Guest sounds like a bit of a jerk, can I ask Airbnb to cancel?

Hi Folks,

I got a last minute booking this afternoon (for tomorrow).

The guest, an American, sounds like a bit of a jerk.

He complained about having to fill in Form C, which the govt requires. Nobody likes it, but complaining about it is unpromising. I suggested he cancel if he was not happy, and that I’d refund all his money. Obviously, I don’t want a bad review.

He was less than communicative over the messaging system, and said he was arriving at 12.30 pm, with no indication that he was asking for an early check-in. Also not promising.

I gave him a deal (two day stay, but 1/2 price on the second day because we was only staying till evening on Sunday), but I now wish I hadn’t.

He’s got some host reviews from a now deleted listing, as well as guest reviews, all positive. I generally have no problem with an early check in (within reason), but I obviously prefer people not to take it for granted.

I’m wondering if it would make sense to ask Airbnb to cancel his reservation without penalty, or am I overreacting? And if so, what grounds would I use?

Would type more, but I’m going to a yoga class right now.

ADDENDUM: It was suggested to me that I clarify the following. So I am hereby doing so. The sentence “The guest, an American, sounds like a bit of a jerk.” was not intended to imply in any way that the guest was a jerk because he was American. Nor can I think of any reason why that implication should be drawn. And I’m not interested in further discussing this. Seriously. And any attempts to do so will be ignored.

Hi @faheem

He does seem like a bit of a pain. You are a long established host and I think should go with your gut instinct. If he doesn’t make you feel comfortable.

I certainly wouldn’t be giving a guest a discount who wanted an early check in.

If you don’t have instant book just decline the booking.

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definitely cancel, all the guests ive had a bad feeling about ended up being trouble, nothing major, but breaking the house rules etc. i declined someone recently because i had a bad feelign about them.

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Hi @Helsi,

I’ve already accepted him. My question is whether I could ask Airbnb to cancel without penalty. I don’t want a message that says “host cancelled one day before arrival” prominently displayed in my listing. It’s been a bit more than an hour since I wrote to him suggesting he cancel - I haven’t heard back.

Hi @Cocoanouk,

I’d like to have the reservation cancelled, but I don’t want to do it. I want Airbnb to do it. I’ve already accepted the reservation. If I do it, I’ll lose SH status and more importantly get a message that says: “host cancelled a day before arrival”, which looks pretty bad.

Of course, Airbnb being Airbnb, it’s possible that they will cancel and make it look like I did it. Has this happened to anyone?

The guy does seem a bit odd. I wrote to him and said:

Please do contact me (call or text if possible) when you are on the way over here tomorrow, so I have a little notice. Thank you.

He replied:

I will be there at 1230!! I am always on time…

It is just me, or is this an strange way to respond to a reasonable request?

Could I tell Airbnb that he’s announcing he’s coming before the scheduled check out time, and that this is a violation of house rules? Or is this a stretch?

PS: The last (and only) guest who announced he was coming early and complained about Form C was the Crazy Frenchman. And there is a whole thread in this forum about him.

I’ve had the same feeling about some guests and once they arrived I was happy I hosted them. I don’t know what stresses are going on in their travels and communicating by email leaves a lot to guessing the full message. In your case he might not be taking anything for granted.

I think you got yourself backed into a corner a little by the special offer. I don’t know that I would do that. I’ve also travelled and know what a pain it is to have to drag luggage around all day because it’s a mid-afternoon checkin. I let my guests drop their luggage off almost anytime that is good for them. I tell them the other guest is still here and they cannot stay. Mostly they are happy about that.

I would welcome the guest. It’s only a day and a half.


That is you. It’s short and to the point. It answers your question succinctly. What more do you want?


Hmm. I read this as saying he’s saying I’m not going to communicate my arrival. That’s actually the first time anyone has ever said this.

And saying he’s always on time is ridiculous. Unless he is planning to arrive here by helicopter. Nobody in India is ever on time. Does he think he controls Bombay traffic? I suppose in theory it’s possible he could leave very early and hang around my neighborhood till the scheduled time, but almost nobody does that.

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Hi @Faheem

I don’t know what your check in time is. But 12.30 sounds early by anyone’s standards. I think the official Airbnb earliest check in point is 3 p.m.

Whether you can cancel really depends on your conversation.

If say your check in time is from 5 pm. and you messaged him and said -’ can you confirm what time you would like to check in’ and he says ‘12.30’.

What did you respond? Did you let him know that the listing won’t be available till whatever your check in time is?

Does he still want to check in at 12.30 contrary to your rules?

If so then that is a good reason to contact Airbnb and say you can’t accommodate the guest because he wants to stay contrary to your house rules for check in times.

By the way what did the guest say when you offered him a refund?

If Air will allow you to cancel penalty free then I would.

One guest told me he and his family will be arriving at such and such and time as they are always early whenever they go somewhere. I replied right away to his email and nicely told him to not arrive early on the property. He pretended to not receive the email (that’s another story) and his family showed up early when there was a closed gate at the end of the drive. All hell broke loose…

The key red flag here is he is telling you he will be there early and not asking if it’s okay.


Good question. I see that I didn’t say anything. My message was:

Ok. I still need an email address.

I think this is called letting it slide, which in this case was probably a mistake.

To be clear, I generally have no problem with people checking in early, nor do I charge them extra - and within Airbnb it would be difficult to do so anyway. Also nickel-and-diming is bad practice. However, the usual thing is that I ask when they will be coming, and they say it an early check in at such and such ok? And then I say sure. Sometimes they don’t even ask and I offer, if it is clear that they will be hanging around the city after landing, which really does help anyone.

In this case, I suppose I should have pulled him up about it, but didn’t.

He hasn’t responded. I sent him the message at 5.30 pm IST, just before my yoga class. And it’s now 8.50 pm IST.

NEWSFLASH: As I was writing this, he responded with

I’m not dissatisfied I’ll write you a good review ect don’t worry. I just don’t understand how to do this form online, it’s best for me to fill out
with you in person. I have limited internet and cant print this out by tomorrow. If you have a printed copy I will fill it out upon my arrival no

Hi @cabinhost,

That would seem like a reasonable approach in general, if I felt I could trust an Airbnb rep to not mark my account as me having cancelled it. Would you trust them?

And his last message (see above) was relatively placatory, so I’m inclined to let it go. What do you think?

Agreed. Taking stuff like that for granted is usually not a good sign. Though sometimes people can be thoughtless, but still harmless.

Although he appears to be a working professional, so one would expect him to be a bit more clueful about basic etiquette.

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Changing from an expensive hotel to a much cheaper Airbnb room last minute is a bit of a red flag, IMO.


It sounds like something has gone wrong with his trip. Maybe he ran out of money. Maybe he got in fight with his travel companion at the Ambassador. It could be many things which have put him in the bad mood that you are perceiving through his curt tone.

I could see this going either way. A fine guest who kept to himself while working out whatever his issues are. Or…a grumpy guy who takes his bad mood out on you and complains a lot.

I think it’s a huge risk to have the “Cancelled the day of arrival” on your record. I would never book with a host who had that, because it’s every Airbnb guest’s worst nightmare.

You may need to ride this one out by at least letting him check in and see where it leads. Be ready to kick him out if he breaks any rules once there.


Yes, I was wondering that myself. Actually, these days it doesn’t make much sense to use a hotel in Bombay. They’re way overpriced, and you get charged extra for everything. And stuff like internet access is often crap. The best Bombay Airbnbs are quite reasonable and a way better choice, I think.

And if you get a hotel regardless, why switch?

Well, in theory, if I ask Airbnb to cancel it, that shouldn’t happen. But that would require trusting Airbnb not to do that, which I don’t. And yes, I agree, I don’t want to see “Cancelled the day of arrival” on my record. Or “Cancelled the day before arrival”. Whatever.

And Airbnb is quite likely to refuse to do anything anyway, based on the record.

Yes, I’m leaning that way too. It’s only a day and a half. Hopefully nothing will happen.

But this is a lesson to me to try to be consistently more careful. Though in general I’m very much a “look before you leap” kind of person.

I have a hard time imagining myself doing that, except under extreme provocation.

E.g. when the Crazy Frenchman last year stood in the doorway of my home, yelling threats at me, I told him to leave or I would call the police. That’s what I mean by extreme provocation.

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Um, you’re exaggerating a tad. There are valid red flags here. And we’re all trained to look out for them.

And I don’t really do groupthink. I’m usually the guy on the sidelines trying to get people to calm down. Though they often don’t listen.

That’s certainly a possibility. Maybe his trip was partly being funded by someone else up to a point.

Question for the forum: would it (hypothetically) be appropriate in such a case to ask a guest why he/she is moving from a hotel to an Airbnb? I’m not going to - it’s a moot point now. But if one was trying to decide whether to accept a reservation, it might be something I’d want to ask.

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That is exactly how I would have responded to your request. I am a punctual person. I would have found it officious to be asked to reiterate that I will be on time. When guests tell me what time they will arrive I ask them to let me know if there are any changes, not to tell me a second time that they will arrive when they said they will.


Faheem, you can ask Air to cancel without penalty if the reason is good enough. If you feel it is too late, just try to get through the booking. Maybe wait at the door and don’t allow him in until the Form C is filled out. Agree he sounds like a pill. Many Americans are a bit paranoid about handing out information and subscribe a nefarious motive to it. Just stand your ground.

Well, it’s hard to be punctual in India. Try it and see. Having said that, if he’s at at the Amabassador, that’s at Churchgate. Basically a stones throw from here. So yes, he might be able to time it to get here at 12.30 pm.

I note that Ambassador room rates appear to start at roughly triple my rates.

Though its TA reviews aren’t stellar.

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I don’t understand why you ask questions on this forum. Every time someone answers you, you say that their answer is incorrect.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think that is true.


Hi @konacoconutz,

How are you doing? Let’s hope it won’t be a big dramatic thing. And yes, it’s a bit late now.

Yes, some people are. Identity theft is commonly cited as the main reason. And many people, not unreasonably, associate India with fraudulent activities.