Profile photos -Wha….?

What is it with Profile photos guests are supposed to supply?
My last guest’s photo was of a landscape with a distance person crouching with his/ her back to the camera!! Others are of two people- so I have to guess the guest!!
Generally i suggest they change it in the private messaging section.

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After accepting a booking I looked at the guest’s profile and in the picture she covered her face with her cellphone. I suspected she was a teen so I reported her phofile. I’m assumming Airbnb contacted her because the next day she had changed the photo. Had it been a teen, I would have cancelled the booking.

We had a 25K two week booking that I had to cancel because the guest just would not upload a photo of his face to his account. He kept insisting that the Airbnb website wouldn’t “allow” a photo to be uploaded but had no problem uploading some random jpeg of some writing as his profile photo. He didn’t volunteer enough information about his trip nor answer the questions on our prompt so I had no choice but to cancel due to feeling uncomfortable.

I even called Airbnb to personally assist him in uploading a proper photo and nothing came out of it.


I have it in my house rules (and requested within 24 hours of booking) that the guest’s profile picture must be of their face, no sunglasses, or hats and only them in the picture. Also also request that a photo of the 2nd guest be sent via message. (Sometimes it’s a couple in the photo and if it’s both of them staying in my suite, I let it go) but I do verify that the guests checking in are the guests in the pictures.

If a guest can’t update their profile picture, I wonder if it’s really them or a third-party booking.

Some of you may think this is overly strict but it keeps people honest.

And if a guests does not want to do this, I have requested within 24 hours books so they can cancel penalty free.

My rules, my listing and clearly stated before booking.

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Thats a good idea.
My current guest quickly updated his photo when i pointed that i wouldn’t know which of the two in the photo was him. (I hadn’t met him at that stage obviously). He said he didn’t think of having just his picture and changed it immediately.

I’m pretty sure that the Airbnb software is only good enough to recognise that ‘a photograph’ has been uploaded but not smart enoug to realise that the photo is of a tulip or a parrot.

I’ve had both those and many, many more. Buildings, boats, cats. dogs, babies, load of flowers and beaches, an elephant one time, a duck, a man with a sombrero covering his face, long-distance shots of water skiers, people on mountains and my favourite ever, the Taj Mahal. (Who was one of my best guests ever).

I don’t mind this at all (but I don’t host in-home) and it gives me a weak and not-very-funny quip when I meet the guest. “Oh I was wondering what my giraffe guest was going to look like. Haha”. Pathetic ‘joke’ but it breaks the ice.

I once had a guest who looked totally scary in her profile pic. But when I met her I couldn’t help blurting out “why, you’re so pretty!”

Then there was the very respectable school ma’am type who turned out in reality to have blue hair, multiple face piercings and plenty of tats… all part of the fun. :slight_smile:


That would be me. I’m not photogenic and usually end up looking like the wicked witch you made a deal with, come to claim your firstborn child.

I guess it’s unusual, but all my guests have had real profile photos (although one was with 2 other guys, so I didn’t know which one he was).

And yeah, even if they have what looks like a clear face photo, with no attempt to mislead, I wouldn’t recognize half of them if I passed them on the street before meeting them. Many people look different in photos than in real life.

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Same. I don’t mind. In fact I recommend my friends of color to use different photos and names because there is so much discrimination on Airbnb.

I ask guests what the name on their photo ID is and don’t provide keys until they show photo ID in person at check in. I think it helps avoid unsavory guests.

While its never really been a problem for me I’m surprised that the PP is often so inadequate and therefore a pointless exercise really . The little apartment, thats part of my house, is treated respectfully and i get paid. The bonus is i meet very pleasant people.

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What is your source for that info? Airbnb did a study and found that POC were declined 2% more often than whites, which isn’t some huge amount, and there was no context to that study- it didn’t look at any other reasons why they may have been declined, such as having bad reviews, being newbies, who many hosts don’t accept, communicating poorly or ignoring host messages, putting up red flags re throwing a party, etc.

As we are all aware, there are many reasons why a guest might be declined- you can’t do a study of any value in a vacuum of information.

Also, I am sure that some guests pass on listings where the host’s profile photo shows they are a POC. If Airbnb was truly concerned about discrimination, they would withhold host profile photos from guests until after a booking was confirmed, not just guest photos.

I’m certainly not saying some hosts aren’t racist, homophobic, anti-Muslim, or otherwise prejudiced, I just question the “so much” discrimination.

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It explains to me why a guest whose profile pic was a ´party girl ‘ pic, turned up in hajib, husband and two kids- that she didn’t tell me about. The penny has dropped - albeit years later! She thought I’d object!! I was pretty surprised tho, her husband smoked and i didn’t. know about the kids.
I didn’t like the underhand manner in which she booked at all, but now I understand why!!!
I have muslim, buddhist, morman and jewish family members - if only she had asked!!!

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you are right… it’s just anecdotal based on my friends and famliy and my guests.

Since I’m on IB I host a larger % of non-white guests than the general population. So I thought other hosts must be rejecting them. I’m a former racist bigot, I found that it was not good for my bank account.