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Host penalty for declining inappropriate booking requests

I have done the same as some folks come to do final home inspections before moving here or are visiting relatives and want the pool but don’t understand Florida traffic, “But you look so close to Disney!” “Yes, but the 4 is a parking lot 24/7. Stay closer.”

I just let the requests or inquiries expire and ask that they cancel from their end. So far, so good. We’ll see.

I wish Airbnb didn’t have the whole “inquiry” category, it confuses everybody. We just need a “message host” button on the listing that sends the host a message that doesn’t even have pre-approve or decline options, so we can answer guest’s questions without all of the pressure.

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I like the cut of your jib.

That grace period really is helpful. Most of my guests IB, so I lean heavily on that policy. The time limit seems to light a fire under them.

I’ve always just remembered it like this:

An Inquiry is just exactly the definition of “inquiry” - a question. You answer it as you would any question and you’re done.

A Request’s full name is a Request-to-Book. A decision must be made (approve or decline) or the request must be withdrawn by the requestor (the guest).

An analogy would be:

If you go to a restaurant and Inquire about the Steak Frites, they merely answer your questions about it; however, if you Request the Steak Frites, they either put your order in for it (approve) or tell you that they’re out of it and you can’t have it (decline). If you change your mind and get the Salmon instead, you’ve withdrawn.


Based on my personal experience there is a distinct difference between an enquiry and a request. An enquiry requires a response. You can respond to the enquiry as long as you respond within airs time frame . A decline or accept is not required, only a response to the enquiry is required.This is your response time metric.
A booking request requires you to either or accept or decline within the required timeframe. I believe those dates remain blocked until you respond. If you decline, this impacts upon your acceptance rate ( different to your response rate) . What is frustrating is that if you decline because the potential guest has not read your listing and therefore the request is inappropriate ( unsafe for children/ not accessible/ too many guests) your decline still counts against your metrics. It’s calculated as a percentage from what I can work out, so if you have a very high acceptance rate and a high number of bookings it won’t make much of an impact. If you are quite new and have fewer bookings or indeed a run of declines because of inappropriate requests ( in my case I had two in a row when I was quite new) you will have your acceptance rate impacted. My discussions with a number of CS reps makes it clear your reasons for decline are irrelevant, even if the booking request breaches airs rules or your house rules/ occupancy. There is currently no option to tick a box that indicates the booking request was not appropriate. Based on my experience, if I now get an inappropriate booking request I will respond to the guest and if they do not withdraw request then ask air to contact guest, making it clear that I will not decline personally in order to avoid negatively impacting my metrics. I hope that is useful.


I followed advice above for a res. request which wil allow you to not have to use the “Decline” button. I followed that advice yesterday but it shows as “Expired” now. Is that as bad as a “Decline”? Thank you.

No, only a decline counts as a decline. Expired means the guest didn’t respond.

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How has this worked out for you since you wrote here?

I have just gotten a request to book for my private room in shared house for the night I am attending a wedding and the price was $245 + $26 cleaning (total approximately $350 w taxes and AirBnB fees) where one of the 3 adults will be sleeping on an air mattress and my usual rate had been $45 for one ($85 for 3). I replied asking if she had intended to book another listing since her one line text seems to be replying to a question (and asking when check out time is - clearly noon on my listing).

I have not heard back in half a day already…and the booking is for less than 48 hours away. I hate to decline and hate to consider a $262.87 payout w a $75-100 savings on my Farm sitter by staying home and hosting instead of going to the wedding. (As it is I am boarding dogs of my whole home AirBnB guests and they do not get along with mine so must be kept separate).

I think I have been really lucky and not received any inappropriate requests to book since this first occurred . I have received a couple of enquires that included toddlers but I reiterated the safety concerns and they did not convert to requests to book so have been spared the decision!

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