Guest showing up days late not communicating until the day after check-in

Hey All!

Semi-new AirBNB host here of 2 months. Yesterday my wife and I were supposed to have a guest check-in for a 13 night stay. We luckily have a Smart lock which allows our guests to check-in without us being there. With that being said, we noticed the next day that our guest had not checked in.

We went back through the messages with the guest, and found out they had never responded to any of our messages to them. Then we decided to send them another message checking with them to see if they would be checking in.

After waiting a few hours for a response, we reached out to AirBNB support to see what we should do in this situation. AirBNB reached out to the guest by phone, and a few hours later we got a response from the guest stating they would likely be checking in on Friday (Today is Tuesday).

Now this isn’t a huge deal for us as long as they are paying for the nights, however I’m concerned about the lack of communication and the fact that they could cancel at anytime for a 50% refund…which would give us less time to get another guest booked.

I’m not sure what the right thing to do in this situation is. Canceling their reservation seems wrong, but I can’t be sure they will even show up Friday as their wording said “I will likely be checking in on Friday”.

Any suggestions? AirBNB hasn’t offered much support yet.

Don’t cancel. I wouldn’t. And if pressed by them to refund the nights they weren’t there, I’d say that like hotels, if you’ve booked, the room is set aside for you and you’re on the hook for the booking, not just when you show up. Air won’t give you much support, sadly.

Recently someone stayed with me - 8 night reservation. 3 nights in, guest got called away to another job site and wanted to keep the reservation. Guest contacted me via the Air platform to say they didn’t need the last 2 nights and asked for them to be refunded. I said yes because they didn’t ask for the nights they weren’t there, just the last 2 and because I hope to do business with their organization and have offered them a special rate.

I’d contact Air if they bail on you on Friday and they try to get their money back. Refuse even 50% because they are playing games.

This seems like a really good approach and it’s probably what I’m going to do. Still would love to hear from others to get more perspectives!

I think what is bothering me the most here is the lack of communication. They didn’t communicate that they wouldn’t be showing up until AirBNB called them. I’ve responded to their message politely asking if they could let me know what has caused the delay.

I feel like asking that might not be appropriate here, but I’m also trying to gauge how likely they are to show up Friday. So far they haven’t responded, and I’m not sure I expect to receive a response.

They haven’t mentioned anything about canceling, which I think is a good sign they won’t…but I can’t really be sure.

Truly, I don’t worry if I don’t see guests. I admit I’ve never had guests not turn up at all, but many who have gone off for a night or a couple of days.

My way of looking at it is that they’ve paid for the rental for check in time on day of arrival until check out time on day of departure and whether they are there or not in that time is their prerogative. If they choose not to stay in a place they’ve paid for, that’s up to them.

I wouldn’t have contacted Airbnb to alert them. When do you normally receive the money from Airbnb?


Don’t cancel. They probably had a change of plans. They probably didn’t reach out to you because you have the Smart lock. I had guests check in days later because they had a family situation that delayed their travels. They too didn’t let me know. I found out when I sent them a message the day after check in to see if everything met their expectations. That’s when they messaged me back telling me they had not yet checked in. They never requested a refund for the unused days.


Just wanted to follow back up on this thread, especially as it might be helpful for other new Hosts!

I did not cancel the reservation, and gave the guest some extra time to respond. They did respond letting me know they had some unexpected circumstances and that they were not interested in canceling the reservation. They understood my concerns and were very nice about addressing them. This was a huge relief for us, and I’m glad to see the outcome was good.

Another note is that the payout was sent today, which I believe would make it much harder for them to cancel with a refund which means I really didn’t have much to worry about from the beginning.

Glad I had this experience early as this gives me a lot of good knowledge for the future.

Thanks all!


Just so you know, as a new host, when you receive payout in no way affects the guest. Generally you receive payouts the day after checkin but the guests pay when they book. They could pay half then and the other half usually within a week or two before checkin but the guest has paid.

The main exception is for cases where they payment gets held up and this usually only affects bookings made within 72 hours or less of check-in (most often same day or day before).

You might want to change your cancellation policy to Moderate or Strict to avoid losing money if you have guests who do decide to cancel mid stay.


With moderate you still lose some money but not as much as with flexible.