Guest wants to change booking start date but can't do

Guest booked long time ago for over Christmas. Now guest wants to change dates (from 21-31) to start later (25-31) but I’ve already made plans that mean I won’t be in the area to check them in.

What do? My cancellation policy is strict as it needs to be.

I’m guessing they won’t be able to check in on 21 so maybe they won’t be able to check in at all.

No way. That’s breaking up your Christmas and losing you several days rent. The reservation stands. If he can’t make it, it’s on him.


And he’s letting you know this 4 days before check-in? Just tell him you can’t do it and that’s that. It’s certainly not possible to make that kind of change this close to the check-in date.


Just say NO…


Episode 2:

Airbnb suggest I let them collect the key from a safe luggage service.

I prefer to. Heck in my guest’s myself and am not comfortable with the guest just checking themselves in.

If I was this guest I’d just make up some complaints about the property and get my money back.

The fact that this girl said I was being unfair to not come all the way across the country to check her in on Christmas Day means I don’t really like her at all and if I do as Airbnb suggests I will have this guest on my mind checking in on Christmas Day.

I really don’t like the idea of having to accept to letting her check her self in on Christmas Day and worry about her getting lost/not finding light switches/the room/wifi etc (because I wasn’t there to show her around) or even pulling a fast one and complaining.


Just because BNB suggests this, doesn’t mean you have to accept their suggestion.

Why should you lose out on 4 nights of a booking and have the worry of the guest self checking in on Christmas Day.

I would go back to BNB and say you are not comfortable with self check in particularly as you are on the other side of the country and not available to help if there are any issues. Tell them you always meet guests personally to show them around and make sure they are happy with the accommodation.

Say you are uncomfortable with the guest because they are trying to say you should disrupt your holidays on Christmas Day to accommodate them because they have changed their arrangements.

In your situation I wouldn’t accept a change in the booking dates.

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So the Airbnb response is:

Self check-in is common and you can use self serve locks or locker companies etc “Therefore, there are no reasons to avoid self-check-in for this guest.”

Also, I understand that alteration of the reservation alteration is not acceptable for you since you will probably loose these days, so my offer is to keep the actual reservation dates and allow your guest to check-in when she can.

Really? Ten day’s of bookable nights and my own plans are held to ransom if I don’t make some sort of arrangements to allow a specific guest to self check in?

Am I being unreasonable?

I’ve had to turn away guest on very rare occasions that I didn’t feel comfortable with (drunk, high, extra guests not mentioned in booking etc), how am I supposed to do this if I’m not there to check them in?!

Dear AirBNB person,

Perhaps you did not understand. I do not offer self check-in for my home. I can be available to check in “Guest Troublesome” on date_01, date_02, date_03.


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There are many posts here about how Airbnb is now favoring the guests over the hosts so this response is not a big surprise. If you simply say “no” then you may be faced with the guest getting a refund anyway. Even though it is documented that they want to change the dates they can come back and say their grandma died and submit a random obituary and Airbnb, desperately looking for a reason to please they guest, will accept it. What do they care, they keep the booking fee anyway.

Do you have a trusted friend who could do the check in or be a designated co-host and you pay them for their time?

Hi @Lukeylukeluke

Unbelievable - it’s not up to BNB to tell you how to run your listing. It’s also not them making you ‘an offer to keep the actual reservation dates’ from memory you are on strict cancellation so would get that anyway.

One option is if you have a friend who might be willing to do the check in (but who wants to give up their Christmas day) and your guest would have to pay the extra for them to do this. I would suggest this and through BNB you can make the guest an offer to pay say for three hours of someone’s time on Christmas day so double their normal rate.

Sounds like your guest has decided at the last minute to have Christmas elsewhere. You are now being penalised for it.

I agree. Also… The guest is asking for an alteration that gives you LESS days. I think this reservation sounds like trouble. Air always wants you the host to bend over backwards to accommodate the guest. Can you ask Air to cancel the booking altogether without penalty to you? That’s what I would do. The booking is not going to work for either party and YOU the HOST did nothing wrong.