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"Infants" stay for free

Recently Airbnb adopted an “infants stay for free” policy, which I am OK with. I am not OK with not being notified of that policy or the criteria to qualify for the “infant” discount. After calling Airbnb I was informed that any child UNDER two years old is considered an infant! Recently, we have noticed an increase in “infants” being booked with us and when they arrive the child is walking, talking and obviously not an “infant.” It is upsetting that Airbnb does nothing to verify that said child is indeed under two which puts us as hosts in a difficult spot with our guests. Just waiting for an 18 year old “infant” so show up with his/her family one day! Anyone else experiencing this?

Yep. It is unfair that Airbnb puts you in that spot. Infants/toddlers are just as much, if not more work, than an adult guest.

They also don’t count toward your maximum occupancy. You can have up to 5 “infants” on a booking. So a host with a 1-person listing in their home might find themselves host to Penta-Mom. 6-person booking at a 1-person price.

You can put in your house rules that all people, regardless of age, are counted in your max occupancy. You can add a requirement to prove age of “infants”, too. But you’re right - it puts you in a tricky spot with guests.

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No, but it’s not surprising. It’s just a variation of sneaking in extra guests. Are the “fake infants” causing guest groups to exceed your max guest count or are you losing out on extra guest fees?

Since you’ve seen it, do you ask the guest how old the child is? Do you mention in the guest’s review that they brought a child over 2 years and claimed it was an infant?

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They have had this policy at least for the last two years @Hampton so hardly new :slight_smile:

I have in my listing that I don’t accept under 2s.

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Sometimes both! Last week we had a booking for 3 adults and 2 infants…our maximum booking is 5. When the family shows up, they have zero under two years old infants and another 10 year old with them. And yes, we do mention this in reviews. It is only fair to future hosts.

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If they have had it for two years, then we haven’t had any requests with infants in those two years! We don’t mind having infants, babies, toddlers at all - we just want to know about it up front and not be taken advantage of.

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Then put it in your house rules that you can’t accommodate more that XX infants and that ages of all chlldren and infants must be provided on booking.

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The last time I hosted a couple with an anklebiter(baby). They left a No. 2 stain on the bedspread.Obviously they didnt use a diaper pad when changing. Little kids 18 mos and up are very destructive.I have a lot of breakable glass items and cactus. I have hosted peeps w dogs and never had a problem tho,but I dont accept pets anymore.

That is a good suggestion. Of course, the guest can still simply tell you that their three year old is under two, and when they arrive you are once again in an uncomfortable situation. It would be helpful if this verification of age was taken care of by Airbnb so hosts wouldn’t have to deal with it.

How much would hosts be orepared to pay Airbnb to vet ages of guests @Hampton? Would it not be easier for hosts who want this information to check ID themselves?

Hey Helsi - i’m sensing some “push back!” I suppose i always beleived the job of “vetting” guests regarding the accuracy of their identity, etc was always part of what Airbnb did. (or at least it is presented that way) The only way i can check the age of a child is for the parents to bring a birth certificate with them and at that point, they are at my house. If they are “caught” bringing in a child that does not qualify for a free nights stay, then the trip begins with a bit of animosity which we would prefer to avoid.

In this case I’d jack up the cleaning fee and ask for it immediately after booking, explaining to the family exactly this: sticky hands everywhere, crumbs everywhere, poo-poo on the bathroom floor result in more hours of cleaning and if you charge them at the rate of a single person rate you will be losing money. I’d also politely say if they disagree they are free to cancel and book elsewhere.

That would be a great option if we had a cleaning fee! Perhaps we will have to add one if this turns out to be a trend. I was really just wondering if other hosts were experiencing this as well.

I don’t think you can charge a different fee for a group with infants, since Airbnb already decided they stay for free. At least, I’d be seriously concerned about a discrimination accusation.

Some hosts have changed their house rules to “may not be suitable for infants” to avoid this situation.

As far as I know Airbnb has always said they only vet the lead guests in terms of ID and in some countries security checks. I don’t believe they verify age other than the fact that the lead guest is over 18.

As hosts it’s up to us to do the additional vetting we want.

Not push back just explaining it’s not a service Airbnb offers and if it is something hosts want, then they would need to pay for it with higher fees.

In many countries in Europe, Far East, South America, Middle East there is a legal requirement to collect photo ID, so for these hosts it is easy to vet child ages as ID needs to be provided for them.

OK - I give! You certainly are a much more experienced and knowledgable host than I. To be honest, I have probably been working on an assumption that if Airbnb sets a discount based on age and then imposes it upon their hosts that they would (or should) be the ones to “police” that policy - after all, it affects their bottom line as well. Thanks for all the input and knowledge shared. As Allison_H points out, if we don’t have the option of charging for children under 2 years of age due to this policy, should we also be the ones who have to vet & enforce it? I’m not questioning how things “are” so much as questioning if that is the way they should be.

I don’t allow children or pets in my listing for safety reasons. Anyone concerned with this could simply disallow children and let guests know in the description that kids are allowed with a special request.

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