Potential guest asked question in inquiry, which I answered, why is clock counting down?

It’s just an inquiry. I answered the question. Why do I see a clock counting down telling me I have so many hours to respond. I did respond by answering her question. I can’t approve or decline her, because she hasn’t actually requested to book yet.

Did you reload the page?

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@GardenGnome, I noticed the same thing today! The countdown clock is back on inquiries again. Like @KKC, I thought a refresh would make it go away, but it did not. So I pre-approved an inquirer who joined in 2014 but has no reviews and wants me to provide outdoor activities for she and her husband.
I was clear that it is make-your-own-fun here, and that I completely understand if she wishes to ignore the pre-approval. Absolutely, completely understand.

I didn’t see any countdown clock on these three Inquiries from the same person today, but it certainly is a strange string. Ask me about distance twice, I’ll give you the same answer. MY bold/italic for emphasis:

E’s Inquiry
Today at 8:40 AM

Hello Ken,
My husband & I are looking for a little get away of one night to celebrate our 6th year wedding anniversary. Most place in Naples are full. So we are looking into Fort Myers but I would like our stay to be in an specific area. Can you please tell me how far away is your home from this address: 1740 Estero Blvd Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 ? Thank you.

My Reply
Today at 9:56 AM

(Hidden by Airbnb) Maps says we’re 11.9 miles from that address.

E’s Inquiry
Today at 1:04 PM

What is the estimated travel distance because depending on the traffic in your area that can mean 15 or 30 mins. Thanks again. :slight_smile:

My Reply
Today at 1:21 PM

As I said this morning, the distance is 11.9 miles according to computer mapping.

E’s Inquiry
Today at 1:28 PM

Thanks Ken. I guess I’m not communicating effectively as you do not understand my question. Thanks anyway. Have a nice day.
Today at 1:28 PM

Thanks Ken. I guess I’m not communicating effectively as you do not understand my question. Thanks anyway. Have a nice day.


… when guests kill your will to host… and you return them the favor… :rofl::rofl::rofl:


Someone who doesn’t understand the difference between time and distance is too dumb to be on Airbnb. She’s bound to accidentally burn your house down.


I had it happen once. Guest made an inquiry and asked for a discount. I responded and politely declined. Guest never responded again. Clock kept counting down. Another guest instant-booked and overlapping dates making the original guests dates impossible to book. Clock keeps counting down. I finally declined based on the dates being booked, but I realized later it was a bug in the software. It should’ve stopped counting as soon as I replied to the inquiry.

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@GardenGnome – I know, right? I figured two emails was more than enough extra work for a one-nighter, even if we made an extra $100!

some users are experiencing an internal bug with the countdown clock which is normally used for request to book but has appeared on inquiries as well. If it bothers you too much, just contact support and they’ll create an IT ticket on it. Otherwise, don’t worry about it and if I hear that the bug was squashed, I will post accordingly.


Here’s one possible explanation: Guest assumed the 11.9 miles was ‘as crow flies’ and not “driving distance” since you didn’t say it as such but just said “distance”.


I suspect what the Inquirer actually wanted in her second message, was travel time not distance. But that figure, at this time of year with all the snowbirds, could vary from under half an hour to well over an hour, depending on traffic, state of road repairs currently underway on the island, time of day, weather (sunny or cloudy) and other factors.


@KenH. What is it about distance? I had something like that too

Sunday I received an inquiry (not a request to book). “How far is this from the Beach”.
Me: 1 mile
2nd . “How far is this from beach”
Me: Same as before 1 mile. Also as stated in rental summary & detailed description-1 mile to beach
3rd: we are interested in renting but you are too expensive plus not close to beach.

I didn’t answer. And I received a message from Airbnb you have 10 hours to accept or decline…or the dates will be blocked.

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This time of year here, those distance to beach requests are Spring Breakers trying to stay on the cheap and get around without a car. We have had them want to get to the beaches by pubic transport – 12 miles. You can Uber for $40 one way. You can take a bus – and 3 hours – one way for about $10…


Hello fellow hosts. I’m a noob, but have been reading up on this forum for a while. Thank you for providing so much invaluable information!
I’ve just received my first inquiry. I responded within 20 minutes and due to a pet issue won’t be able to host this person. I then received an email from Airbnb saying that I needed to pre approve or decline. Am I penalized for the decline in this instance? The countdown clock has stopped ticking. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

You don’t have to do anything more on an Inquiry. If it was a reservation request, that would be different.

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Thank you, Brian. It’s rather nerve wracking that they pester you to accept or decline when it’s not necessary. I’ll just ignore it.