Issues with guest having your phone number

We are reasonably new at hosting. We just realized that guests get our phone number once they’ve booked. We just got a call from our guest wanting to cancel their first night’s stay of a four day booking after the free cancellation window. Not a huge deal. But… we could barely understand this guy. Seems like it should be done online between him and air.

The bigger issue is, it might not be the best idea for guests to have my personal phone number. One could get a disgruntled nut who might endlessly harass you. Is there a way to withhold your phone number and do all communications through air?

Many travelling guests don’t download the app to their phone and sometimes your number is the only thing they have.
I have frequently messaged a guest on their mobile when they fail to respond on the app.
Every message I get via the app also shows up on my mobile. I can’t answer to the mobile messages, but can via the app.
Not understanding your concern regarding your number. I have been doing this for 5 years and have never had an issue with a guest having my number.
If you are really worried I would set up a different mobile and number ……but for me that would mean carrying 2 phones and I am flat out remembering one.

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I agree that his cancellation needs to be done through the platform. We listed on Airbnb a cell phone number used just for Airbnb.

Perhaps you can add a cell phone to your account and use that number strictly for Airbnb guests. You can write it off as a business expense. When not hosting, just turn it off.

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Yes, and you should get their phone number and save it outside of Airbnb’s system. Eventually, there will be a time when the guest needs to contact you or you need to contact the guest but the Airbnb app and or backend service is down. It happens a lot more than you think.

Yes, and I hope you told him that. You don’t have his money, yet. Airbnb does.

You can block a number on your phone if a guest harasses you. If you get a nut that harasses you and you think it’s a safety issue, make sure to report it to Airbnb immediately.

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I’ve hosted over 1000 guests and never had a nut harass me.

I hope you realize that this guest now has your address and knows your full name.


True Dat! I’m not really worried. I was just surprised air doesn’t keep a “firewall” of sorts for lots of reasons. Including, like ebay not being able to make deals outside of their system.

They do. Don’t try to send a phone number, address, or the independent website of your listing to someone who hasn’t booked yet. All the apps that require payment through the app have software that monitors all the messages. But once they book they are your client and your client needs to be able to contact you.

Totally relate to this privacy concern! You can get a Google business phone number for almost nothing and it will forward calls to your regular phone without displaying your cell number to the caller. Your Google account will also give you a separate email address if you’d like to keep your primary email nutcase grunt free.


I definitely understand your concerns with a variety of guests having your phone number. However, when these guests are traveling sometimes the line of communication that they have with you is one of their strongest resources. If you do not feel comfortable with this person having your umber after their stay I recommend blocking their number. I many cases I have had guests reach out to me directly after their stay to thank me, ask questions, or keep in touch. I think if the relationship is good there is no harm done, but it is a personal judgment call. IN this situation however, your guest should have contacted airbnb instead of you to get his refund.

Not everyone always has a Wifi signal to use the Airbnb messaging. And believe it or not, not everyone has a smart phone. And some older, non-tech-savvy folks prefer using the phone.

I’ve never found it to be an issue.

I like the idea of a separate Google number. If you want a separate phone for Airbnb use only, if you are in USA, take a look at Tracfone, pay as you go. I’ve been pleased with their coverage. It works in places my Verizon service won’t

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New hosts should be aware that if they list a fake address and a legit guest shows up and or the host tries to switch addresses when they give the check in information and they guest reports it, it could cause trouble.

I know of a former member here who used to have her address as a spot some distance away from her rental on the Airbnb map. I can’t remember if it was to avoid a stalking ex or the govmmint. But in any case, more than one guest marked her down and or commented about it in reviews. Just an FYI for those of you concerned about an Airbnb guest knowing where you live if you host at your home and/or having access to your property tax records once they get an address.

@pdc , don’t be put off from hosting. People only post about problems on forums like this, they don’t post about success.

I use a Samsung something or other that holds two sims/numbers. Like you, I can remember my old UK number but I’m flat out remembering the other one. At least it’s only one phone though!

I don’t have an issue with guests having my phone number .

If a guest were to phone me re a cancellation- (and not one guest has done this in five years of hosting), I would remind them that all communications need to be kept on the platform .
I would tell them to contact Airbnb who will process their cancellation under the cancellation policy they booked under @Pdk

You can easily block a guest who harasses you on the phone or keep a separate phone for your STR business

So many phones now have the capacity for two SIM’s meaning it’s easy to separate work calls from personal calls.

Ironically though, even though I have two SIM’s we still have a separate phone for the apartments, I have SIM’s for my old UK number (had it since the 90’s) and my current Spanish number in mine

It all stemmed from our early days, when it was my number given out by Airbnb etc, and I got a call at around 23:00. Unfortunately, my Spanish was pretty poor at that time and coupled with the fact I was in midst Estrella session with a couple of buddies, it meant I totally messed up the call and we were fortunate the guests didn’t cancel!

From that point onwards, we have a separate number which all the OTA’s have, and which also appears on Google searches. Basic SIMs are pretty cheap here, and it’s tax deductible :wink:

The one thing we don’t do is take the work phone out with us at night, so it rarely gets answered after around 20:00. In our welcome pack, we provide guests with both of our personal numbers, but stress that they are there for emergencies only. To date, no-one has abused this, or bugged us, or stalked us etc.


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We have hosted since 2012 and never had a problem with guests having our number. Eventually someone will call and ask to direct book and you may have to decide if that is something that you want to risk. (Plenty of other threads on the pros and cons of doing that)


I can understand concern about giving out phone numbers.

The other side of the coin is for 45 years my parents’ or my name was published in a free book with home addresses & phone numbers for the world to see.

An internet name search will pull up probable phone numbers & addresses too.

I’m not sure protecting a phone number is important.

I know you didn’t ask this but as a newbie I want to remind you NEVER CANCEL A RESERVATION. That is the role of Airbnb. You can be penalized in ranking and financially.

Also, if you don’t know, changing the dates of a reservation is a common ploy to be able to then cancel the reservation with no penalty.


For me, it’s essential to have the guests’ phone number and for me to have theirs. I can’t think of any businesses that don’t give out their phone number? Mind you, a lot of the time when you phone them it’s a recorded message. :roll_eyes:

I have a work phone and a personal phone.


Get an anonymous (sort of) Google number and forward it to your cell phone. I don’t have an issue with the number, I always revert to the app or desktop because I want a trail of interactions via Air’s system.

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