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Instant Booking: Mandatory in the future?

I have heard that IB will be mandatory in the future from a Airbnb community manager.
Personally, I prefer to decide who is going to stay at my place but I’m ok with the ones that prefer IB, however, I don’t find it pleasant that IB will be no longer an option and instead the way things will be.
What I’m still not sure is if we will be able to at least have IB just for the ones that have one or more positive reviews, or if it will be IB for all type of guests (newcomers, bad reviewed guest, etc)

Going further, the people who already use IB for the solely factor that it increases their visibility on the search page, the new requirement will affect them too as if everyone uses IB then there will no search placement preference (against who?).

What are your thoughts about this?

I love instant book, been using it for 3 out of the 3.5 months I have been hosting.

I have heard from others on the forum that they already have no choice in the matter. But I still have the ability to switch it on and off.

We can turn if off or on. I like it as I save time in communication with potential guests but it can’t work so well I think with private rooms, better for all place accomodation

If BnB makes IB mandatory for all hosts, I will leave BnB.

This is my home and I wanted to talk to guests in advance to make sure there is a good fit before accepting bookings.

Not everything can be included in guest rules.


I like instant book on my property which is a separate space. I DO NOT use it if I rent a room in my personal home - I find that many people do not read the listing and do not understand that they are renting a room in someone’s house (they just look at the pictures and price). I also have a limit to 2 people and I have had groups wanting to stay in my house. I would not be opposed to IM in my home if I could cancel a reservation after if was made without being subjected to penalties.

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You can cancel and no penalties if rules are not respected and a few times a year if you don’t feel the persons

I won’t use Instant Book, period. I don’t want anyone telling me who will and will not stay in our home.

I think if they force IB on all hosts they will go out of business.


I find it hard to believe that Airbnb would shoot themselves in the foot by forcing this upon everyone. Many people would leave. It just doesn’t make good business sense.
I’ve had it off and on since I started hosting in March. I’m leaving it off now as I’m finding more and more people are not reading my rules, specifically about a maximum of 6 people (this includes children) with the children being 6 years and above. Just getting lots of requests to book with eg: “4 adults a 7 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old”, yes that’s 7 in total! and 2 are under 6. No questioning whether it would be OK or any recognition of the age/number thing which is written in the listing summary AND in the rules
Had to decline 2 bookings in 2 days as they are not a “good fit” for my listing. If only they would read! But they don’t. I don’t want to have to go through the trouble of an IB booking then cancelling.


I have been using IB on and off for 2+ years and continuously since March. It works for me because it’s at my house but they have a private entrance and I have a video monitor doorbell at the entrance. It’s a small room with a full size bed so it’s not a good space for sneaking in more than the max limit of 2. If they force IB on everyone I will continue to host and hope that it drives others out of hosting.

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Like others here, my biggest objection to IB is that no one reads the description or the rules. I can barely get potential guests to respond to messages when they start “I need this information before I can Accept your reservation”. If they are already accepted, then they have no incentive to answer any questions at all. I have declined almost half of my requests for the following reasons:

  1. Didn’t read listing, are asking for things like 3 people in a 2 person space, want to bring children when I have a clear over-21 rule, or don’t realize what part of town I am in and it’s really far from where they want to go.

  2. Try to book dates that are already blocked. They put an unblocked date in the Airbnb request, but then write me a message saying “I see you are blocked for today and tomorrow, but can I have a room anyway?” like I’m a hotel with 50 rooms or something. Duh!

  3. They want an exception to my 3-day minimum, but the booking request is for 3 days since there is no other way to start the process. I will only make this exception for a return guest that I like, because getting the room ready takes too much time to justify the expense.

These are all totally valid reasons to Decline a booking, but with IB I would be stuck cancelling them. It was way more than the 3 cancels allotted, just in a 6 month period.

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I often block days because I have a lot of dogs here and I’m just afraid it will be too much to have guest humans here too. But if someone were to inquire first and I could have a back and forth with them I might allow them to book on the condition that they understood there would be barking, etc. Like right now I have a woman and her dog here who arrived around 6am. The next three nights are blocked on my calendar so it worked out. So I wonder if people who do that successfully booked a room in the past by doing that.

True, they might be hoping that you aren’t really booked and are willing to squeeze them in. But it’s happened so many times!

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:

  1. They cancel and lose their service fee and half the money.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

Question for those on IB who use that message field guests see before hitting submit:

Do you know if there is an unlimited amount of information the hosts can enter there?

No the pre-booking message has a limit and it’s pretty small. The “additional rules” field is big.

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Can you clarify the source? I don’t know if “community manager” actually counts for much. Isn’t that just someone in charge of social media?

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When guests Instant Book they are required to check a box stating that they have read and agree to follow the house rules. Therefore, if guests don’t follow the rules the host can terminate their stay and keep the money.

Oh Ken you got that right! I will not use IB EVER!

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Ooooh…where is this “additional rules” field - right before they click submit?

I don’t know how it looks on the guest side but as a host it’s the box where your house rules are.

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