Guest with an NFL team logo as their "profile photo"

I’ve never had instant booking on until I realized that the Airbnb search now excludes properties without IB turned on unless the person doing the search goes and changes the default setting to include non-IP listings. So i changed it, and the first instant book reservation I got is from someone who has an NFL team logo as their profile photo.

Yes, I realize I can cancel this reservation but I’m confused about why Airbnb allows this so I called to ask them. I tried to make the point that there is a difference between a “photo” and a logo but they did not agree, and implied that they don’t enforce the “photo” policy strictly because they believe “any guest belongs anywhere.” I felt like she was also implying that they’re afraid hosts might discriminate based on how someone looks in their photo.

I rent my own home and my point isn’t to discriminate but I don’t see why we shouldn’t get to see what at least one person in the party looks like.

1 Like

Have you written the guest asking them to upload an actual likeness? Be honest… "I am a bit anxious about hosting someone and not knowing if the person who shows up is actually you. Could you upload a picture of yourself so I can recognize you when you arrive? I will let you know when I have seen it so that you can revert your profile picture to “insert name here” logo.

Just a thought.


One of several reasons I will never IB. I never have and never will discriminate against anyone for any of the usual reasons. But I will not accept a reservation from someone who do not show a full face photo of him/herself – no cartoons, no celebrity photos, no logos, or back-to-the-camera pictures. I simply do not feel comfortable booking someone who is so secretive about him/herself.


Unfortunately you were dealing with a untrained and misinformed CX . It is required that a profile picture be of a person and not a logo . That is Airbnb’s written policy on it . Now , the non discrimination policy is something else altogether . I would call back CX and ask for a supervisor and also ask them to send you a copy of the Profile picture policy . You can find this also on the airbnb help website . Also , you may ask the guest to please post a clear and recent photo of themselves to their profile . You can explain to them that you require any and all guests to have a personal photo of themselves in their profiles . This does not violate any Airbnb non discrimination policy . Simply asking for it is not a disciminatory practice as it applies to all guests not just to one or a few guests . When this happens to me I ask the guest to please post in in their profiles and it is for Safety and Security reasons you ask for this ,also say that your personal photo is available and viewable to them in your listing . It helps to ensure that the individual making the reservation is the actual person showing up for the stay . If they refuse have Airbnb cancel the reservation with no penalty to you as its a breach of trust and safety and also TOS


Unless it’s the New England Patriots I wouldn’t have any problem with this. :wink: Honestly, I’m on instant book and have had a variety of pictures associated with the reservations. I’ve had plenty of people with a picture of a person and the person who arrives looks completely different. As previously discussed on this forum a picture alone doesn’t do much. Once they have a reservation you can text them and ask for more information. Many people are profiled based on their appearance or have other privacy concerns.and so I can understand some people hesitating to post pictures.

1 Like

Me too, I’ve posted here before that last year I hosted the Taj Mahal and he was a lovely guest. I’ve had guests whose photographs have been of kids or a cartoon.

And even if the photograph is really of the guest, it might have been taken many moons ago. I’ve also posted here before of one guest - who was lovely - whose profile pic was of a really ordinary looking woman. When she arrived she was covered in tats and had purple hair and lots of piercings. She was a great guest and I’d be very happy to host her again.

1 Like

I did ask to speak to a supervisor and they confirmed what the first person told me. They do not enforce the photo policy even when you call someone out on it.

For the record, it was the Seattle Seahawks.

I could ask the guest for a photo but, to be honest, I don’t like to start off with a guest by acting suspicious of them (even if I am!). I really wish Air would simply enforce their own rules so I don’t have to play cop.


I would double check , as its Airbnb’s policy about Profile photos . They cannot be of a logo or animal or such . I think you got the run around from Non official Airbnb CX . Airbnb Hires third party CX to handle some phone calls and they are all untrained . Make sure you are actually speaking with a real Airbnb CX and not a third party rep .

"We require all hosts to have a profile photo, and we require all guests to upload a profile photo before making their first reservation. "

So this is the official policy above .

Don’t be scared to ask any guest any question ever . There are professional scammers on all these travel platforms and they are looking for hosts that won’t ask any questions . You can write in your House rules that you require all guests to have a full profile and recent face pic . You are under no obligation to accept any guest that does not provide this info on their Airbnb account . Just decline the request . If the airbnb system asks you why you have declined , you can write you are not comfortable with this guest or that this guest has not complete their profile or has refused to provide it . It has never affected my Ranking at all .

1 Like

The policy may be for hosts to have a profile photo but it is definitely not enforced.

Definitely not enforced either way. Basically it’s good practice but Airbnb would be the first to recognise sometimes there are good reasons you don’t want your name and photo for all to see.

I can lock down my Facebook account via privacy settings. I cannot do that with Airbnb. Anyone can type my name and Airbnb in and stalk me if they wish. N to the no.

1 Like

I hosted a large pink peony and she was super. This was a lady traveling alone and I get that she maybe doesn’t want to put the photo out there. I figure there’s no guarantee even with a photo unless you are asking for and comparing photo ID on arrival. I might feel differently if I were hosting long distance. My apt is on the back of my house so I am able to monitor guest behavior to am extent. I’m thinking of getting an exterior security cam, though.

Bottom line is that this is your home and you’re free to ask the guests for their photo. Sometimes it can be awkward to ask a guest a direct question like that.

Here’s one way to say it:
“Hello there, I’m looking forward to hosting you. I’m sure it’s going to be a great experience. For security purposes, my policy is that prior to arrival, guest must provide a physical likeness of themselves - a simple facial picture will do. This is so that I know it’s actually you when you check in. If you could please send that along as soon as possible, I’d be grateful.”

I don’t know whether AirBnB would alphabet a problem with it, but you can also state it in your policies. "For security purposes, I require guests who don’t have a picture on their profile to provide a picture of themselves prior to arrival - a very simple facial picture will work. This lets me know that it’s really you at check in. :slight_smile: "

1 Like

If it’s the Seahawks then they must be fine by my book!! LOL.

I had the same issue once, and when I asked the guest for an actual picture of themselves, so that I could recognize them when they arrived, they apologized and changed their info straight away. It turned out that when they originally registered with Airbnb they did not have a proper picture and forgot to amend their profile afterwards.

1 Like

At the 2015 Open Air BNB stressed all guest must have a REAL profile photo, and that they were going to implement facial recognition software that would bounce non-facial photos. 2017- Im currently hosting a ring, have hosted a Unicorn, a lovely flower, a peace sign, and I think a mountain.


I honestly think they are letting it slide as part of their non-discrimination initiatives.


I have this in my description: Your profile picture must be a clear genuine photo of yourself so that we can identify you when you arrive at our doorstep. If your profile display image is a cake, Christmas tree, parrot or anything other than a human face, we will request you to change it :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve mentioned this before but one of my best guests ever was the Taj Mahal :slight_smile:

To be honest, I don’t think that I’ve ever recognised a guest from his/her profile photo,

People are concerned about internet security. No big deal :slight_smile:

1 Like

When I communicate with guests pre-stay, I like to think we are building a relationship of sorts. I find it a bit unsettling when I’m chatting with a banana or whatever. With that said, two of my best guests were a truck with a questionable license plate, and a completely white background with no image at all.

Since we share space with our guests, I guess it feels more comfortable thinking I’ve already “met” my guests from the time they’ve booked, and most of our guests actually do look like their profile pics. However, I no longer worry about impersonal profile pics (understandable with today’s identity theft concerns, single women travelers, etc…), and I’ve learned to be more flexible about a lot of things.

1 Like

I had 5 bookings over the weekend, 3 I think I could have recognised in a crowd, one was very clear but probably taken very long ago and the last one was a very pretty girl and I thought I would have remembered a picture of her, looked again and it was her but a very unflattering photo.

That is unusual, and of course I have no idea about what people coming with them look like.