Newbie Question regarding responses

I get an email from a potential guest asking a question. I answered the email but the little clock keeps ticking saying I have 23 hrs to answer. I mean, he was asking a question not asking to book so I should not be hitting the “pre-approve” button, right?

It normally only does that when you have a booking request. You can then correspond with the guest for up to 24 hours so that you can see if there is a good fit. You must then either accept or decline the booking.

Right. An inquiry (as opposed to a booking request) should not be accompanied by a ticking clock. But Airbnb’s site and software is buggy, and this has occasionally happened to me too. Try refreshing the page and see if the clock goes away.

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There is a clock, because there is a countdown for the response time.

However, the actual countdown stops when you send a response. The countdown stays, because Airbnb wants to “convince” (or coerce) hosts into engaging more with guests, and quick (until they pre-approve).

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So are you saying we can ignore the request to pre-approve ? Like before when all you needed todo was answer the message ?


The system’s countdown is tied to the existence of a “sign of life” by the host (response, pre-approval, decline). The displayed countdown is a countdown to pre-approval or decline, but this has no effect per itself on the system.

However, if you want to stop focusing on gaming Airbnb and get bookings instead, I recommend thinking and pre-approving quick, but that’s because humans don’t want to wait when it comes to throwing money. :dollar:

1 Like Very true. People don’t want to wait… and so when I have an inquiry from someone who gives me the willies for any reason, I don’t pre-approve unless they respond to my response. I am leaving some money on the table, possibly, but the health of my business and my own personal sanity actually depends on the right people for this house staying with us.


There is no clock normally displayed for inquiries, unless something has changed recently. Though (I think) there is a requirement that you respond to an inquiry within 24 hours. I’m fuzzy about that, though. I usually respond to inquiries as soon as I see them, which is much less than 24 hours later.

But next time I get an inquiry, I’ll pay attention whether a clock is displayed and how it behaves. I.e. does it stop counting once I respond? Or does it only stop counting once I send a pre-approval? Which I rarely do. For one reason or the other, inquiries here don’t work out that often. And sometimes people choose to just go ahead and send a booking request.

There is a clock for inquiries Faheem and Airbnb also makes it look like you must either pre-approve or decline immediately.