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Help! Cancel a guest because she posts terrible reviews?

I just accepted a week trip request and once I got the full name I did a google search and came up with 3 recent terrible reviews posted by this guest in our area. Just completely trashing places that have very good reviews overall. Now I’m thinking is this going to be worth it and is there any way I can get out of this without penalty or keeping a week blocked on my calendar. I know that if she posts a vindictive review Airbnb might remove it but these were not personal or anything, commenting on bad smells, uncomfortable mattresses, noise, lack of cleanliness. Then leaving 1 star. These were all very nice places with great reputations and ratings other than hers.


as i am pretty much new to this, if you do go ahead with the booking, could you not email her through airbnb regularly throughout her stay, making sure everything is ok. of course she might not respond or even respond negatively, but it would give you a chance to resolve her concerns during the stay (i am working off your assumption that you expect her to have some, irrespective of the real circumstances) - shows you are being proactive and doing everything you can to make her stay a 5* one?


Most people check-in on their guests during their stay anyways- especially hosts with consistently good reviews- so I doubt this strategy would work. The guest might have been fishing for discounts, been high maintenance or had valid reasons to complain.

Hard to say, but perhaps worth having a conversation beforehand to make sure you can accommodate their needs/figure out if they’re going to be a pain in the ass and offer them a free cancellation to find a place “better suited” if you’d like to get out of it.


What did the hosts have to say about this person?
Looks like trouble to me.

This is one of the many reasons I use instant book, I can cancel as uncomfortable.



The only review on her was on Airbnb, it said wonderful guest with 4 on cleanliness and 5 everything else. I didn’t click through to her review on them until later, my mistake.
I am on instant book but this was a trip request so I don’t have the easy out.

Depending on how many reviews you have, if you have 100’s you can suffer a bad review, if you have few it will knock you down… I would consider cancelling anyway.

Or have a conversation with the guest…

I see you are in the habit of leaving negative reviews, I want to make sure that my listing is a good fit for you…

Likely this person HAD to request to book because other hosts are clicking would not host again.

I turned away a guest once due to her reviews of other hosts (inquiry not RTB) and told her it was because of her habit of leaving bad reviews. She replied with a long rant about her last host, bullet dodged:)

You are between a rock and a hard spot here. I would try and get Air to cancel penalty free, maybe your heater/ac will go out a few days before… I would rather they block the calendar than host a guest who is in the habit of leaving bad reviews.



Why not just call her out on it? Tell her that you read her reviews and ask her to explain herself.
Maybe she will just cancel her stay. Nobody wants a unhappy guest and we all know that there’s people out there that will find fault with everything.
I had a guest ask me about a not so steller review that I left for a guest. I explained what had happened and she completely understood.


Also you can cancel this guest with minimal penalty if:

  1. Cancellation is done more than 7 days prior to reservation start then only $50 fee penalty & calendar blocked
  2. As long as your overall cancellation rate is less than 1% you will keep superhost
  3. No account suspension as long as you have less than 3 cancellation in a year

I look back to one reservation that I wish I had cancelled. Short version: during the reservation process there were warning signs and I realized it & chose to go forward.

Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I had cancelled the reservation. Her review was long, detailed, & highly critical. Her guest behavior was atrocious & what gave me the final push to install a camera. My reservations slowed while it was in the first 10. As it got further down, it has less effect.

I can’t tell you what to do. I do think you should consider “past behavior is a strong indicator for future behavior”.


I had all fives here until one that gave me a three. You know what Air did, they buried that review near the early reviews so it didn’t show up for couple of pages.
I remember at my first Air getting a negative review later in the game and they did the same thing, buried it so you’d have to look for it.

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At least when a guest does that you know they are doing their research and probably reading your entire listing. That’s pretty deep dive for a guest unless they are using AirReview extension.

We would NEVER host a guest who gave 1 star to their LAST THREE STAYS. The only explanation is they are vindictive capricious and nasty people. End of story.
So, either make up an excuse and ask them to cancel. Or, call Air as they have an established pattern of very poor behavior. Worst case, cancel them and eat a $50-100 fee.
No matter what do not host them! You have every right to be extremely concerned. It is your property. You are the property owner and business owner. Air is only a booking agency.


I think a pipe just started leaking, or the AC died, or the road is blocked by construction. Eat the fee, YOU DO NOT WANT TO RENT TO THIS PERSON.

When I get a Request To Book, I know that either they’re new and didn’t submit ID, or another host said they wouldn’t rent to them, so I ALWAYS take advantage of the AirReview extension to check the reviews they got and the ones they left.


Thanks everyone for your comments, still working out my next move.
Related but a bit off topic-does anyone know for sure what happens when a guest that is eligible for instant book, doesn’t, but sends a request instead, usually with a question attached. This happened recently and when I then said “well go ahead and instant book” he said I don’t see that option anymore. I had to accept the request, all was good. But makes we wonder if it’s true that a request to book always means they are not instant book eligible?

I’ve had the same question! Following.

It’s my understanding that if a host clicks on “would not host again” that guest can no longer book instantly.

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Not necessarily. I’ve had several guests tell me they would never use IB. They prefer to exchange a message or two with the host before committing to a booking. Those guests would have qualified for IB- they had great reviews.

I’ve never traveled as an Airbnb guest, but I would not use IB, either.


True for that specific host. It only applies to other hosts IF they have that specific IB setting. Otherwise, they can IB with anyone.


Ah! So this sounds like a big red flag. If you allow IB and also use “Recommended by other hosts”, then any guest who got a NO for “would you host again” can not IB with you.
The way it is written up is very deceptive (shocking, I know). It all comes down to yes or no for “would you host again”.
So, if we were using IB and had this switch enabled, and the guest was like “hey I was not able to IB”, that’s a “danger Will Robinson”. At the very least, it means vet that guest with extra care!

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Yes that is true that a no answer to “would you host again” prevents that person from IB.
But my question is more specific. If a qualified instant book person chooses to click Request a Stay instead of Instant Book, then you really don’t know if they are a red flag or not, because you are now going down the Accept or Decline road, with calendar blocked, they can’t start again and instant book.

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