Instant Book and New Hosts, automatic signup May 20!

Has anyone else heard that starting May 20, Air BnB has a new policy that all new hosts are automatically signed up for Instant Book and have up to three cancellations before incurring penalties? I was told this by an Air BnB customer service person. I am a new host and trying to navigate the business, but nowhere on my sign up was this new policy stated or explained and leaves me with little options. They also couldn’t tell me how long before I could turn it off. I found this deceptive and questionable. Has anyone else heard this?


I seriously doubt that…might be another case of Air reps telling tall tales.

Hi @mellyfree it’s true! You can see a lot of frustrated posts about this on the airbnb community boards. I wasn’t sure that they started doing it on a hard fast date like May 20th.

It seems like this was done in response to the issue around #airbnbwhileblack - there was even a class action suit started. I guess that airbnb thought one way to ensure that hosts can’t deny a guest based on their race is to make sure they had no option to deny anyone.

This seems to be a very stupid idea, in my opinion, as brand new hosts are the ones least ready and too inexperienced to take on potential guest issues that come up with instant booking.

I use instant booking, but I have 6 years of experience. It’s not for everyone, and certainly can be problematic for live-in hosts.

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I don’t know if this is true or not. It may be in some areas/demographics and not others. I am a brand new host, only signed up in late June, and I had a choice to accept instant bookings or not, and I can still turn it off if I want. I’m in the US, New England coast.

It would not surprise me at all if Air is trying to force such a thing on certain hosts or in certain areas or a combo of both. As stated, I’ve not been doing this long, but I’ve already figured out that Air is just like eBay in so many ways.

Things change on the platform so fast no one can keep up, especially the CSR’s.
Company policy seems to be to throw users (hosts, sellers, whatever) under the bus as often as they can get away with it.
Create new rules, regulations, policies to fix one problem with little regard to the effect they are going to have and figure they’ll just sort it out later.
Lure new users in with flashy, reassuring promises and then make them wade through days of fine, confusing print to get to the real truth.


My understanding is that since May BnB is imposing instant book and a percentage of new hosts.

I have contacted BnB to try and get an explanation and asked them to clarify through the community boards and they have failed to respond/

I don’t think it has anything to do with encouraging hosts to host guests without discrimination and everything to do with BnB make more money.

I think this is a dangerous precedent particularly for new hosts.

Wow, a bad precedent!!! I know they do test things in certain markets.
Yes, they really really push IB, don’t they!!!

THat’s a good point @Helsi, they are doing it in certain markets, not across the board for every single new host.

All the sites are becoming the same - Wimdu, HomeAway, Airbnb are all pushing online payments, instant book, etc.

Wimdu always had online payments… Homeaway just imposed a bunch of these things on owners recently, as they transition from a listing platform where you could transact directly to one where you can’t.

Homeaway was a behemoth gorilla who was acquired by Expedia and thought they could do whatever they wanted because they had a captive market. I believe if Air gets sold or has an IPO they will become all about the money too.

Can you post a link to these boards?

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Their community boards are a no man’s land! Useless.


Exactly why I like it here!

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I find both forums useful.