One day from the life of Airbnb host

This Saturday started out very good.
Around 4 pm, I get a call from Airbnb that they had to relocate a guest because he could not access the house.
After several my messages with instructions on how to enter the house and asking for time of arrival that was ignored, guest just showed up assuming that I am on guard 24/7 waiting for him.

One hour later, one of the rooms was booked the last minute. Guest informed me that he will be arriving around 11 pm. 10:30 pm I get a phone call: are there 2 rooms in a house? Me: yes… But why are you asking? You booked only one room…
Few minutes later he shows up … With wife and 3 children.

Me: I am sorry but I can not let you stay, the room is only for 2 people and I don’t allow children.
Guest: But… I thought you have 2 rooms
Me: I do… But how is it related to your reservation? You only booked 1 room for 2 people.
Guest: But…I thought the room has 2 beds.
Me: Why? It says in description:1 queen bed.
Guest: Ok but what about another room? Can I pay for a second room for the kids?
Me: The other room is occupied by someone, plus as I mentioned before I don’t allow children.
Guest: ok … But can I get a refund so I can book somewhere else.
Me: I am sorry but you booked me last minute on a busiest night of the week. There is no refund
Guest: Then I have no choice but stay, you took my money
Me: Sir, you can not stay. I have nowhere to put you , you need to find a different accommodation.
Guest: Did you see prices for hotels? It’s insane, I can not afford it.
I ended up calling Airbnb. Customer service guy started laughing when he heard the story. They ended up finding something for the family, I got to keep my pay.


I am always impressed how AirBnB runs the position of a ‘referee’ so successfully, especially among humans, unarguably the most difficult creatures on Earth.


UGH!!! Yana… you keep getting the winners! From the shampoo shippers, to the meat-cooking kitchen nazis, to the clueless family who doesn’t know what they are doing!

Glad Air sided with you! (But do you really think that Air paid for their accommodations elsewhere after they acted sooooo stupid!??? That’s only rewarding stupidity!)

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Kona, I don’t think he was just stupid. I think he really did it on purpose. I can detect intentional act . He pretended to be one, but in fact he thought if he arrives with 5 instead of 2 and may be the other room is available I will still accommodate them somehow. Because many hosts just give up and let guests like this stay.
He also said that there is a couch they can use. Which I said no way. Imagine it was all going on so late with other guests sleeping after transatlantic flight. The 7 year old kept asking him to translate everything for her because she could not understand my accent.
I finally asked them to step outside and continue arguing with me there not wake up other guests.
Then he started to guilt me that kids are tired. What do you want me to do I said, put them on a floor?. My husband asked him if he wants him to wake up other guests dnd make them leave so his family can I occupy the whole house.
I only hope that will teach him something not to take advantage of people like that.


I also think that Airbnb just found them a place but they had to pay again


Wow! This is unbelievable.

Yes, you are probably right. He was trying to guilt you into taking the kids because they were kids and they were tired. Unreal. Just when you think you have heard it all! I’m glad you stood up to him. And I am REALLY glad Air sided with you!

Were they also from outside the country?

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Wow Yana I thought I had it bad with folks trying to sneak just 1 kid in, let alone 3! I am glad you kept your money and if he wanted to take advantage of you this much the rest of their stay would have been horrible for you and I am sure a bad review.

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No, actually from west coast of Florida

This is probably the type of guy who snuck his whole fraternity into a hotel during spring break and thinks that’s just what you do at a “hotel.” Did he have any reviews? Was he a newbie? What nerve!

Carmen you know I actually don’t care this much about bad reviews from guests like this. I have over 50 excellent reviews and what exactly he is going to say? That I did not let 5 people in instead of 2. He would not dare, and if he did I know what to answer to let readers know why he put bad review.
I don’t think anyone should be overly concerned with occasional bad reviews. If we do everything we are as hosts supposed to do being courteous and helpful then we don’t do anything wrong. We can not control encounters like I had, they will happen eventually to every single host


Plus reviews can only be made of completed trips. When I had a guest cancel the day of check in, panicking over some non-existent fear, claiming I had misrepresented the house, I refused to refund one red cent. Even though Air called, trying to get me to refund half just to be " magnanimous."

Air assured me he could not review me but if I offered to refund half that would show good will. Yah right.

Well what exactly is magnanimous about canceling the day you arrive after me blocking off my calendar for months with no ability to recover that lost income and then all of them (Air as well as the guest) expecting me to eat it? His reasons did not meet the extenuating circumstances policy so he lost his money. I also lost the cleaning. so we all lost. Except Air. They kept their fee.

He did not have reviews but majority of my guests don’t

That sounds so hard. I’m thankful that you stuck to what was right, even with the pressure of the kids. That was just plain old b-s.

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So, here’s a question I’ve been wondering about. Where do they relocate these guests who have to be re-homed at the last minute? Do they place them with folks who have same-day Instant Book turned on? Is there a short list of last minute backup hosts we don’t know about? Do they put them in hotels?

The thought of guests like this family of five being relocated on Instant book makes me scared to use instant book!

Yeah. Just don’t use instant book. You lose the ability to screen guests and can end up with any wacko or some guy like this who tries to get away with getting something other than what he booked.


Lately, I have had inquires from the oddest sources, one weird type usually takes the vein like the following:

‘We may be adding more people before we arrive, we realize your place specifies it supports only 6 people and we are 6 already, but we have have my mother-in-law, cousin Guido, his friend Rick and his wife and his adorable kids that may also come with us’.

Cool, glad they have such a joyous happy family; just their family bonding is not happening at my place. LoL

Imagine the potential battle with Insta-book.

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We discussed the subject of IB many times here and I don’t get it why people think you can not cancel your guests if you are on IB??. I am
On IB from day 1, and it’s been exactly a year for me since I started hosting. These guests booked me on IB and because they broke the rules I still cancelled them. They are not the firsts one I cancelled. There was a cook who wanted to come for one day and cook for hours. I cancelled her while she was on a train heading to my house.
I have no ability screening my guests using few sentences through email . I have no time for corresponding with every inquire and go back and forth with questionnaire. You can still get wakos even if you ask them thousand of questions and deside to approve them . This guest could hide the presence of his kids and still show up at my door.
95% of my guests are very good, and I can handle the other 5%. For me IB works very well and most of my bookings through it.
You CAN cancell your guests if they broke rules on IB without any penalties for hosts.

I think they relocated them to a house where all 5 of them can sleep.Its not nesesary IB listing. Airbnb has an ability to call a host so it makes the whole process faster. So they called until they find someone with housing all available same day.


And the best part you still get to keep the pay

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@Yana_Agapova - I agree completely. We started out by not using IB but then decided to use it. There has been no difference in the quality of guests.

I just had a IB booking for February next year which made me gulp a little because who knows what the situation will be in a year? But then I thought that if we’re in business, we can’t run it as if we might go OUT of business.