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Guests changing reservations-just venting

Just had a guest request a change from 4 days to two days, over Memorial Day weekend. Im feeling aggravated because if I say yes, I get half as much on a prime peak weekend. If I say no, and they keep the original, they have a bad taste in their mouths and may look for things to complain about. He said “hope this isn’t too much of an inconvenience on your end…” Im thinking, well, not so much inconvenience as being shafted financially. I could have rented it for the entire time to someone else, but instead I have to take half as much money to be a good sport. Pretty thoughtless, I think. How would you all handle it? Turn it down and hope to rebook it? Agree and be philosophical about it? ugh.

I assume that if they cancel you’ll still get a cancellation fee.

I would not accept the change. After all, you could accept and they could cancel the entire reservation without penalty.

I would risk the critical review. Hopefully you have such a nice place and hospitality that that’s they’ll remember. Either way, you don’t want to be their hostage.

I might say: I’m sorry. We can’t alter a holiday reservation on such short notice. We look forward to hosting you on [fill in blanks].


If I felt confident I could rebook I’d decline the change request. You are not obligated to provide a reason. If they come anyway then just try to provide the best possible stay for them and don’t worry about other issues, including a poor review until you have to cross that bridge.


If you want to decline, and want to give a reason, although you don’t have to, “It isn’t a matter of inconvenience, and other than a busy holiday weekend, I might have been amenable to a change, but as your booking blocked dates I certainly would otherwise have been able to book, and now cannot on such short notice, I respectfully have to decline a booking shortening.”

That might come across as polite, while still saying no and hopefully educating the guest as to why asking for a date reduction on a busy holiday weekend is not reasonable.

Some guests might be irritated at having a request like theirs turned down and let it affect their stay or review, but plenty of people are understanding and won’t hold it against you when they become aware of why what they asked for isn’t a reasonable request.


Happy to let you vent. I have a direct book who has been faithfully coming for 7 years. He never asked for changes and since March we have had about 7 changes from him. If he wasn’t one of our favorites I’d be sending him elsewhere.


I have it in my house rules that I do not modify reservations. (Mainly so that they don’t get to use the cancel for free trick.) If a guest wants to add dates I ask them to send an inquiry with the dates and then I send a special offer without the cleaning fee.

If you want to be nice, you can say that if they modify their reservation, you will refund them the amount you earn if it get’s rebooked once you get paid but you still have the issue of the guest having the ability to cancel penalty free once you modify the reservation.

Note - I have written to airbnb many times to complain about what I call a “bug” in the system.

Yes, that’s a big risk here.

That’s why if I were Host I would decline the change request unless I thought I could both rebook all four days if the reservation were entirely canceled after the modification AND that I thought I could rebook just the two days. PLUS I’d have to have cleaners available for the new 2-dy booking I’m confident of getting.

In my area I just would not accept this change.

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good point about that bug in the system! I had not considered that. How do you put it into your house rules? I hate getting requests for modifications because I have such a tightly knit schedule for cleaning and preparation between guests, and family use. I feel bad saying no and end up suffering trying to make it work. Id like to make no modifications a policy. Is it in the “additional rules” section? Also, how do you send guests a special offer? I thought if they made a private arrangement rather than going through AirBnb they wouldn’t be covered by insurance, and also that you could get in trouble with Abnb. Sorry for my ignorance; im new at this.

Im sure I could rebook it; I have a pretty long waiting list. But thanks for reminding me, make it a good time for them and that is hopefully what they will focus on.

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Based on my bad experience I just had two days ago. Unhappy guests would do damage to your review even they don’t have anything to complain, they will create something to complain. If I were you, I would accept the request just to have peace of mind. I am a new host, maybe too soft…

Don’t you mean “If I didn’t feel confident I could rebook I’d decline the change request”?
OR If I felt confident I could rebook I’d accept the change request."?

What am I missing?

Considering that you private messaged me about this and I told you I didn’t feel obligated to explain my posts to you I’d say you are missing a brain.

I’m going to mute you now so that I never ever feel obligated to respond to you again.

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Well, I misunderstood, as you said you didn’t want to give private explanations.

So I thought you wanted to explain, if at all, publicly.

Hence this post.

No offense intended.

There’s a host from Croatia who posts on another forum who says that guests who arrive happy have happy stays, those who arrive miserable, for whatever reason (travel delays, car trouble, bad weather, domestic arguments) have miserable stays full of complaints.

Unless a place or a host is truly awful, guests’ experience is more a matter of attitude than anything else. One guest might take a power outage in stride, light some candles or lanterns, play cards by candlelight instead of watching the movie they planned to, make a raw food dinner, and have a great time.

Another will want to pack up and leave, demanding a refund, telling the host their vacation was “ruined”.

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I’ve had such requests to change the duration of stay and I have always declined. I don’t care about a bad review from a holiday booking. I pad my review count other times of the year using one nighters.

If it is a bad review, you could try to get it removed saying it was a retaliatory review since they wanted to change the trip duration and wanted a refund.

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ugh, I know. Now I am rethinking and doubting myself. I told him I was sorry I couldn’t modify on a holiday weekend so close to booking date. Now Im gut clenched worrying about what they will find to complain about if they come. Most of the time I love doing this, but the few times things like this happen, I HATE it. Ever since he messaged asking, I have felt upset and anxious and wonder if this is even worth it.

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Here’s the thing.

You cannot have these feelings because they have a way of becoming self-fulfilling.

Also, they needlessly create stress.

People sense these feelings and they can misinterpret or take advantage,

In my view you did the right thing for yourself and those you love.

Think positive thoughts. They will have a WONDERFUL time at your home. Later when/if they even remember that they wanted to cut the time short they will think to themselves “WTF were we thinking?!”

You have a great home. It is super clean. You are a wonderful host. You have thought through/chaneled the guest experience and acted accordingly. They will have a wonderful time. That is what you put out into the universe [and make sure you are delivering on what you promised – this is not New Age thought BS].

It IS worth it. This is extra money is in you and your family’s pockets. The anxiety is not worth it. The rental and the money is. You are upping your game as a Host, as a giver. Your property is improving. It is accreting value as you relentlessly improve it. You continue to attract wonderful guests who love what you have done, are doing, You are contributing to your guests’ lives. This is part of your legacy.


I had exact same feelings as yours when my previous guests asked to alter their reservation within the none-refundable period but unfortunately the dates they wanted to alter were unavailable. I was so exhausted by worrying what’s going to happen….

Well, I nicely told him I was sorry but unable to modify the reservation last minute on a holiday weekend, and to reach out to me by email to discuss further. Told him I hoped he could manage to trip as reserved. He promptly sent me a sob story and cancelled. I suspect he was planning to all along and was doing the trick gambit to avoid cancellation penalty.


Hope you get a booking to fill it.

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