Poor Website design is causing problems

When I go to buy a pair of pants online, I have to put in Waist size, Length and Color, before the page will let me go to checkout. WHY in the world can’t AirBnB website be set up to require a potential guest, fill in Guests, Kids and Pets before checkout? It should be active by the guest NOT passive with a default of 1 guest and a tiny little arrow that the user must click on to put in kids and guests. I have just started hosting and 80% of my reservations require me to contact the guest and verify headcount. And now if they didn’t put pets in the count, WE are having to come back to the guest for pet fees. This could ALL be resolved with the website requiring ACTIVE headcount accuracy.


Airbnb does “require” guests to enter that information in order to make a reservation. In other words, I can’t make a reservation without entering dates and guests into the drop down menu.

It seems you are asking for guests to go through some added steps before check out, and they are moving in the opposite direction.

You should only depend on Airbnb for two things: bring you guests and collect payment. Anything else is a bonus. Considering verifying headcount part of your job. On your own website you can “require” an accurate headcount before check out.


@kkc, sorry but you are incorrect about the site requiring guests. The only thing required is Date. It defaults to 1 guest and unless the renter clicks on the little down arrow and puts in guests, kids or pets, your reservation will show 1 guest. You need to try it before posting erroneous responses. This is a pretty easy and simple problem to fix. Honestly for a site as valuable as AirBnB, you would think they would have this done correctly. This is website design 101.

As you said KKC, there is only two things the site should do for us. One of them is collecting our money. That would assume the website is pricing out correctly the reservation.


??? The website has no ability to price out a booking correctly if guests don’t enter the correct number of guests, pets, etc.

And while you may be correct that some guests miss the “little arrow” plenty of guests, especially newbies, miss a lot of stuff, so as KKC said, it’s part of your job as a host to check with guests when they book that they have entered all info correctly.

That said, there would be a lot less of this missing of correct guest count if the default was 0 and guests got a pop-up if they tried to book without changing it. All websites have such things- if you missed filling out some field, there is usually wording in red indicating that whatever you are trying to do can’t proceed because “this information is required”.


I don’t believe they have any way to require it beyond what they are doing. That’s why I put “require” in quotes.

When someone is searching, at the top of the home page, it has where, when and guests as the 3 categories for someone to fill in before searching. Each section is the same size and placement although guests is grayed out compared to when and where. If that is filled in, the number of guests then populates into any request to book or IB.

When you click to reserve it again presents the guest with the dates and the guests at the top of the page and the option to edit. How does airbnb force a guest to edit to the correct number of guests?

If someone wants to narrow their search they will certainly want to fill those in. When I search I use every possible filter plus the map so that I only have to sift through a few dozen listings instead of hundreds. If I have 4 people why would I want to have my results populated with a bunch of one bedroom, one bed places?

You are incorrect about the date being required. It will automatically populate with the upcoming week if you don’t input dates.

Pot, meet kettle.

I’ve hosted over 1000 guests/800+ reservations since May 2014. As a guest I’ve stayed in over 25 listings. I’ve been an active member of this forum since 2015. I generally don’t post erroneous responses but if I do, I’ll admit it. I also don’t respond to people who think they are owed something by the people who take their time to respond. So, no worries about me bothering you again.


As I described in my last paragraph above- if they made the default guest number 0 instead of 1 and guests could not proceed without filling in that field, that’s how you “require” it.

If I am trying to do a bank transfer, for instance, and I miss filling out a required field, the page will not go any further- there is a notice in red at the top of the page saying filling out that field is required.

Having the default as 1 would be like you going to order something online and the quantity of the item you wanted was already set at 3 by default. A lot of people might miss that and end up with 3 sheet sets in their cart, when they only wanted one.

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@KKC here is a website for pants. There are thousands of sites like this out there. It can’t be that hard. Notice if I don’t put waist size, fit style, length, it will not un-grey the Add to Cart until all of these are entered. You are correct that either the current week (if no dates have been preselected) or your chosen dates will be populated (if you put dates in your search criteria). If you happened to put the number of guests in your search then that will pre-populate but Kids or Pets will never. With 80% of my guests reserving as 1 guest, I would say this is a problem and should be addressed at the corporate/website level. There is no reason AirBnB website can’t actively open the Guest, Infants, Pets counter. In the limited amount of time I have been hosting, it has caused me to question guests as their headcount, and has twice had me ask for a pet fee. This puts a sour taste in renters mouth.


Reminder: this forum is not connected with, nor monitored by airbnb. Why don’t you contact them directly and advise them? You would be improving the experience for guests, and making hosting easier.

But coming here you are ‘preaching to the converted’…


I have tried to get on a FB Host group but none are near my house so they decline me. AirBnB, is just about worthless for their Feedback communications. You always get to talk to an ESL representative and the language barrier is frustrating. Too bad the management is so insulated from its Hosts.

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Just DM them.

Talking about this on a Facebook hosting group won’t result in Airbnb changing this anymore than talking about it on this forum. You have to submit the feedback to Airbnb. And you don’t provide Airbnb feedback by calling them and talking to a customer service rep- they are tasked with trying to solve specific issues hosts or guests are having. You have to fill out a feedback form on the site.


yes, you are correct. I often have guests book for 1 person when it’s a couple.
So to fix this issue I send a scheduled confirmation message:
Hi [guest first name],
We appreciate you choosing us for your Adelaide Hills stay in [listing name]. Thank you! To confirm, your arrival date is [check-in date], and you have booked for [number of guests], departing [checkout date] .

This really solved a lot of issues as I would have guests only booking for 1, or not realising they had only booked for 1 night, etc. It seems to be a nice way to make sure they double check the booking.


I agree that it is terrible design. The default should be 0 so that some kind of input is required. It seems so obvious really but I’m not holding my breath.

The only thing I can offer is that, from my experience, about 99% of people who are traveling alone/solo mention it when they book. They say, “it’ll just be me” or “I’m coming alone” or something like that. So if someone books for 1 but doesn’t mention something about only being 1 specifically, I ask them. Only once ever has someone who booked for 1 but didn’t already mention only being 1 also confirmed that they were just 1 when I inquired about it. If they book for 1 you and don’t disclose you just have to ask.


@RSchnedl You might get the attention of an AirBnB moderator if you post this on the AirBnB Community forum. AirBnB representatives monitor that regularly and frequently say they take ideas back to the developers.

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Just an FYI- the Airbnb CC moderators aren’t actually Airbnb reps. They work for a third party that contracts out moderating services. They are tasked with keeping the forum running smoothly, removing content considered unacceptable, etc. They also seem to be tasked with damage control, which I’m sure is one reason they tell users they will nudge CS when the user is having an issue that CS is ignoring.

What irritates me is that they always answer as if a user is having some unique, individual problem, when most of the issues are systemic, like hosts getting suspended with no warning or explanation, not getting paid for weeks or months, and the basic underlying problem of the clueless CS dept.

But I think they do compile responses and complaints regarding new Airbb policies or changes and pass them on to corporate, so it is probably worth weighing in there. Of course Airbnb ignores most of it, but some things do get addressed, like widespread glitches, and things that Airbnb hasn’t decided are things about which they think they know better or can’t admit they made a mistake on, like the summer revamp.


I’ve hosted and cohosted for seven years and had hundreds of guests. Both shared and whole listing .

I’ve never had a guest turned up with more people than have booked .

Airbnb works like most listing / holiday rental companies and relies on guests being honest about the number of guests on the booking @RSchnedl

If you are having so many guests lying about numbers on the booking then you might want to review your listing and your vetting process .


@RSchnedl - do you charge extra for extra guests? If so, it’s possible these people are actively trying to scam you by only entering one guest.

However, I do agree with you that the website should not allow the guest to make a reservation unless they actively enter the number of guests.

This is an interesting thread, as I have had a BIG issue with guests entering an incorrect head count. I charge an additional guest fee after 4 guests (up to 6 guests) partially to discourage larger groups, but still allow families space for kids, and grandma, etc…
In recent months I have been getting a lot of bookings with an incorrect head count and have had problems collecting the additional fee. Makes me look bad when I have to ask for it…

I don’t have an added guest fee now, but when I had one I would sometimes have to follow up with guests. They would reserve for one but then say “we” in the message.

In the first paragraph of the listing I put this: “Pets w/ $10 per pet fee. Pets must be disclosed at time of booking. Please check your reservation: if there are 2 of you, reserve for 2.” My listing has a limit of 2 and I have in the house rules that there is a limit of two and if you show up with more your booking will be canceled on the spot. If your policies are clear, and fairly administered, why would you think it makes you look bad? It makes the guests look bad: either they didn’t read, they are trying to get away with something, they don’t respect you or they are half-wits.

Just send a kind, professional message: “Dear xxx, thanks for booking with me. I need to confirm the number in your party so that the listing is prepared for everyone.” Then when they answer it’s 6, not 4 you say "Thanks so much for the clarification. I’ve submitted the change request with the correct charges and once you accept we’re all set. No check in information can be sent until you’ve paid the extra guest fees. " Sometimes I say “It seems you accidentally submitted the incorrect guest count.” If you get defensive and confrontational that’s not good but you shouldn’t feel insecure about enforcing your reasonable policies.


Excellent responses, @KKC!

Of course, it doesn’t stop the cheats who’ll just continue to lie :frowning_face:

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