Is there a penalty for declining too many requests?

My first dozen requests were great and I was able to accept them all. However, just in the past week I’ve had to decline 3 in a row.

The first was someone who wanted to use a relative’s account to book in order to take advantage of a coupon. The second was a woman traveling with her small dog. My listing states no animals because I have two cats. The third was a man traveling with his two tween daughters. My listing states no children under 12 (one of the girls was 9) and that I have 1 room, 1 queen bed.

After declining this last one and ticking off the checkbox for space not being suitable for the guest’s needs, I got a little warning message from Air asking me to be certain my listing was described correctly. I would have checked off the “Guest didn’t read the listing.” box, but there wasn’t one.

My question is, am I being penalized in search or anything else for declining these requests, even though they are all the fault of the guest?

Were they requests to book or just inquiries? You only have to decline actual requests. It won’t affect anything, I’ve declined several over the past month or two.

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There’s no penalty for declining inquiries, but there is for cancelling bookings:

Declining requesting will hurt search ranking. Double check your listing and make sure things are clear. Yes, we all know people don’t read but double check anyway.

It’s hard to tell what they consider to be too many. It applies only to actual booking requests (Approve or Decline will appear with a 24 hour timer). This indicates the guest has already authorized a charge to be placed on their card when you click Approve.

What the actual impact is to your search position will depend on your market and other variables. It can be offset with frequent calendar refreshes and listing updates.

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We have only 7 listings on city island and most are booked. So search ranking doesn’t matter here if someone wants to stay on the island itself. Good point by @felixcat

Amazing the things that are not thought to include as choices!


I try not to decline as much as possible.
I often accept and tell the guests that the place is not suitable for them.

I probably accept them. If they are honest about this upfront I do not have a problem with it.

I would not immediately decline, but answer that dogs are not allowed, but she is allowed to come without a dog.
Wait for her reply, then accept.

If she turns up with the dog, you can refuse her.

Again I would explain them that children under 12 are not allowed according to the house rules.
Then accept.

Yes, you are penalized.

There’s a bit of chat about this here (i’ve only declined 1):

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These were all requests that I had to decline.

Thank you for the screen shot K9. Good (and annoying) to know. And I did double check my listing to be sure it’s clear. It says no animals, and I’ve mentioned my cats in 2 places. I do need to add a photo of them. As far as BR configuration, that is clear, and I mention my space is good for couples and solo travelers.

LOL, Shouldn’t there BE a “Guest didn’t read the listing” box?

Chris, interesting way of handling these things. I can’t say I “like” it. I feel like it would be confusing and/or irritating for potential guests. Why would I tell a woman who’s just told me she’s traveling with her dog (she was already on the road) that she can come here as long as she doesn’t bring her dog? As far as the man, I didn’t really care about his 9 YO daughter, she could have stayed, but I only have one room with one bed and no cots or air mattresses. Why would I tell him I don’t have space for his family (which my listing already told him!) and then accept his request? These are retorical questions of course. What I’m saying is this way of handling things seems somehow dishonest from potential guest’s perspective and like game playing from mine. I would feel weird and uncomfortable doing it, but if this is what Air forces you to do in order to not lose search placement…

I live in a highly saturated area, so I think falling in search would hurt.


This is against the Airbnb TOS, NO THIRD PARTY BOOKINGS. the host guarantee would be void. This is very bad advice.

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