Stringman, I don’t know where you’re located so I don’t know if it’s normal to charge extra after one person. I’ve seen people doing that on Airbnb and thought wow, that be a great way to make a little extra. Prices are much lower around here than they were a few years ago before there were so many hosts so every little bit helps.
But as I considered doing it, I couldn’t justify it for any reason. I was thinking around $20 a night too for a second person. But I couldn’t think of really a good reason for doing it. So I decided not to. I would say 90% of our guests are two people. And if we added $20 a night but didn’t lower our default rate a bit, there was just no justification for it. A second person isn’t going to come anywhere close to using $20 a day in extra electricity, hot water, cold water, sheets, towels or anything. Maybe they add a few cents a day to our costs, but it’s so negligible I doubt it could even be calculated. I mean two people are going to use just about the same amount of electricity as one person, so there’s no additional cost there. They’ll use an extra towel, but towels cost about $9 bucks - so a $20 per day additional charge for that is certainly way above and beyond anything they could possibly use.
We do charge $15 extra for a third person. That’s fair, because our rooms are really setup for two. We have to bring in an air mattress for them, and a whole new set of sheets. It’s a lot of extra work for us. We used to charge $25 for a third person, and we almost had no three-person parties book with us. But when we lowered it to $15 we get several three-person parties a month - and the additional $15 a night is great extra income!
Anyway, I’m not saying you’re doing the wrong thing because I don’t know anything about your circumstances or reasons for doing it. But when I look at places for me and my wife, I do find it really annoying that some places charge something extra for a second person. It seems a little unreasonable when their place is setup for two people already - and their base price is already about the same as nearby properties. And when you see a rate like $87 a night you think, wow, great rate! But then you’re hit with an extra $20 charge, making it $107 a night - that’s a pretty big difference. But I would never write to them to complain about it! How crazy is that? Just move on and find another place!
She may have been extra annoyed because when she saw your price and then looked at your place, she probably really liked it and wanted to stay there - until she saw the $20 nightly fee and realized it was unaffordable for her. She was probably like “Darn… I wanted that place and thought it was one price but it was a much higher price.” She probably felt a little cheated - like she was sucked in to spending some time looking at your page by a loss-leader price.
Anyway, I do think it’s weird she bothered to write you about it.