Place holds 2, last minute message says bringing 5

Yesterday, I had a booking for an older couple who had asked if they could bring their 17 year old daughter with them. I said sure. When they replied with their ETA at 1:30 AM, this was the message:

Thanks for reaching out to check on us, Danielle! Hope this message isn’t attached to some notification that wakes you. If so, please forgive me/us.

Our only issue is now we have all three of our children (23, 20, 17) joining us for the first night. We’re bringing an air mattress (and sheets and pillows), and all of the kids will be gone the second night. Is there somewhere nearby that’s well lit and secure that they can park their cars overnight?

A good ETA for us is 4-5p, but we’ll text when we have a more firm idea. Looking forward to getting to know Armstrong & Eartha Kitten. Thanks for having us!

  • Tony & Melissa (with Sarah, Nathan, & Bethany)

I was stunned. Called Airbnb Support immediately, who then called the couple and they assured support that they would only be bringing the three. I had no reason not to expect a retaliatory review, as I wasn’t going to indulge their ridiculous request and didn’t trust them not to have all five people. Since they told support that they would be bringing the original crew, support told me that if the reservation were canceled, it would be my fault. I messaged the family offering a full refund if they would just cancel it themselves. Then the dates were grayed out and my calendar looks like I canceled. If I get penalized for this, I will cancel all future bookings and take my listing down.

What would you have done?

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That is weird. Call again and make sure this is sorted out. did You not receive a cancellation notice?


Not via email or message.

Yes I agree with @konacoconutz. I would call Airbnb back.

I agree with you, I wouldn’t trust them not to bring all their children.

If you have to go ahead, make sure you or a local co-host check them in personally.

Good luck.


Their reservation was for yesterday, so I didn’t go through with it, even though they begged. I was kind when I explained to them that typically if one thing goes wrong, everything begins to go wrong. If someone is going to break one rule…(surprise 12 hours from our trip and we’ll be bringing twice as many people) I can’t trust them with my space anyway. Thank you for your input. So appreciated.


I have gone through something like this twice. Once when the unexpected member of the party showed up two hours early and gave me a heart attack when I walked in on him, and another when they announced they were bringing an extra person for their reservation the following day and wouldn’t respond back to me.

Both times I contacted Airbnb, and both times they took great care of me—without penalty. I would fight it like crazy if they ding you. What good is “not comfortable with this guest” if you can’t apply it when you are sincerely not comfortable?


My listing is for 6 people (3 queens, 2 baths). That is all I allow regardless of people’s willingness to sleep on the floor, kitchen table, what have you and they do ask to squeeze more in than my listing outlines. I just got a lovely review from my last guest who made the following comment:

The house was clean, cozy and way more spacious than it appears. It could easily fit more than 6 comfortably.

Ugh. I know what she was getting at but still wish she hadn’t said it. Oh well. I’ll just keep sticking to my guns when it comes to 6 guests and 6 guests only.


I’d just lie and in the reply say something like “unfortunately local council regulations mean that if we had more beds we’d have to register as a boarding house and pay expensive license and inspection fees and install fire exits” which is sort of true where I live.


Hopefully it will serve as a lesson for them that folksy old folks still need to ask permission when they want to break someone else’s rules - a “gosh dang was that like a rule rule?” just don’t cut it these days.


They don’t always communicate promptly. Sometimes I have just seen my calendar updated without a heads-up.

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I’ve contacted them, via messenger this time, to make sure that this is not on me. I create a lovely environment for two. Three are cramped in here. I straight don’t have supplies for 5 including, towels, food, coffee, seating!? This is absolutely not a bunk house. Stay at the hostel or try to find a hotel that will put up with your shenanigans. I have another guest checking in today and I’m sincerely disenchanted with the whole hosting experience. The last six or so guests have arrived early, left late, broke things and this was the cherry on top of the cake.

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Sure enough a cancellation fee showed up in my transactions. -$100

Getting no answer from support.

Air are behaving outrageously towards you. Have you tried contacting them via twitter? or call again in a few hours when the current lot have gone off duty.


Thank you, Joan. I’m beside myself. I just contacted through twitter. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m sending you a private message.

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Mostly young adults looking to save money and parents who are willing to sleep with their kids (had someone try to book 6 adults and 2 kids, kids would sleep with parents).

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I would respond to that…

“Thank You for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed your stay. My place is spacious, yes, but the maximum number of guests is …”


I have found out the hard way that the guest is always right, always. I lost my super host status after cancelling an insta-booked bachelorette party (we have a no-party policy). The guest refused to cancel herself, so I took the ding and was relegated to the back of the line in local listings. This scenario is very different, and to me is a clear cut violation by the guest. I would have done the same. My listing is for 6, max, and it’s tight for 6. If a guest added 3 more guest at the last minute, I’d meet them at the door with the phone number of a local hotel. Good luck!


@Callmescout That’s so messed up. No parties means no parties. And from my experience bacholerette parties get wild fast. After days of bitching to support I was finally able to get the cancellation fee refunded. It took reaching out on Twitter. Only to have last night’s difficult guests come in, use the shower, then call to say that they “just didn’t like it here”. They claimed that the place reeked of incense and was covered in mold. It had rained in Tennessee, so the wood was wet (?!) and I haven’t burned incense ever (I even put away the essential oil diffuser before they came). They got all their money back and I was further penalized for not having the space ready (which I didn’t even know was a thing). I argued again and was able to recoup $100 from the case worker. I have since raised my rental price by 250% and blocked out all my dates. I will honor what I’ve got and be done with Airbnb.


Opus–Congrats on getting at least some of the money. Overall, I’ve had great experiences, so I’m hanging in there. Thankful for other STR platforms where my properties are shining! Blessings as you forge ahead!

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