Late check in....Midnight

We have a private suite attached to our home. Guest wanted to check in at midnight, I declined the request. I didn’t get penalized by airbnb and night was not blocked, and didn’t care if I did get penalized. Arrival that late would wake up my husband and then me, it is a suite that is attached to our home.

Guest stated: We’re driving across the province and we need somewhere to stay. There’s nothing in the area. You need change your policies. It says self check in and nothing about midnight being a late check in. We just wanted a place to sleep before we leave early in the morning. You’ve seen signs Fatigue Kills right. You’ve been very unaccommodating and I’m going to reach out to the Airbnb support team about it. Thank you.

My response to guest: Self check in means that you do not need anyone to open the door for you. I will not take on guilt for your unsafe driving, if you are tired then you need to stop driving at a rest stop and continue when you feel rested. You can reach out to airbnb to help you with your issue. Safe travels

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I have a suite attached to my home, but with it’s own entrance. My favorite guests are the ones who arrive after I’ve gone to bed and are gone early again the next morning.
I’ve never had a guest wake me up since I put the separate entrance. But that message rubs me the wrong way. I doubt my reply would be as polite as yours was. People with that kind of entitlement would probably be poor guests so bullet dodged.


Guest wanted to check in at midnight, I declined the request.

I agree with the guest. “Self check-in” means “any time” to me, too, unless you posted limited hours.

We’ve had guests arrive at 4 and 5 a.m., and it’s been fine. And we don’t even offer self check-in. I get up and let them in. Takes a few minutes and I’m back in bed.

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If you have self-check-in but don’t allow guests to use it after a certain time, it would be a good idea to put that information in the listing. Then they can make an accurate decision about where to stay if they see that you have a cut-off time.

I’m afraid that I would assume that self-check-in would mean that I can check in at any time after the stated time, particularly for a rental that is a separate suite and not a homeshare.

Because I’m in a largely fly-to area I have a lot of guests whose planes arrive in the early hours

For many people, midnight certainly isn’t late, especially for road trippers who are making the most of every available moment of their break.

I’ve had far worse.



I’ve never had anything rude in writing but I had a fella give me some attitude in person and then a 4 star review because I had the nerve to point out he arrived well before check in time. However, other people’s travel plans or lack of them, is not my problem. You want something I don’t offer, go book it. I won’t be offended. But when you message me to imply that I owe you something ( it’s the snark about the “fatigue kills” sign that sets me off) I can guarantee you won’t get a kind response.


@Thunderlake Rude, entitled message, for sure. My reply to something like that would not have been nice, but I might have pointed out that you have a check-in window stated (you do, don’t you?) for a reason- as described in your listing, this is a studio attached to your home, you don’t fancy being woken after going to bed, and if they want to check into a place that late, they should book places that are not part of the host’s home.

I don’t understand what you mean by not being penalized or having the date blocked for declining. That only happens for cancellations, not declines. Was this an inquiry or a request? For an inquiry, you don’t even need to decline, just message back.

Yes, that’s the part that would have got me too. I’ve never responded to stupid messages though, I need the time for other things.

I once had a dreadful message in the Airbnb system and I honestly forget what I’d done. Or rather, what he thought I’d done. But it was pretty stupid of him to be so very vitriolic in the Airbnb message system.

Thinking back, I don’t think I had done anything. He enquired, which isn’t usual because I use IB, but someone else booked those dates before he did.

Whatever it was, he was very unpleasant in his choice of language. :slight_smile:

The whole point of self check-in is that you don’t have to coordinate with the host to check-in. And it’s one of the primary filters that guests use. If I had filtered for listings with Self Check-in and then you told me that I couldn’t self check-in, I’d be annoyed too. It’s false advertising.

I wouldn’t have responded in the same manner but I would’ve responded and told you, “You need change your policies. It says self check in and nothing about midnight being a late check in.” (but wouldn’t have used the passive-aggressive guilt thing about driving with fatigue).

I may have reported your listing though. It’s either self check-in or it isn’t. Airbnb defines Self Check-in as:

Self check-in means guests can access a place without needing the Host to be there. ANY TIME after their designated check-in time on their arrival date, guests can conveniently gain access via:

** A key lockbox*
** A smartlock*
** A keypad*
** A key or access via the building staff, such as a doorperson or front desk attendant, who must be available 24/7 to do so*


“Fatigue kills”.

“Yes, you are so right, it does. That’s exactly why we don’t want guests to check in after our check-in window. If we get woken by guests arriving after we have gone to bed, we will be fatigued the next day. Hosts’ policies are unique to their listings and lives. They don’t ‘need’ to change their policies to accommodate any possible guest circumstance.”

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Self check in and check in time are two separate topics on my listing. To me self check in means that I don’t physically need to open the door and check in cut off is when I say it is on the listing…that is the way i understood it.

I wish i was witty with my responses, I was also super annoyed! Just wanted to share, will review my listing to ensure that they can use the keyless entry or I will have the door open for them if I am home but midnight check in is not happening, my check in cut off time is listed.

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Airbnb defines as a guest being able to check in anytime after the designated check-in time. There shouldn’t be a cut off time. It’s a pet peeve of mine. Self check in is the most important filter I use. I would also be surprised and dismayed that I couldn’t check in whenever I wanted, because the policy says that I can check in anytime I want after the check in time.

The whole reason to use the filter is so that I don’t have to deal with cut off times. It makes me think that you’re saying that you have self check in purely for the search rank boost. I would not be amused.

And I think you are putting yourself in a precarious position. If a guest booked and then later needed to check in after midnight and your listing advertised self check in and you wouldn’t let them, then that would be considered an inaccurate listing.


You don’t need this kind of guest!! We say check in between 2 PM and 10 PM and that we prefer to greet people in person but can arrange for self-check in. We anticipate and accommodate some late arrivals - people who let us know about late planes when they make the reservation, and travelers on routes that we know always have delays such as up the US East Coast from New York to New England. We ask guests to update their ETA when they get started. We don’t mind the disruption for ourselves, but we have long term tenants who object to noise and headlights at all hours. They are understanding about the occasional exception to our rules.

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Good to know, i will have to look into that and make sure I am following the rules. I will be in hot water even if i say they can’t check in after 10- or even 11 but have a self check in before that time?

I do not have instant booking, i declined there request to book.

I’m sorry but I don;t see the self check in window, i may have been using this term loosely without knowing… I just have a check in cut off, can someone show me where it is in the listing…i am kinda a newbie and perhaps missed something.

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I found it now when i go to travelling on my site but i don’t see how to edit it on my listing, need help. Thanks

Declining a request to book only lowers your Acceptance rate, which isn’t a big deal unless you decline a lot. There are no other penalties attached.

Perhaps you should uncheck self-check-in, but say in your description that it may be available as long as guests check in before XX time. And that once they have checked in, they can use the lockbox to come and go as they please.

You might also consider setting one day advance notice, so you don’t get same-day requests, unless last minute bookings are a common thing for you.

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Amenities list, I think.

To edit it in your listing you go to hosting then to listings then to info for guests to check-in instructions. There are several choices: Smart Lock, Keypad, Lockbox, Building Staff, Host Greets You or Other (that you fill-in).

Smart Lock, Keypad or Lockbox are all considered self-check-in choices. If you choose one of them then you will be listed as having self-check-in, self-check-in will be in your amenities list and you will come up in searches as having self-check-in.

I think that what you said here:

It is perfect for what you want and it is the truth of your listing. I recommend that you choose the “Other” option and type in that information. It is clear and accurate. And being clear and accurate is the number one goal for the information on a listing page.

I also think that it will save you a lot of trouble. If you don’t want people checking in after midnight then that should deter them. If nothing else, you won’t come up in searches for guests that want self-check-in (which means all hours of the night), you’ll only come up in searches for guests who are prepared to have check-in hours that are limited, like before midnight. It’s better for guests and it’s also better for you.

Airbnb is really cracking down on discrepancies in listings. And because self-check-in has a definition (that you don’t fit) and because it is an amenity (that you don’t always provide), you just need to be aware so that you can pick your battles and CYA. And it makes hosting easier if you’re clear upfront.

Here is the article that explains what options trigger the self-check-in amenity: