Odd experience making a reservation as a guest

This topic doesn’t have to do with hosting, but I’m having an unusual experience with trying to make a booking as a guest and need some advice. I’ve been hosting for 1.5 years now but this is only my 4th time as an AirBnB guest so it’s interesting to see things from the other side.

I sent a reservation request yesterday afternoon (18 hours ago as of this writing). The host is a remote host with the cohost listed as primary (the cohost does not have a specific name but is listed as “Bob and Cohosts” with a picture of the host (“Bob”) and his girlfriend—probably to leave it open for him to get any local friend to be the cohost). I haven’t received a response yet and now my trip planning is on hold. Should I continue to wait the full 24 hours for a response? The host’s profile says his response time is less than an hour, but I worry that even if I get a response this host will be less than responsive to issues that come up during my stay, especially being an out of town host with an unnamed cohost. Problem is, there’s limited options as it’s the only home-share in the whole area and the rest are whole home listings for 3x the price, which I don’t need as a single traveler for a short trip.

Is it unusual to wait this long to hear from a host and should this be a red flag despite the good reviews and Superhost status? My response time as a host is usually within minutes and a couple hours at most, as I assume is the case for most of the hosts on this forum, so maybe my expectations are skewed, but it seems unreasonable to wait this long for a reply. I sent a nice introductory message and have good reviews as a guest, so no red flags on my end.

I certainly don’t response to guest inquiries in minutes @GardenFairy . I wouldn’t assume that is a normal response time. My phone is turned off every night from 11 p.m. - 7 a.m. and I don’t respond immediately during the working day.

So your choice; either wait for your preferred host to respond or look for other options for booking your accommodation through Airbnb or other listing companies/hotels/hostels.

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I respond as soon as I get the ‘ding’ on my phone but like @Helsi I’m not an Airbnb slave so my phone is on silent overnight. This is 10 pm to 6 pm in my case.

I get a lot of guests from the other side of the pond so it’s not unusual for guests to contact me in the middle of the (USA) night. But they can wait until a civilised hour for a response.

So, I’m assuming that there are no time difference issues?

I always go for Instant Book because I’m way too old to wait around for someone to decide that I’m an acceptable person and that they might lower themselves to permit me to stay. But if I hadn’t heard for 18 hours, I’d assume that they are not all that eager to get my business and that this might be indicative of their hosting style.

This would bother me if I was going for a break and for several days but not if I was just looking for somewhere to sleep for one night.

I’d be looking for alternatives by now though. If Airbnb can’t supply a suitable place, there’s no reason why you can’t look elsewhere.

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I had a similar experience a couple of months ago. I found a room at a farm in Maine with over 200 reviews. My approval came through at hour 22-23. I never got any message acknowledging my message or reservation. I made a modification to my request later and again waited for acceptance. It was accepted but still no message. A couple of weeks later I just canceled and found another place. Like you, although the place was perfect for me in many ways and I really wanted to stay there, I felt that host wasn’t engaged enough for my full confidence and comfort.

I always respond within hours and with all my last minute even late day bookings, I have to. But I don’t expect everyone else to and I’d give them at least the full 24 hours without worrying about it. Maybe they don’t want to host you because like many here they find that hosts are terrible guests. :wink:

@CatskillsGrrl also reported having an uncommunicative host this past week.

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I should clarify…the host actually lives in my city according to his profile and the city I’m visiting is only a 2 hour time difference. I sent the request at 4 pm, so the host shouldn’t have been snoozing his phone that early (unless he or his cohost is out of the country).

I actually had this thought and didn’t specifically mention that I’m a host for this reason! But it’s pretty easy to find out if you look at my profile.

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I never mention that I’m a host. I am a fantastic guest and any host with stupid ideas about hosting other hosts doesn’t deserve my money.


Ok, I finally heard from the host. He says he does not accept bookings for more than one month out and that I should send another request next month. Why is his calendar open then? Looks like he has listings for individual rooms in the home and a combo listing for the whole home. I understand trying to wait for a whole home booking, but then just block the dates for the individual rooms! It’s his problem if he wants to rack up declines on his statistics. I wonder if I should just avoid this host altogether if the room is still available in a month.

it depends on what you want. Usually, during the day i respond pretty fast, bc I am at my desk and I see/hear the alerts on my phone. Mealtimes/commute time/evening when I do other activities i might not be as fast. Of course people who inquire at 3am will only get a reply in the morning. I do glance at the requests before going to bed though.
If you are in a hurry to get over your trip planning keep looking. guests do this all the time. it happened to me to have guests cancel on me because I didn’t reply fast enough (aka I was in a meeting all afternoon and they couldn’t wait until the evening). or I was out shopping. Or at a concert. Bottom line you are the guest, do what you want. If I were you, however I’d try to find another place. It depends how much you like that listing and how convenient it is for you.

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Can I ask how many reviews he has and what his star rating is?

Superhost, 5 stars, only 8 reviews for this bedroom but ~140 reviews each for the other two bedrooms in the same condo. Doesn’t seem like a bad place and a number of reviews comment on the host’s quick response, which is why I had no hesitation sending the booking request.

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Personally i wouldn’t wait for another month as you mentioned there weren’t many suitable places. Why risk it ? @GardenFairy