Guest wants to provide replacement guest due to cancelation

My guest just texted me (not airbnb msg) saying they needed to cancel but had another person who would show up in place to avoid penalty. I responded using Airbnb message that they would need to cancel their reservation and have the other guest rebook.

  1. Is there a reason guests text direct and is that a problem. Seems it makes airbnb blind to issues ?
  2. Would you allow a guest to swap spot with another ?
  3. I’ve never asked for identification on arrival. Seems if somebody else showed up and said they were the guest that I would not have known.

Input appreciated . Jonathan

  1. probably the guest wanted to swap people bc he knew this is something not allowed by Airbnb.
  2. No, the guest you approved or IB has reviews or something. if you approved you based that decision on something. The new person you know nothing about. he might destroy your house.
  3. in my case is self check in. i don’t live there. in my own house I just want the person who arrives to look like the picture of the person who booked me.
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I’d message back and say all booking matters need to be communicated on the platform for your mutual protection. I wouldn’t take a replacement off platform. I’d tell him that his friend can book and after the stay is completed you’ll refund his night. He still has to pay Airbnb fees though.

It could be innocent or devious, don’t assume the worst but keep it all on Airbnb.


In your case I would use this as an opportunity:
Ask the guest if his replacement guest has an Airbnb account. If not, send they your coupon, which should give them a few bucks of a booking. If you can’t find one, use mine: Then your replacement guest can start their own account. Once overcome that hurdle, it is time to contact Airbnb.

They can help your actual guest to switch the reservation over to your new replacement guest.

You’ve taken the best course of action with your message on platform, but I think in answer to your queries;-

  1. This guest possibly wants to avoid a cancellation penalty, if there’s one pending.
  2. I would not allow a spot swap like this. Over the last three years, I’ve increased my vetting vigilance, and have much better guests staying with us than when I first started hosting.
  3. I don’t ask for ID on arrival, perhaps “yet”, but I think my insistence on people confirming they are happy about various things, so they have to communicate with me helps me decide.
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Very good advice above. If you’re a new host, or if you rely on Airbnb absolutely to get your business for you, then do as others have suggested.

Personally, if it’s off the platform, as it is in this instance with texts, then I wouldn’t worry about it.

Yes, the system means that anyone can show up. Photographs rarely look like the person and I’ve had several guests who I’ve doubted has been the ones who booked.

When you greet someone with ‘hello Mary’ and they say ‘oh, call me Nicola’ then it’s either dodgy or it’s someone who is perfectly legitimate who uses their middle name as their first.

It’s no big deal either way for me as long as they are quiet and clean guests.

The fact that they alerted you is strange though - but probably means that they are nice, straightforward people who are simply trying to avoid cancellation penalties and at the same time ensure that you get paid.

But every host is different. Read as much as you can here and then decide which methods are going to be right for you.

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I think I would tell him to have his friend sit right next to him when he cancels and book immediately. Once you get friend’s money, refund his.

Good information, thanks everyone.

Mine is also available if anyone needs one. :wink:

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If you want to have a clean slate with Airbnb, you should get the guest to have Airbnb handle the switch for them.
If I am not mistaken your guest will loose the Airbnb fees if they cancel and that easily can be a chunk of money right there. Not yours, but the guest’s.

Me personally: I have IB, I use
I would probably just accept the guest if the reservation is for the near future. High Season not so much. For my entire unit I would take a cash deposit, for the homeshare probably not.

I cut and paste text messages into the Airbnb messaging and reply from there. Same with phone conversations.

That said, I don’t do third party bookings. It’s too bad if they need to cancel, but it’s not my issue and if things were reversed, the sky would fall! Letting an unvetted stranger into your home with no contractual right to be there is just a disaster waiting to happen. If they are injured or they damage something, break house rules, etc, it’s going to be a legal mess. And then there is the review by someone who hasn’t set foot on the property. No way!!!

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