I am a host and I have responded like this before. It seems like declining requests hurts my ranking in search results, and I try to avoid it at all costs. I have waited until a few minutes before the 24-hour request confirmation deadline to decline, in the hopes that a guest will get impatient and cancel themselves. It sounds like that’s exactly what you did. While it’s true the host could have worded her response more politely, if she’s currently in a crunch I can totally see how she would not put a huge priority on politeness in an effort to get back to you quickly. The typo, and not spending the time to correct it, could also easily be explained by responding in a rush.
You mentioned a lot of reasons related to you that might be secret reasons for her “attitude”, but did you ever stop to think maybe she’s just under a lot of stress so she wanted to get back to you as soon as possible so you’re able to make other plans before it’s too late? Maybe her mother died yesterday, she somehow forgot to update her Airbnb calendar since hearing the news, and she knows she’s going to be a terrible host if you show up at her doorstep tomorrow. Or maybe she’s just under a little extra stress at work and wants to take Friday night “off” from hosting, but she didn’t realize how much she needed a break until she saw your request come through, did the calculation of income potential vs. worst case scenario stress potential, and decided the potential added stress wasn’t worth her nightly rate.
My point is that jumping to conclusions about the reasons behind the curt wording of this host’s message doesn’t do anything except make you irritated! A lot of hosts have chimed in about how they always word things politely, and they would have sent a longer message that basically left you in the same position - not staying at that place because it’s not available.
No one is talking about how it’s Airbnb’s algorithms that encourage this behavior. Yes, hosts are supposed to interact politely, but the algorithms don’t reward politeness. The algorithms reward quickness, and when you’re stressed out, sometimes being both quick and polite just isn’t possible, especially for one night at a low rate.
I personally wouldn’t be offended by this kind of response to a last-minute request. I totally get how guests get frustrated by not being able to “get” the place you want, but hosts are people that have lives, and sometimes something terrible is going on in their lives and you probably don’t want to hear about it on your vacation.
I have recently been reflecting on my own hosting behavior over the past year and I realized that I can be inconsistent. I always try to give good service, but sometimes there is a lot going on in my personal life and I drop the ball here or there. Or the guest does some unexpected and annoying thing (like showing up 10 hours early with no advance notice) and I find it super offensive because I’m stressed out about other things.
I also realized that some of my worst guests last year were some where I did some of the least vetting. I accepted their requests because they seemed nice enough and I was in the middle of something else at the time the request came through. Over the last month or two I have started declining requests that come in when I’m super busy, letting guests know that I can’t plan my schedule for a month or 6 weeks from now at this very second, and I won’t have time in the next 24 hours to figure out if the details of the trip will work with my schedule. I also tell them that I can continue the conversation in a few days if they are still interested, but I can understand if they want to get their reservation confirmed quickly. I encourage them to do just that if quick confirmation is the priority, and some guests do.
Some guests are patient. I get back to them later when my life is a little more calm, and they actually seem extra excited to stay with me. I’m able to exchange messages to make sure I understand their expectations and they line up with what I offer on a timeline that works well for me, and when I know I have the mental energy to respond politely.
Think about it this way: would you rather she accepted your request when she knew she wasn’t prepared, for whatever reason, to be a superhost? It seems likely that you would have had a sub-par guest experience with this host on this day, and you had a great guest experience with someone else. What do you gain by viewing it as anything other than a win-win? Are there penalties for guests canceling requests prior to acceptance that I’m unaware of?