Penalty free cancellation for cartoon profile?

If I have IB on, can I cancel penalty free if the guest has a cartoon as their profile photo and hasn’t responded to my request for a real one? I’m concerned since it gives “some examples of when a host can cancel penalty free”, but I’m not sure lack of a real photo is one of them.

As the guest hasn’t responded to your request for an identifying photograph, I understand why you’re concerned and would like to cancel.
I’d call airbnb and ask for a penalty-free cancellation.


Hello @Arlene_Larsson

This happens to me fairly often with guests from the Far East. Who have turned out to be absolutely lovely guests,

I wouldn’t necessarily rush to cancel or be concerned just yet.

Has the guest completed a profile? Have they used Airbnb before? Have they provided verified ID?

Did they provide information about their plans and why they chose your place?

Have they got previous review?

Try them once more - I have a standard spiel explaining the importance of me knowing who will be staying with me and letting them know that if they don’t provide a photo and answer my standard questions I may have to ask Airbnb to cancel their booking.

This normally works .

If not, then contact Airbnb and ask their advice/for their help.

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This one’s a slippery slope. Airbnb is vague on what connotes a penalty free reason for canceling. I doubt they’d say ok to lack of a real photo. They are demphasizing photos to comply with their anti discrimination policies.


I don’t accept anyone without a true selfie. Plain and simple. You can call Airbnb and let them know you are not comfortable hosting someone without seeing their picture and they will call the guest to have it changed= and will back you up if you cancel because they won’t put a true selfie as their profile photo. I’ve called several times and it has always worked itself out :slight_smile:


Following is verbiage I received from Airbnb when I asked for specific requirements for a guest profile picture. You may find this helpful.

Airbnb Customer Experience

Marijan H, Sep 16, 06:50 CDT:
Hi Anne,

Thank you for your kind email.

I would refer you to following sentence:

“Your profile is a great way for others to learn more about you before they book your space or host you. When your profile is robust, it helps others feel that you’re reliable, authentic, and committed to the spirit of Airbnb.”

Profiles with pictures of animals etc. could be interpreted as unauthentic and unreliable and many hosts would not accept reservations by users like that.

I hope that helps.

Should you have further questions. I am here!

I hope you have a nice weekend!




Hi everyone. Thanks for your replies. Luckily I won’t have to find out whether or not I can cancel as the guest has replied. She uploaded a real photo of herself, and based on our correspondence, I feel totally comfortable with her now. Yay!!


That’s great news, glad you didn’t rush to cancel.

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We got a lot of guest from China, some of them your their children as a profile and turn to be a good guest. Some who use actor or Cartoon I alway ask for a real picture and some change some send me pass a message.

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My first ever experience of Airbnb was as a guest. I thought I was renting an apartment in Bucharest from Celine Dion. Imagine my disappointment when I arrived to discover that it wasn’t her at all!

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Just add a House Rule saying ‘Cartoons not allowed!’

You can then cancel on grounds of violation of house rules! :slight_smile: