I don't have instant booking

Newbie guest to Airbnb. I just rec’d this message. I don’t have instant booking nor am I interested in instant booking.
Marie: arriving thursday may 4th @ 5pm. thank you.
What do you as hosts ask when you get a request to book such as the one I just rec’d this morning?
I never request ID when they show but would like to know a wee bit about the person staying in our suite. I would like to have a tactful eloquent response that I can use in this case and in the future.

1 Like

“Hi XX, Thank you for your booking request. I see you are new to Airbnb, so may not understand how booking requests work. A request is not a confirmed booking until the host accepts the request. As you are new to the platform and have no reviews yet, nor have filled out any information about yourself on your profile (I’m assuming she hasn’t), please provide me with a bit of information such as the purpose of your trip to this area.
Also, have you thoroughly read through all my listing information, including the house rules and cancellation policy? Have you entered the correct number of guests who will be coming?
Looking forward to hearing back from you soon so I can continue with the next steps on my end.”


Thanks, looks good to me.

1 Like

Also- if you don’t see on her profile that she has submitted verified ID to Airbnb, ask her to do that first, and to make sure she has registered a payment method. Otherwise you end up with one of those “Awaiting payment” blocked calendar requests if you accept it, while Airbnb verifies her info.

And don’t be surprised if she doesn’t respond- she may also not have her notifications turned on. In which case, if you don’t get a response within 12 hours, I would ask Airbnb to contact her to let her know she has message she needs to respond to.


Surprise…she has not responded. Thanks for the advice.

Have ever had negative feedback about asking for details about why they are in the area ect.

I don’t ask that question of my guests- I was just using that as an example of trying to extract more information from a guest who provides none.

What I actually have come up with that has elicited more informative responses (I once got one almost exactly like yours- “Arriving at noon”, although the guest did have quite a few favorable reviews. Sometimes even experienced guests, if they are used to IBing, don’t understand what hosts like to see in a request message) is “Hi XX, thanks for your request. Are you aware that …(fill in the blank with something in your listing that they would have to read through the info to know and which could be a deal breaker- in my case it’s a 20 minute walk to town and that I have a cat).”

Depending on their response, I then know if they have bothered to read the listing info and it gets a bit of dialogue going.

I said I’d give a guest 12 hours to respond before asking Airbnb to try to contact them because they could be in a different time zone, at work, or out of cell or internet range. Although when you respond to a request qith questions within 5 minutes of them sending it and they are newbies and they don’t respond, chances are they don’t have their notifications activated.

This was the response after I sent her most of the suggested message you sent to me:
thank you can I get the street address once reservation is confirmed, thank you


Oh, lordy. She really doesn’t get it. It doesn’t even sound like she bothered to read your message.

“I’m sorry, XX, but if you are going to ignore the questions I asked you and not provide me with a bit of information about yourself, your booking will not be confirmed, it will be declined.”

Then give her a half hour to respond, if you are so inclined, and decline if she doesn’t answer.

(Although what I’d really be itching to reply is, “The address when the booking is confirmed? Dream on. Not only are you not going to get the address, your booking will never be accepted and confirmed due to your poor reading comprehension and communication skills.”)

TBH, that wouldn’t bother me. I would want to confirm that there are no more than two adults and that they understand that there is parking for only one car. Beyond that, all are welcome.

1 Like

I say…“I hate to be nosy, but…” please tell me…

1 Like

I never book anyone without verified ID, so I would just say I couldn’t complete the booking without it and it can take few hours for AirBnB staff to verify their upload (assuming they don’t already have ID).
I know AirBnB really pushes instant book, but I’ve had listings with it and without it. If it makes any difference to booking rate it is imperceptible to me. Like the ‘superhost’: I’ve had it a few times. I’ve only ever had 1 person mention it & even they didn’t book because of it.

Instant booking does not suit my needs. First and foremost I want guests to read our policies because I detest smoking and want to ensure they know they cannot under any circumstances smoke in our suite, we do however provide a place outside for smoking. Secondly we do not allow pets, we have had two guest sneak in pets and I was not in any way impressed…they just claim ignorance after the fact or say they did not read it in the policies. I now want to make sure they actually read the policies. This guest is not concerned with any policy, just want address to put into their GPS. I know they have not read the policies because in the policy i put in that GPS and navigation apps are not accurate to our location (tried to get airbnb to help us but not resolved, it is due to the road changed ect) and therefore they should follow our detailed directions. I would rather just lose the booking than book a guest that will not confirm they read them. We make about just over $100 a booking so it isn’t going to break the bank.

I don’t see any of your comments as being specific to not having IB. They are required to agree that they have read your house rules and agree to them in order to IB…

I am just making a statement that i do not use instant booking. Just because they are required to read the policies it does not mean they have, and so many do not. I want them to actually acknowledge that they have in fact read our policies. Like the cat lady, oops, last minute bringing the cat and i didn’t read that it was a no pet airbnb. Nope nope, i want them to actually take a moment to read through the policies…they may find that our place does not actually suit their needs.

I understand why you don’t have instant booking, but whether you have it or not I recommend a message like this that spells out some of the salient rules. Here is what our automated message says after an instant booking. We modify it slightly after a request to book:

Dear short code start
[guest first name]short code end

We’re so delighted that you have confirmed your reservation here at our home to become yours.

We look forward to hosting you starting at 4 pm on short code start
[check-in date]short code end

; your check-out is at 10 am on short code start
[checkout date]short code end

. Your reservation is for short code start
[number of guests]short code end

and you understand:

o Home is suitable for non-smokers (no smoking inside or outside),
o Unless otherwise agreed only for children age 12 and over.
o No animals.
o Maximum occupancy, whether overnight or not, is six and, unless otherwise agreed to, limited to registered guests.
o The person making the reservation must stay throughout the stay (no ‘third party bookings’ in Airbnb speak).
oThe number of guests in your Reservation cannot increase until they arrive.
o No parties.
o Kindly, no shoes to be worn inside the house.
o Full list of rules in the listing.

Please do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can do to make your stay here more enjoyable. We want your vacation here to be comfortable, pleasant, peaceful. Please tell us how we can partner with you to make this happen. For example, are there events or activities that you’d like us to research or recommend?

If you have not installed the Airbnb app on your phone, we recommend that you do so, and enable notifications. You’ll find the app a convenient way to communicate and hold information about your stay. You’ll find our guidebook at short code start
[guidebook]short code end to Worcester (and the area) on the site and the app.

Welcome to central Massachusetts and the second largest city in New England, the city that for over 200 years has been referred to as ‘the Heart of the Commonwealth.’ May its heart, and ours, touch yours.

How would your message help when dealing with a guest like the OP’s, who obviously hasn’t bothered to read the message he sent which is a tenth the length of yours?
The issue isn’t lack of information from the host, it’s lack of appropriate communication from the guest.

You are presuming the guest’s profile did not show that they had submitted verified ID. The OP never indicated that. Her poor communication is the issue.

1 Like

We clicked “must have verified Id” as the only option. No IB. Some guests input nice explanatory notes about their trip, others far less. Many reviews all 5*, I’ve no need to read them. Fewer, or none, is still ok. If there is something concerning about the brevity of their query, or a bad review, I try do draw them out. All get the 375 word note before confirmation, and more details after, reiterating rules etc. No matter what they say, I say I can confirm them shortly if they have read everything and there are no further questions or concerns. Then, wait an hour or so and confirm.

1 Like