High Maintenance Guests and Request #8 and counting.....>rant<

It’s high season here in Florida and I’m on the 8th guest who, post-booking (or 6 messages in to a request…) has mentioned the words “allergy, sensitivity, and reaction” to … pets/cats and now cleaning products. Yet these same people tell me they have dogs, live on farms, etc. I’m banging my head on the table…

I use FF laundry detergent and wool dryer balls with lavender essential oils and sometimes a partial FF dryer sheet. NO air fresheners or heavy perfumes because I’ll start sneezing.

But my cleaning products do contain a scent that dissipates after a couple of hours/day.

#8 sent this and as yet no reply to how her “chemical sensitivity” manifests. “I should mention I have chemical sensitivity to fragrances in many things. Fabric softener hairspray and air fresheners are some big ones. Is your house heavily scented? Essential oils don’t seem to bother me except maybe jasmine.
I’d rather smell a cat than air fresheners. We live on a farm. Animals don’t bother us.”

The soaps are not fragrance free or the shampoo. And it’s $300, which is not chump change, but seriously… I have a late check out that day, a quick turnaround, and now this.

And she’s tied up one of the busiest weeks in high season.

end rant<

Why don’t you tell her you can’t accommodate her stay as you can’t guarantee your home is chemical free . Personally i would ask Airbnb to cancel…life is too short and all that…

(similar to the shops, cinemas, restaurants, trains, planes etc she uses can’t guarantee this).


So you could cancel her. OTOH some people are more work, some are less. Just reply, no, my place isn’t heavily scented. How long does that take? If you have time to post here you have time to reply to people who are paying you money. (I don’t mean that in a mean way, just that it is what it is.)


Already told her to cancel and told her to mention this BEFORE she ties up a week in high season. Asked her how her reaction manifests itself and told her I can’t guarantee a FF home. She lives on a farm! Has a hairy sheddy dog!!

I would reply that you can not guarantee he/she will not have an issue with the scents found in the cleaning products and ask if they want to cancel.


Done. Now to await her reply. I bet she won’t cancel and then I’ll have to call Air - again. What is with these people? (rhetorical question)

Well done you!

And for the record, I think KK did sound mean, whether she meant to or not. Like, we all come here for a rant now and again, and you did give us a warning too.


Meanwhile she is tying up your high season space, surely just as easy to ask Airbnb to cancel??

I would worry that she would hold onto the space as it is high season and you would end up with a nightmare guest.


If it’s IB you can cancel her without penalty. If it was RTB (request to book) you’ll have to hope she cancels.

Yes, you are completely right, that does sound mean, hence my comment. And I’m pretty sure casailinglady knows my intent so I’m not worried about that. However, all advice given here is meant not only for the OP and the thread on which it is posted but for anyone who ever reads it.

People spend a lot of time worrying about problems that never manifest. And sure, everyone needs a rant from time to time. Rant on. But if one would like to approach the problem with an eye to solving it in addition to ranting about it, my suggestion remains. Take the 80 seconds to reply to the guest in a calm and reassuring way. Sell you guest on the idea that you actually care about them (not hard to fake it, right?) and watch the money and good reviews roll in. One can also use the saved messages to make a boilerplate message about the queen cat and allergies in general.

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I don’t think it sounded mean, I figured you didn’t read to the part where I asked her to cancel because I can’t guarantee a FF home. And I don’t want the liability of her having a “reaction,” whatever that means.

I will call and cancel her if she doesn’t do it in the next hour.

And yes, this is for everyone and I know when things should be taken personally and when not to.

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You don’t have to call, you can just use the cancel button on the website and choose “not comfortable.”

I called and cancelled. I won’t accept liability for her migraines. And my mistake, this is the one who is brand new to Air and has zero reviews.

Now to amend my initial saved message to state “cannot guarantee FF home; if you have reactions, please don’t book”


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You can call and have the request withdrawn by Airbnb so that it doesn’t muss up your acceptance rate. I’ve done this for people who want to bring kids (“exceptional 4 year olds”) and also for these chemical sensitivity folks. They always seem to tie-up an in-demand date and I just don’t have the patience to wait for them to withdraw their request anymore.

BTW, @casailinglady, when people start up about this, I’ve taken to just telling them everything is washed in Tide at a laundry service and that I don’t have any control over it at this time. Sometimes I throw in that we’ve also just had the drapes (and/or the couch cover) done (with the Tide) and so it is particularly bad timing. This will usually run them off fairly quickly. I am not set-up to accommodate chemical sensitivity issues and I have yet to come to an amenable compromise with anyone who has them so I have learned to just get rid of them as quickly as possible so that I can book someone who is a good fit for my listings.


Oh she tried to book with you, too? :wink:

I called to cancel as I’d like to hold on to my 3 free cancellations and Air was accommodating. I wrote to her, too, and told her that I would not accept liability for a reaction.

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I’m not allergic to anything, but why do hosts insist on thinking that everyone likes the smell of lavender? I can’t stand it and would have a hard time sleeping with bedding that had that smell. Several of my guests have told me they also hate lavender.


I don’t like any floral or perfume-y smells. I get blinding headaches from far too many scents. Even from what my friends swear are “pure essential oils.” I don’t care how pure they are if they cause me headaches.

I can’t sleep on bedding that has any scent left in it.

All the cleaning and laundry stuff we use is unscented, or the scent is so ephemeral that it’s gone in a few minutes. Like our lemon-mint glass cleaner. It smells like mint but that lasts maybe a minute and a half. Then nothing.

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But we do sometimes advise people to have a good rant here BEFORE responding, so they can calm down before responding.


I use the oil sparingly on the wool dryer ball and it dissipates fairly quickly. I had one guest who despises lavender compliment me on the fresh smell of the bedding. It doesn’t permeate the house, but does keep the “stored in florida humidity” smell down.

I use lemon as well. I don’t like scents that linger and I don’t wear perfume. I actually have allergies and get hay fever, but that’s what the Claritin is for…

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Why? If she does not cancel then she is accepting any “risks” that your laundry soap may have for her.