How to review a guest when they don't show?

We recently had a couple book 2 weeks in advance for a 2 night stay. A day or so before their scheduled arrival I sent them a message inquiring as to an approximate time of arrival, but got no reply. Sent another the day of arrival, but again no response. Waited up until the end of our posted arrival time (11 pm) until I finally turned out the lights and went to bed. The next day I waited until late morning before I finally called them. His response was that they had a family emergency. I replied that I was sorry to have troubled him, but would I be correct in assuming they wouldn’t need the room for the second night? After he confirmed this I just said goodbye. After thoughts were that I should have mentioned that it would have been nice to have been advised (how much time/thought does it take to reply to an email?) but not sure if this would have been tactless. Now I am afforded the opportunity of reviewing their ‘stay’ - but should I? And if so, how do I word it that it was unfortunate that they couldn’t come due to a family emergency, but that common courtesy would have been to let us know? Note: this is during the end of our busy season -September long weekend, and I still have a strict cancellation policy during this time.

I would not have called him as it does not get documented in the Airbnb system. Do not mention what he said to you, just say guest did not show up for reservation. This is the only truthful thing you know. Or, as I did in my case for a no show, I didn’t leave a review and neither did they. I was paid in full. If my guests want to come again I will offer them a free night as they’ve been here before.

I only called as a last resort, as it is preferable to have everything documented through the Airbnb system. I thought about not leaving a reply (I’ve done that for other instances where they didn’t show, but at least I knew ahead of time they weren’t coming). But then on the other hand I think it would be fair to potential hosts to know that this fellow is not great on essential communication beforehand. He only had one prior review, so is fairly new to being a guest in someone’s home through Airbnb - not like a regular hotel. I plan to offer him a discount on any stay with us in the future.

[quote=“Mudfush, post:3, topic:17032”]
But then on the other hand I think it would be fair to potential hosts to know that this fellow is not great on essential communication beforehand]

I agree completely. Review him and say he did not show up or let you know he would not and communication is so important to hosts.
Also, stay tuned he might ask for a refund due to extenuating circumstances. Don’t be too nice!

I’m not worried about him asking for a refund. Airbnb Extenuating Circumstances Policy states “Claims can only be considered after a reservation has been cancelled.” In this case, he never cancelled.
This is the review that I left him: "Guest did not show up for reservation (due to a family emergency), nor advise us that they would not be coming."
With a private message to him: “I hope your family emergency works out alright for you and your family. Speaking as a host, it would have been appreciated if you had advised us that you were unable to come. In extenuating circumstances I believe many hosts, even with a strict cancellation policy, would be agreeable to at least a partial refund when given some advance notice. Should you decide to visit ***** in the future and would like to stay with us, remind me and I will offer you a discount on any future stay.”

Thanks for all your input and have a nice day!

I suggest that an emergency in one’s family could well cause complete oblivion to any other event demanding attention, which may include cancelling plans made prior to the crisis.

While it’s kind of you to offer the guest a discount for a possible future reservation, if the guest is suffering a family tragedy, it seems spurious and insensitive to end your message by telling him to
"have a nice day."


Given the family emergency I would assume the last thing the guest was thinking about was their Airbnb reservation.

Either way, I believe the best course of action would be to leave no review. If the guest chooses to not cancel, then I get paid anyway. Thank you guest.

Just my thoughts.

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“Thanks for all your input and have a nice day!” was part of my response on Airhostsforum - not part of the message to the guest (ie only the part in " " was to the guest).

Also note that “emergency” doesn’t necessarily equate to “tradegy”.

I guess maybe I’m ‘wired’ a bit different than some people, in that even when dealing with an emergency (over a few days I may add), that I still have to deal with other things that are happening in my life - including consideration of others. If he personally had been in a serious accident or critically ill - that may be another scenario. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

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I’m sorry for my comment, Mudfush, about your writing " have a nice day. "
I see now that was not written to the guest, but to us.

I should have read more carefully and I’ll try to be more attentive in the future.


So true! I taught at a college for years and the “emergencies” that students had as an excuse for missing class were hilarious. One out of a hundred were truly emergencies.


When people say family emergency, it may cover a wide range of situations that mean you have to change plans. Most people don’t want share intimate details, nor would I want to know. It could be a pet was ill, or someone was fired and now they have to reduce spending.or it could be the couple had a flaming row and spending a few days away together is the last thing they could imagine.