I've doubled booked...help!

I have been a host with Airbnb for just just over a month now ( peak season June/July) and getting pretty fully booked with about every nationality on the planet! I’m getting cracking reviews and had the most lovely guests. I have two listings, one for a large room for 2 people and another listing for same room with another room for 4 people. There is one bathroom so wanted to have guests booking the one large room to have the privacy of the bathroom to themselves OR 4 guests booking together share the bathroom. Any way, although I’ve been trying to keep on top of both calanders by blocking one calendar when the other is booked same days I’ve got myself into a bit of a pickle and haven’t blocked a couple of nights and had two lots of guests book the same nights. After reading the host cancellation policies it appears it will be quite detrimental for me to cancel the extra guests ( i have a month before they arrive)
I can however ‘rehouse’ the over booked guests in a friends house who is 5 minutes from me (who is also on Airbnb) and have emailed them regarding this…twice now…but am getting no replies from them. This would be a private arrangement and in doing so would prevent any cancellations, penalties and most of all any disruptions to my guests travel plans and itinerary. In fact they would have a room with en suite in my friends house! I would simply pay her the cash for her booking but of course reviews would be a problem…I’ll deal with that later!
Does any one here know if Airbnb monitor emails and prevent certain emails being sent? If I cancel my overbooked guest Airbnb would benefit. ‘Sorting’ the problem privately may be against their religion if they read the emails I’ve sent my guests explaining the situation.
It may be the guests have simply not checked their emails yet but I’m getting a little paranoid and very worried about what’s happened, especially after doing so well on Airbnb…so far!
Has any one else double booked and how did they deal with it?

I’m curious as to how you eventually resolved your issue?

As I say I sorted it out through friends on Airbnb who live locally. Guests happy and hosts happy. I’m actually taking a local B&B double booking tonight to help out! (She not on Airbnb however) so it’s nice to have a little crowd of us who can support each other when things ‘go wrong’!
HOWEVER…I’d like to point out what actually happened and why I got two double bookings within a couple of days of each other. Because I have two listings I manually block the calander when one listing is booked, this means that guests, whether booking just the one room listing or two room listing, can have the bathroom privately for themselves. BUT, when I got more double bookings at a later date and looked into it I realised it was Airbnb’s fault. If you change your prices using the date calander they provide ( say you want to up the price for a whole month so block 1st till 30th) the calendar resets your manually blocked dates to available again! And if you don’t check this guests can then book these dates especially if you’re using Instant book. Ive reported it to Airbnb who in turn notified their IT dept but I’m afraid it still happens. So I am now very careful that if I change my pricing I double triple check the calander that the appropriate dates I want are still blocked out.
I’d be interested to know if anyone else has had this problem or indeed is aware that this could be the reason they have had double bookings?

1 Like

Really? You block the other room when one room is booked because you want them to have a private bath? It that’s a loss in income. Have you tried listing it as shared bathroom? Many people don’t mind and you will have more income in renting out 2 rooms

Believe me I’ve tried that. I’ve not said on my listing that the bathroom is ‘private’ but many when they arrive automatically ask if the bathroom is theirs, most are clearly not too happy when I say no. I actually have a long term lodger who has the third room on the same floor and he’s very good at ‘keeping out of the way’ when I have guests booked in ( he knows he gets his room at a fraction of the price for a week that guests are paying for one or two nights.) and he’ll use the bathroom on the floor below. I’ve even had a private comment in the reviews from Aussies saying that I should state there are other people using the loo…what the hell does ‘shared’ mean, which I state on my listing. I tried initially renting both Aibnb rooms separately on two listings but first thing in the morning it was actually awkward. One of the females of a couple came down to breakfast late saying she couldn’t get into the bathroom. It seems to work the way I do it for now, but I’m applying for a B&B licence now so next year I can rent all three rooms on Airbnb either together (for 6 people sharing) or individual rooms and I’ll make it clear the bathroom is a free for all. I’m hoping I can rent all three out together as a type of apt and might consider scrapping breakfast…another issue I’ve just posted on…‘Do you serve breakfast or not?’

Two things:

  1. That glitch you talked of regarding the AirBnB system is of concern. I saw a recent update when they indicated that they have revamped instant book to avoid overbooking, so I wonder if that was in response to the problem you indicated? And whether the changes they made were effective?

  2. I’m a new host. There are 3 rooms in the home but 2 bathrooms, so it is not realistic for guests who are clearly booking shared rooms, to expect a bathroom all to themselves. So far no problem, but it may help to make this explicit in your property’s description. Sometimes people know what they have booked but wish for more then they have paid for!

Alba, never mind what they say, you can’t loose your income because guests don’t read descriptions. Shared bathroom means exactly that: shared bathroom with other people.
I offer private bathroom, but they still ask if they are going to have totally private bathroom. This what private bathroom means : no one else is using it.
And if they complain they couldn’t get into bathroom what can you do about? This is just how it is when people share bathrooms.
If you had this happening often when people don’t realize it’s not private bath, write in big letter: you will be sharing bath with other 2 guests.
It’s not your fault that people don’t pay attention, but it’s a shame to loose in one over it.


I mean to loose income
In one of my rooms there is a full size bed, which no one from other countries but US complains. I put in big letters: full size bed. They still sometimes are surprised that’s it’s not queen . Well, if they paid attention they wouldn’t be surprised.

Well Yana people never cease to amaze me and their expectations. How big does a bed have to be? If they expect a Queen they should ask before they book. Now I’ve had one season on Airbnb and its proved very successful I’m definitely raising my prices next July/August as I think I’ve had only 4 nights free the entire two months and I’m exhausted! There’s a few of us in my small town on Airbnb and we’ve agreed were going to set our prices higher for next year…like a cartel !! I honestly think if you have a nice big grand house they expect more…what baffles me is I’ve had quite wealthy retired people (who clearly are as travel the world for years it seems!) professional folk like Doctors and lawyers and they are penny pinching by looking for the cheapest rooms on Airbnb. They then turn up in their hired brand new BMWs and Mercs and expect 4-5 star accommodation. Sometimes I wonder if they are looking for another type of experience as sick of Hyatts and Hiltons?! They’ve all been really courteous nice people though I have to say and have absolutely no real problems with them apart from some nit picking. BUT…I have to say I detest how Airbnb ‘prompt’ guests to add comments beyond the review. I think some people think the boxes HAVE to be filled in. I even had one couple (again Aussie who were so nice when here) suggest that ‘perhaps a selection of different teas in the room?’ At the time I provided English breakfast and Earl Grey along with coffee, bottled water AND biscuits. I even supply damn toiletries in the bathroom and back then started at £43 a night…crazy! Perhaps I’m trying too hard? But you do at first don’t you? You are hungry for those 5 star reviews. Now I’m afraid Super Host doesn’t tempt me and I’m going to have to be more business like, that’s the problem I’ve not been treating it as a proper business. Well, 2016 things are going to change!

Possibly, but a couple weeks after I reported the problem then adjusted my prices the calendar reset itself…again. What worries me is if you have to cancel a guest because of double booking will Airbnb take responsibity?

I tried too hard in a beginning also, but now you got your reviews so it’s time to relax:).
I think hosts on Airbnb don’t realize that we offer dirt cheap accomodation comparing to hotel prices. That alone should be plenty for guests. In theory they fuss about things they didnt want to pay in a first place, otherwise they would go to a hotel,.
I actually stayed in hotel with no toiletries, super expensive breakfast which was almost half of the room price and so on.
I don’t know how it is where you live, but here legally you can’t even cook for guests, and if you provide food, you need need to pay more in tax.
For the price you mentioned that I want to get on a plane and stay with you, you really don’t need to serve breakfast. This is just too good to be true.
And you right, we must be businesslike because it is a business, and to stay in business we Need to calculate how much everything costs, it adds up very quickly and stay in touch with market.

Good for you for getting together with your competition and raising prices together. I am so sick of how cheap the homes in my area are. There are some homes that rent out for $190 a night and sleep 10 - 12 people. These people get the entire home. There might be a $100 cleaning fee with it…but so what? That is too cheap.

I agree with Yana about the bathrooms. I would just highlight in bold in the very first sentence and say “Note: this is a shared bathroom. This is not your own private bathroom. You may or may not have to share with this many people.” I have to wonder if some of the guests are just acting like they didn’t know so they can try to get some kind of discount or something. It just really amazes me to keep hearing these stories of how guests thought all these things that are clearly in the listing.

And yes I really dislike the way Airbnb asks the guest what could be improved and now they ask feedback on value and location. I didn’t mind the one for improvement so much. But I think it makes the guest feel entitled. I can ask on my own if I want - I don’t need Airbnb to do this. I had one guest tell me for improvement that I should offer more things to do than all the electronics in the house. Unbelievable. This woman rented for one night with her three kids and ex- husband or something. They checked in after 4 p.m. and left by 9 a.m.

So they were in the house for just one short evening and she thought I should provide so many things for them to do. I have several board games, decks of cards, and there is a half mile trail to a waterfall on the property, there is a backyard, deck, outdoor grill, three televisions, miniature zipline in the backyard. What is wrong with people? Was I supposed to come over and sing and dance for her? Spend time with your family and have conversation, and eat dinner together.

And now I can’t wait to hear all the people complaining about how the price is too much. Too bad, don’t book.


Forgot to add there were 60 books available for them to read too…lol


Yup I know…some people offer ridiculous prices and makes me wonder what they’re offering…a shed in the garden…or a tent? Airbnb push hosts too much and WE do all the hard work. Look out for a wonderfully written post (on here I think) entitled ‘Burned out super host’ it’s hilarious in some ways but says it all. Think they’re based in NY. I wish in some way we could all set our prices ( like a cartel !) and sort Airbnb out! We’re certainly doing it in my small town (I’m in the Scottish Highlands) as were sick of high maintenance guests who are getting, frankly, a damn good deal in the first place. I get loads of Europeans and when I see the booking and where they’re from I cringe…funny how you can almost judge by nationalities! Aussies I’ve found to be the worst…always very laid back and friendly but when they arrive they take over…treat the place like a house share and expect to use everything…kitchen, oven etc, washing machine, all the condiments in your cupboards like its self catering…I’ve lived in Australia and they are a nation of takers always looking for freebies. Anyway I’m sounding racist now! I’m off to Vancouver myself next week for a two week vacation and booked some Airbnb places so we’ll see how I’m treated as a guest…hope it gives me ideas, but then I would NEVER assume I can use people’s kitchens, washing machines for my laundry etc…that’s the difference!

1 Like

I had a couple who now I understand specifically booked my room just to do their laundry of 4 loads for 1 night. To wash 4 loads with drying would codt them about 20$, do they decided to save on already cheap accomodation even that. So I add , laundry only if staying 5 days or longer

Caninhost I totally agree that people drop their prices so much that it makes no sense. I see one host in my neighborhood renting out house for 125$ a day in a busy season for 8 people. Does he even calculate how much water and AC people use?. Of course he is booked until April 2016. Let them go first😀



Very good point. I can see people easily booking one night during their travels (just to have a stop over where they can do laundry). Makes total sense to not allow laundry for short stays. They can go to the laundromat.

It’s like when I know that a college kid is one of my guests over the holidays. I just know the kid in college is most likely bringing his laundry for an entire semester. So now I take the laundry detergent with me. I don’t list that I offer laundry detergent anyway. But I do take it away with people staying longer than three days. Those people usually want to wash the entire family’s laundry before returning home. I don’t blame them, but they can buy their own laundry detergent for that. They still get to use the washer/dryer

1 Like

Unbelievable!! People actually rent apts or rooms so they can do their laundry?? Well that says one thing to me, prices are too low to begin with. I really think we need to all start bumping up our prices. Of course it all depends what you are offering and what type of space it is but are you trading as room/apt rentals or a laundry? I guess if you attract back packers/students that’s what you’re going to get. I get people who are on average 45-65. Some come with adult children ( I’ve stopped children now under 6 as they are high maintenance) and I’ve put on my listings ’ please note: this is Bed & Breakfast not Self Catering so there is not the use of kitchen and laundry facilities’ So far it seems to have worked as since then haven’t have the takers who expect to do their laundry before they fly home after three weeks in the UK or cook food at nights to save on paying for dinners out. I think it’s all about ‘house rules’ and I’m now going to print out a set of rules to have in the bedrooms, just like I’ve printed out my fire safety rules and stuck to the back of bedroom doors…at the risk of sounding like an 'establishment or some hotel but needs must and that way I’m covered, it’s in bloody writing!! I’m in UK so get the feeling things are perhaps a bit more relaxed compared to the U.S. We are all aware of how Americans are into suing these days so as I’ve had guests from the U.S. I’ve actually taken out a new house insurance policy that covers me for liability as I may have guests who may fall down a flight of stairs in the dark then sue me for everything I’ve got plus more! But it covers me for ALL my guests…I hope!!! This whole thing really grows arms and legs doesn’t it?!!

1 Like

You mean most people in other countries wouldn’t sue for falling down the stairs and much more? - lol. Yes, I am American and it’s disgusting. Good for you for taking out another policy, but sad you felt the need to do it based on one nationality. But I agree! It’s one thing if the owner is negligent, but people in America will sue when it is their own fault. Some attorneys look for people with money and try to figure out a way how a crime can be connected. It’s really sickening.

Alba, I am playing with prices to see what will happen. I don’t lower to what Airbnb tells me (38-48$) because I think it’s just ridiculous. For this money I am letting my rooms just to be empty. It’s very slow here during summer until December and I lowered quite a bit from March prices.,but even then I had mostly very young people. Once I got a couple 20 and 18, my husband was joking that our guests become younger and younger. I like young guests though more than older people.,