Air is playing with fire if they try to force all properties into instant book.
At least with Booking.com I can just call the guest after they reserve, and say “sorry but as you see in the listing, I only accept 6 guests - and that includes children/infants.” Then I can ask the guest to go online and cancel immediately, and let them know I will not run their credit card. My dates are open, and I can move forward. Booking.com doesn’t even know the difference.
Now with Air being middleman and taking the payment, the scenario may play out differently. Same example - let’s say guest booked for 6 but didn’t count an infant and toddler. I find this out, and say “sorry, but as you see in the listing - all children/infants count as a guest. I can only accept 6.” Now these are the options for the guest:
They cancel and lose their service fee and half the money.
I waive the cancellation policy - they get their money back but not sure if Air will refund their service fee - anyone know for sure on the last part?
Guest finds out they will lose service fee so lies to me and says now the group will be 6. They try to sneak the guests in anyway.
Also, this isn’t just an issue with going over max occupancy. For all hosts who do charge for children, many guests are going to find out they need to pay more since they didn’t enter in the correct amount of guests. More and more will try to enter in less guests. And more and more people are going to book for 2, and then have their friends surprisingly join “at the last minute.”
And for those who accept taxes in cash…get ready for a bunch of guests to cry and whine because they didn’t read they owe tax in the listing.