked her as a guest during his stay, for whatever reason, and so my 5 star review extended to her profile. I protested, this isn’t right!

And, I continued, this is a trust and safety issue for my fellow hosts! You are telling me that anyone can say their friend stayed, to get (dupe) other hosts to trust and accept people who have potentially never even stayed in an Airbnb? That is just contrary to what the review system is all about! I don’t want her to have my review of HIM when she, implicit in her own words, never even stayed with me! I want it gone. She can get her review from me when she stays, based on her actual stay.

I hold a minute after he listens sympathetically, puts me on a brief hold while he consults on what can be done. The answer is that they can remove my review of her, by removing it from Jack’s profile. That is the only way. Well, Jack caused this problem whether through honest error, change in plans, I don’t know but Jack has no review from me, nor any other hosts, now.

Shame because his friend has multiple other great reviews from hosts that use her first name so they are clearly legit. Jack needed my five stars way worse than she did. Sorry, guy.


To play devil’s advocate, let’s say Jack and your guest had another trip, say to Vegas, where they earned a 1* review after they got blackout drunk on casino booze and trashed their rental. I’d want to know if my would-be guest were part of that group!

I agree, the primary guest does more to earn the review than their fellow guests. When I’m the responsible guest it’s on me to make sure my companions follow house rules. I’m the one that walks through the place to make sure things are good when we leave. As the travel companion I do none of that.

It seems like one of those situations where there’s no right answer. If they added flags to the “guest of guest” reviews, that would at least give hosts some info so we could address someone as an experienced user of the platform vs. a newbie who has traveled as a companion.

I get that as the intended purpose of the feature.

However, say I as a guest got 1-starred into oblivion and can’t get anyone to rent to me. So I say, hey, Jack, my buddy my man… aren’t you staying in an Airbnb this weekend? I need to rent one next month. Add me as a guest to your trip on the app, so I can get a host thumbs up on my newly created Airbnb profile and secure lodging with my new 5star profile next month. Yes, I know I can’t really stay with you, Jack. We will just pretend like I did.

That is my issue with the feature. Should be some kind of check-in with the host on this to confirm, yes, those guests really are the guests who stayed with the person who booked.

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Good point. People could artificially boost their ratings by adding themselves to “angel” trips. And guests just learn to avoid any guilt by association by not adding guests to their “devilish” trips.

I don’t know what the answer is. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Airbnb to change it though!