Pre-approved inquiry for the same day

This has been an issue with us on multiple occasions. Someone makes an inquiry about staying with us. For example, today someone asked how close we are to the center of town. I answered their question and pre-approved their stay. The guest has 24 hours to decide whether to accept or not. But, when the stay happens on the same day as the reservation, we are left hanging. We don’t know if they’re staying or not. Potentially, they could decide at the last minute and then show up. Or they could decide late and show up after we’ve gone to bed. I see this as a flaw with Airbnb. Guests shouldn’t be given 24 hours to decide to accept when the reservation is for the same day. Have others had this problem?

I agree with you in principle, although it hasn’t been a problem. I have IB so I don’t get many inquiries.

Tell them you are approving but not holding the room for them. Get the room ready and go about your day. If accepting and showing up a few minutes later doesn’t fit with what you have planned then remove the pre-approval and block the day.

We have IB as well. There’s snow in the forecast today so I’m wondering if that’s why they did this. If the weather’s not bad they’ll drive home. If the roads are slippery then they’ll stay. We just don’t when or if they will stay. We actually had this happen to us several times. Last year, a host did this to us. She was driving through the area. If she was too tired she would stop at our place to sleep. If not, she wouldn’t stay and we get no money. She never stayed and we never heard from her. So we had to stay up late waiting for nothing. It seems like a loophole in the Airbnb system to me. Our rooms are always ready to go. I just don’t particularly like being kept in the air. Plus, I don’t like to cool or heat a room that’s not being used. So now, I’ll have to warm us this room for someone who might not stay. I think they should only be given 2 or 3 hours to decide not 24.

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Stop using IB. It’s not a loophole, it’s a setting you can manage. Set your listing to have at least 24 hour notice, under Availability on the bar.


I completely understand your frustration. But I can’t control what guests (or Airbnb) do. So I’d just decline and see if I got an IB. I wouldn’t let people jerk me around. I wouldn’t stay up late because someone inquired. No reservation, no heated room. LOL.

Are you holding the room? Do they think you are holding the room. No need to inquire just IB a room if you get stuck in the snow.


I don’t think you understand what Mike is saying.

Another thing I do when it happens is giving them 2 hours to decide and telling them I have an additional inquiry for today and they need to tell me in the next 30mins. It works 75% of the time when they approve. If they don’t, it’s a win win for me as now I know they were not serious anyways.


I simply won’t accept Same Day Inquiries or Requests to book. That’s the setting under Availability. Solves the problem.


Airbnb keeps the room open until they decide so no potential for a lost sale from someone else.

Yes we could not accept same day bookings but you’d be surprised how many we get. That would mean lost sales. I don’t mind a same day booking if they commit to it.


Not sure if I am missing something here. But why are you pre-approving them? Why not just reply back to the inquiry without a pre-approval? They can do an IB anytime… right??

I would not waste my heat/air for a tentative reservation. Why not when replying to same day inquiries…let the traveler know if they decide to reserve - do so as soon as possible so you can begin to heat the room. That way traveler thinks you are being thoughtful, and they are being pre-warned that it won’t be toasty when they enter.

Why not cut off IB after 6 p.m. for same day reservations? That way if they haven’t booked by early evening, you can go about the rest of your evening?


I agree there is no benefit to you as a host to pre-approve. They either want to commit to a booking or they don’t. Personally I never take same day bookings, but then I have a room in my home so perhaps it’s different.

You make a good point. I should just not pre-approve same day requests. But they write with some innocuous questions like how far are you from center of town so it seems like they’re ready to book. I don’t want to lose them to someone else especially in a slow time like now. So I pre-approve and then never hear anything back.

The way Airbnb presents it to me is “Pre-Approve or Decline”

Yes… I was just going to say… stop preapproving and this problem will go away completely.

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Again, the two choices are “Pre-Approve or Decline” with a clock running on response time. If I decline I just lost a sale plus it probably negatively affects my rankings in the search so it potentially lost future sales.

There should be a place where you can just hit “reply.” "Unless that feature has been removed.

"Hi guest,

We are 3 miles from the center of town. Please note if you would like to reserve for tonight, the reservation must be made by 7 p.m. Once I a receive a booking confirmation, I will then begin to heat up the room for your arrival. Let me know if you have any other questions."

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It’s a weird default. I usually just respond to the guest by replying to the actual email I receive.

Airbnb want you to preapprove. I never ever ever do. Ever!!!


I never Pre-Approve and so far, I have never pressed Declined, though I’ve done both by other means.

I answer the Inquiry via the dashboard, usually by acknowledging their inquiry and asking a question. When the guest answers and I’m willing to accept, I send a second message saying I can accommodate them and to go ahead and put their request through and I will accept. (I used to “Pre-Approve” but it often didn’t pan out with a reservation.)

Likewise, if I have to decline for some reason (like after the results of vetting), I will reply through the dashboard and write something like: I’m so sorry to disappoint you but I have a pending request on another platform and I’m awaiting their payment before marking the calendar.
(I know there’s no penalty to declining but I still don’t like pressing that button.)

For a Request, however, I do press Accept, of course.

Remember, if it’s an Inquiry, as long as you have answered/responded to the proposed guest, you won’t get dinged. The clock runs out in 24 hrs., and it is noted that it has “expired”.

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I don’t accept same day bookings unless by enquiry. I also never keep the dates blocked (Airbnb gives me this option?) the only time I keep the dates blocked is if it is a lucrative booking in the next few days for a few weeks or more and I tell them they need to book by x time or I’m reopening my calendar.