I am a fairly new airbnb host and have until now only had good experiences. Until last night.
A couple living in a city a five hour drive away booked my apartment and early on asked if they could check in late, saying “it might go up to midnight”. Although a bit unconvenient, I agreed to it. I’m renting out the whole apartment, so I have to be present to give them the keys, but can’t stay there myself when I have guests. On the day of the arrival I told them that my friend would be meeting them as I was out of town and I could only be there half an hour after their estimated arrival time, so I sent them his number in case they would arrive before I was back. To this they replied that they will be late (without saying how much late, should have had some warning bells already then) and suggested meeting at a hotel in the city center so it would be easier to find. Thankfully I didn’t agree to meeting anywhere else than the apartment. Would have been a long wait…
I told them I was now at the apartment and asked for the time of arrival, this was half an hour after they were already suppose to already have arrived according to their original plan. Then I got a message from them it would still take them THREE (?!?!!) hours to get to the apartment, so they would be more than 3,5h late in total. On a Friday night. Although that meant missing the last public transport, I still waited for them that time, hoping to at least get an answer to my messages. They knew I had to get up early the next day. Three messages without a reply later, I finally went to bed at a bit before 4 am.
I didn’t end up hearing anything from them until after 9am this morning. Instead, they had called my friend 40 times, no more no less, starting at 5 am. His phone was on silent so there was no response, and it was anyway clear from our messages that any arrival after 00.30am would be met by me.
The thing is, they have a booking for two nights and I am now unsure how to handle the second night. I feel highly uncomfortable letting these people stay at my place (especially since I wouldn’t be there), but would not like to receive a penalty from airbnb either. I am afraid that something will “disappear” from my apartment, or that there will be damages to it or something else (the woman who booked only has phone number and email verified, and of her husband who’s also coming I know nothing). The message I have received this morning (9.30am) is very angry, and blaming me for them having to sleep in the car although they didn’t even arrive in the city until 5am (when original check in was supposed to be at 00.00, and it’s only a five hour drive away from their hometown), and they had not once contacted me (only my friend who was scheduled to house watch until 00.30) before after 9am.
Like I said, I am new to hosting on airbnb and could really need some advice here.
What would you do in this situation?