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I have a guest who has advised they can’t visit as their Grandma in law died and have gone to another state, then they said they also just got married last week and a multitude of other reasons. They tried to get me to allow their friends to come and stay instead. I said no to a third party booking.
They have not cancelled and are due to check in tomorrow.
AirBnb said to just let the booking continue.
My question is do I need to send check in details? I’m a bit concerned she will send her friends as she clearly isn’t going to be coming With her family and has tried for refund.
If I don’t send checkin message could I be penalised as a host and she finds a loop hole for refund?
If someone shows up perhaps I could meet them instead of self check in and ask to view ID?
Thanks for any advice in advance.
If you are going to be rigid over not allowing the guest to utilise the booking for someone else, then that is probably your best option.
Personally, I’m not totally against third party bookings with Airbnb, we’ve had a few and they’ve been fine. We’ve had quite a few with BDC, some work oriented and others where son/daughter books for visiting parents.
We collect full ID at check in, by law, so don’t have any issues about knowing who is in the property.
I do need to be rigid with the third party booking as AirBnb have read my guests correspondence and told the guest it is not permitted. She also implied something about a review if I did not agree. Later she said ‘revenue’ not review! I do not know who her friends are.
In that case yes, just treat it like any other booking but amend your check in instructions, as in don’t provide self check in details. Inform the guest that you will be personally checking her in.
If it’s all in the Airbnb message app, then if she does review you stand a decent chance of having it removed due to the hint of review extortion. Also, if the actual guest doesn’t turn up, but her friends do then any review can be removed as she didn’t actually stay at the property.
Any advice how to handle the situation if guests friends show up? Can I request ID? I have added into the house rules…” Photo ID May be requested at check in to verify guests registered at the property”
It’s probably better to try and resolve the issue before it gets to that, i.e. explain to the guest in no uncertain terms, in your check in message, that it is only her who can check in and that if third parties show up, they will not be allowed access to the property.
If someone does turn up there is no reason why you can’t ask to see ID under the circumstances. Be polite and firm, and explain to them that the booking is solely for the use of the “guest” and that it is against Airbnb’s T&C’s for you to allow them access. Cite lack of insurance etc, or the fact you could be kicked off Airbnb if you let them stay.
Show them a copy of the message you sent the guest, so you can cast the blame on her
Agree. For guests whose plans have changed, I send a reminder to cancel through the Airbnb platform. Sometimes guests don’t understand that a host can’t just cancel the reservation for them (like a hotel) due to Air penalties.
I would’ve asked CS to do an admin cancellation in this case. Anyway . . .
Start with what looks like a boilerplate robo message, then add a personal note:
Check in for your reservation beginning [date] is [time]. Your host will meet you and request photo ID.
[Guest Name], I understand your plans have changed. As a reminder, a reservation cancellation must be made by you directly on the Airbnb platform. As discussed, Airbnb prohibits third party reservations, so we cannot accommodate a guest substitution.”
The good news is nobody has shown up and the guest did not reply to my check in. The guest has no profile picture and one review. They don’t have my lock box number so nobody else can enter. There is also a camera at the front door.
I guess I’ll get payment for the reservation but will not be able to fill the dates which is fine.
I hope this helps anyone else that gets a similar scenario.
Airbnb is the only OTA who demonise third party bookings. Not only does BDC, VRBO, TA etc allow them, they actually facilitate them by having processes in place to enable them.
Ultimately, every guest (other than repeats) is a “random stranger”, even on Airbnb.
What if the sky fell down, what if the oceans dried up…
You remind me of a previous regular poster on here, they too consistently focused on the negative aspects of STR, and ultimately came across as someone who really didn’t get the whole principle of being involved in the hospitality sector.
The vast majority of STR stays, third party, first party, whatever, all simply go ahead without issue. Nothing gets stolen, nothing gets broken, nobody throws a wild party; the guests arrive, the guests leave and the hosts gets paid. Quite a simple concept really.
If something does happen, by having a robust check in policy and the correct STR insurance in place then you deal with it. As to being “supported” by Airbnb, anecdotal evidence would suggest that it’s now a bit of a lottery, given their guest centric attitude.
Excellent. A few days less wear and tear and one less clean to do
Do you think they would actually support you if the actual guest damaged the property? Sure, they will ask they guest to please agree to pay…
That being said, why are you so worried? Have you ever had damages that you needed support from air or any other booking service? I have not. I have never asked Air to mediate anything. I manage my own business, air is just one way I get bookings.
Call Air back and cancel this because “I’m not comfortable with this guest. I think they’re going to try a 3rd party booking, against Air policies.” Basically, the guest gave you BS reasons and now they want to fulfill the 3rd party booking.
No. Cancel this ASAP and tell Air you’re not comfortable with the booking.
To be fair, according to many experienced hosts, in the olden days there were a lot less guests who had a huge sense of entitlement, threw wild parties trashing people’s homes, or pulled scams like lying about bed bugs or some other bogus accusation in order to demand refunds. They were just tourists and travelers who needed accommodation, were personable, polite, and appreciative.
Not all hosts have seen a big shift in the quality of guests, but certainly many have. Seems to somewhat depend on the location and nature of the listing.