Guest Payments at Check-In

I have seen a number of theories on this.

Guest comes with unregistered people or pets at check-in. Or they are trying to do a last minute check-in early/early bag drop when you charge for it. Or other billable issues.

Some hosts say they take a credit card payment or cash at that time. Does that work really? Does that cause a risk of payments outside the Airbnb system? Or perhaps VRBO?

Do you seriously try to do a request payment through the Airbnb system while they’re standing there at the door? Does that work? Or do you get stiffed?

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When guests first arrive and they have added people or pets to their booking, I would demand cash for the balance owed – not a check or credit card.

If they don’t have cash to pay, then delay their check-in until they go to the nearest ATM for a cash withdrawal.

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If they have added guests I want it on the booking, so I would send a booking change via Airbnb. I would allow the number of registered guests to enter, but no others until it is settled. I make it very obvious that no unregistered guests or visitors are allowed. Period.

If you take cash, you have no record— and no contract. Enter “wild west” mode.


DaleW: After reading many past Airbnb Forum postings about the lack of support from Airbnb customer service, I suggest taking “cash payments.”

If this were the Wild West, I would hang these violating Airbnb guests like horse thieves. Giddy-up!


I’ve read twice on other threads in the past 2 days that you should use the resolution center and get the payment through Airbnb. It seems like a hassle, but it’s probably the best way to protect yourself.

I kinda wonder if asking for an additional payment with a guest standing at your door (regardless of the reason or the payment method) significantly increases your chances of receiving a lower review rating from the guest.

I get a lot of first-timers and while we all know the system, they don’t. So sometimes they’ve come with a third or fourth person and we have a small additional charge for above two people. I’ve used the Resolution Center and cash to handle the difference. I think I prefer the resolution center method because it is “on the record” and should there be any issues later, it’s evidence that it was them, not us, who are not following instructions. We are in-home hosts who also collect taxes by cash and that will remain the same process.

Good luck getting payment via resolutions!
Three booked, six stayed, treated the home like a hostel. Money requested and they denied it!
Six beds used, shoes on inside, three burnt and ruined pans and a stolen phone charger!

Do you have a policy for extra guests in your house rules? And did you have solid proof that they had the three extra people spend the night (as well as the damage)?

I do - no unregistered guests and no visitors and they admitted it in the message thread. So sad Too BAD from resolutions.

But you cannot do a change request on check-in day anymore. You must call Airbnb.

I accept cash or other online methods of payment or will send Resolution Request that they must accept on the spot or they will not be able to get in the house.

It often does result in a lower rating but its either that or I can just turn them away. Since it is check-in day they can cancel and still eave a review. in that case they will leave an even worse one for sure.

They have to accept or they shouldn’t be allowed to get in. I made that mistake a few times but wont be doing it again…

Follow up with a call to Airbnb and keep trying.

I take cash at check in, no money = no key.
What kind of risk? AirBnB does not openly support this, but they allow it.
And in occasions where they are unable to charge a short-notice guest, they even promote this.

I never do extra payments trough the system upon or after arrival.

My advantage is that they have to register all guests.
When I notice extra guest, I print a separate invoice and ask them to pay.
I never had a guest refusing.

Same goes for extended stays, if they want to stay 1 or 2 nights longer, they can do so, and pay me cash.

Or cleaning out the barn :slight_smile:

These changes surprise me did anyone get notice? Obviously I didn’t see anything.

I do try to head some of this off with my check in message sent a week prior to arrival. I mention no third party bookings, no unregistered guests or visitors and the number of guests must match the booking (same thing in different words).