Help! My guest is having a horrible stay!

I have a guest staying with us for French Quarter festival in our newly renovated Airbnb. We had some plumbing issues and I had to check her in a few hours after she arrived and there was no hot water. I felt so bad I offered her a free nights’ stay ($169). She texted me last night and mentioned my long term tenant upstairs was making loud noise and she couldn’t sleep. She also said our walls were thin and she didn’t know how she was going to go through 3 more nights.
Since I can’t give her every night free and there’s absolutely no way she’s going to find something else cheaper in this area, I don’t know what to do other than address each of her problems. I called Airbnb to make sure I was handling the situation correctly and they said I was, but didn’t offer much advice. At this point I don’t know what to do to make her happy and turn her experience into a positive one. She is my first guest at this Airbnb (I have two on the same property) and I don’t want my first review to be a scathing one!

*Edit - we live in a noisy neighborhood which is disclosed in the listing. We also soundproofed the shared wall with the unit next door, but not the floor between upstairs and down stairs.

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I would not have refunded the guest anything. All you can do is come down on the LT tenant about noise levels.

Are the walls really “thin” or is she from someplace where there is no night noise? Have you actually stayed in this listing to know what sleeping there is like?

Go to the drugstore and get a $3 box of earplugs and offer them to her. Or not. If it really IS that noisy, you might want to consider purchasing a white noise generator…


Thanks Ken. I’ll get her some earplugs. She complained about outside noise too. It’s in our listing title that we are 4blocks from the French quarter and I wrote an entire paragraph on the listing about how “lively” the neighborhood is and the potential for noise.
We just spent a lot of money sound proofing the walls and are very happy with the results, but we can’t drown out all the sound.
French Quarter festival is this weekend for goodness sake. It’s why they are staying with us. There’s noise every where right now!


There is no way I would have given the guest a free night if the issue with the hot water was only temporary a small reduction such as say 20 dollars would have been appropriate.

What did you do when she let you know about the late night noise. Did you speak to your long term tenant and ask them about this? Are your walls thin? Have you stayed there to see what it’s like?

In your situation, I would offer to cancel the booking penalty free for the three further nights if she feels she can’t sleep there. I agree about buying some ear plugs. It could just be she is a light sleeper or not used to city noise. Having said that if she is with you for a festival she should expect the area to be noisy.

Regardless of what you do for her, she can still leave a scathing review.

The danger with offering a night’s free accomodation is that then makes some think they can make more and more demands.
Explain it’s a noisy neighbourhood and that this is in your listing. Face to face conversations are difffuclt, but hold her to account nonetheless.


Thanks Helsi. Here is the message she just sent!
“Oh my it was a, horrible night/ morning so when the neighbors FINALLY quieted down &, the next door neighbors came back & quieted down the garbage trucks came, car alarms going off - needless to say a couple hrs sleep was all, can’t imagine going through this for 3 more nights & being able to function during the day!”

Yep! Looks like the demands are coming. Here is the latest here messages i’ve gotten. I’ve been in constant communication with her. On the phone, in person and through text.
“Oh my it was a, horrible night/ morning so when the neighbors FINALLY quieted down &, the next door neighbors came back & quieted down the garbage trucks came, car alarms going off - needless to say a couple hrs sleep was all, can’t imagine going through this for 3 more nights & being able to function during the day!”

As I said @Dana - just say you are sorry that she didn’t read your description that clearly indicates that you live in a busy city location with all the noise and bustle that goes with being in such a convenient location for the French Quarter Festival she came to the city for.

You can only suggest that you can offer to ask Airbnb tocancel the booking, at no charge to herself, so she can find an alternative location that better suits her needs.

What did your long term tenant say when you spoke to him about the noise by the way?

And have you slept in the apartment yourself?


I think I would take the attitude as described by Helpful Helsi, by putting the onus totally on your guest’s shoulders. Your listing states it’s a noisy neighbourhood, your French Quarter is on festival binge; if she doesn’t like the mayhem of a festival, why on earth did she book with you? Her fault, not yours. If she doesn’t like it, she should leave and accept her mistake. I heard you say she won’t find anywhere else to stay but if she isn’t happy with you, she won’t be anywhere. Her responsibility.


Our upstairs tenant has someone visiting for the festival so that explains the noise. I reached out to the guest to let her know I can’t control the outside noise and that at this point i’d be involving Airbnb so they can resolve the issue for her and relocate her if she wishes. I’m actually expecting more noise since the weekend is just starting. And yes, I have stayed at the apartment and I have no problem. I only live ten minutes away though so i’m really used to city noises.

SHe just asked to leave. I am sooo relieved!


Do make sure you record on Airbnb messaging that the noise was clearly described, so you don’t get Airbnb trying to charge you for any alternative she ends up in. And when you call Airbnb emphasise where in your listing it talks about location and noise and that the guest has come for the Festival, which obviously means the area is more noisy than usual.

I would also have a word with your long term tenant regardless of whether he has people back, doesn’t mean he should be make loud noise into the early hours. You don’t want this to be an issue for future guests.

Also provide ear plugs for your guests going forward.


Well done! I couldn’t possibly add anything more than Helsi the Wise has given you. The world would be a poorer place without her, as would the forum.

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Thanks for the heads up about Airbnb helsi. I didn’t realize they would try to make me pay for her relocation.

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I have one bedroom in the house than can hear upstairs noise.
I mention it in my listing, and I have a White Noise Machine in that room ( and a ceiling fan) -
and I put 2 sanitary packs of earplugs on the pillow.
You can buy a big box of wrapped earplugs on Amazon.
Good Luck.

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They won’t necessarily but it is in their terms that they can. You need to demonstrate there is nothing wrong with your listing it is as described and it is the guest that didn’t read it.

That’s why it’s important that you can show you talked to the long term tenant and confirmed with him about importance of not having late night/early morning noise.

She kept pressuring me to cancel the listing on my end, but I told her I had to wait for Airbnb to resolve it. She finally mentioned she used to be a host and told me I had to cancel and not her and that it needed to done now. I guess she was trying to use my naïveté in being a new Airbnb host against me. I’m so glad I have guys in the forum to go to for advice! Airbnb called me back and told me she was indeed the one who had to cancel and they would call her and tell her that. So far, I haven’t heard back from her.


Thanks for this. I’ll be ordering the ear plugs and white noise machine from Amazon today! Is there a particular noise machine that you would recommend?

Sorry you had to go through this!

This is the one I have for my house -

If someone has a smart phone there are free white noise apps that can be downloaded.

Please don’t do anything else for this entitled guest. Let Air handle it.