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No guarantee. And even if a pic is visible it’s often not one that is clear, or that you could ID them by. I even had some very clear ones that when the guest arrived they really didn’t look the same at all. Sometimes it’s a dramatically different age or weight or facial hair or a hair cut. Broaching the topic of “oh my, you don’t look like your Airbnb profile pic” could probably be great fun but I’m going to skip it. I don’t care about looks, I only care to get paid and that they are good guests.
You can specify in your listing that you require the guest’s clearly identifiable face in their profile photo. If you don’t receive that, you would be within your rights to cancel the reservation, as the guest has not complied with your house rules.
Since I’m not even meeting people, the photo requirement for me is really “can this guest follow instructions”? That’s why the photo matters to me.
If I got a photo of a cat or flower, I’d ask the guest to upload a different photo. Sure, they could swap out a photo of their across the street neighbor’s cousin’s wife and I wouldn’t know. I assume most people aren’t trying to scam me and are really legitimate vacation travelers. I just want to know that they can read well enough to understand my rules and some demonstration that they can follow instructions.
The more barriers I give them in the IB process, the more closely they (in theory) have to read the screen to make their reservation go through, the more likely they’ve actually read the rules page. It really has nothing to do with IDing them for me.
If you have your settings that they must have a profile photo and then they don’t, then you require that they add one (or an appropriate one as the case may be) and if they don’t, then you can cancel penalty free.
My best guests have often had flowers, dogs, buddhas, that weird facebook grey profile thing and even a motorcycle.
All of my worst guests have had an accurate photo. I’m not saying that people with accurate photos aren’t good guests too but that the photo doesn’t make for a good guest.
That’s my experience too. I don’t care what a guest looks like or, more accurately, what image they want to portray of themselves. Well, unless it’s someone wearing a nazi uniform and holding a gun, obviously. The quality of the conversation is more important, I think. But even then you can be surprised! Friendly sounding people end up being sourpusses and one-liner reply people can end up being super. I can count on one hand the number of guests who actually looked their profile photo in real life,
I have, a couple of times, requested the photo be done but only in a manner as @LoneStar was saying - as a hoop to jump through to get a better feel for the person when I couldn’t otherwise (or had my doubts).
I know some people share inside or deal with a different group of guests than I do and check ID and feel more comfortable with that and I get that too, but just haven’t needed it (gratefully).
(story from this past Feb) I got an IB from “invisible vengeance visits.” The picture was of a two headed dog that looked like it had been drawn by an unskilled 8 year old on a piece of notebook paper. The guests had no reviews but a normal profile about how they were a middle aged married couple trying to drop out of the rat race. They also said they’d be traveling with two dwarf rabbits. I was wondering if it was a booking for April 1st when I read it.
Anyway they later changed their names to Steve and Angie or something boring like that but not their picture. They were great guests.
You mean home-share hosts? I’m one. I used to ask guests a lot of questions if they didn’t have any profile information and/or their message was very brief. I never really cared that much about the photo although yes, it was nice to see one. It gave you the sense that the person was invested, if you like, in the whole Airbnb thing. But that was the old days!! It’s much more mainstream now and anyway I realised pretty quick that there was actually no telling who was going to turn up in the end! You just have to put your big pants on and deal with issues as they arise.
I do this too. I say it has to be a profile picture with no sunglasses or hats. I also request selfies of each guest too and their full legal names, addresses and ages. (I used to ask for a govt. photo ids but Airbnb said I couldn’t anymore.