Rant about check in time

Just left from work and arrived at my apartment as guests were checking in at 4pm. At 4pm I receave a call they’re checking in at 8.30pm. I live 20 minutes away so its a total waste of my time :frowning: All they had to do was text me one hour before just to inform me of the change (I sent them a message yesterday about this) and it would have not been a problem sigh. Does this ever happen to you?

This is why I offer self-checkin (even though I live on-site) and I don’t STR my place across town.

Don’t go there at 8:30PM. Have them call you and tell them you forgot and that you will be there in 20 minutes.

Gut, didn’t you just advocate the other day for letting guests walk all over hosts? :smiley:


Sometimes it is unavoidable, and guests just arrive when they damn well please, but I do inform the guests they must send a text with ETA. This is in my house rules and in the first line of DIRECTIONS copy. They can’t miss it.

Self check in does not work for many of us. I must be here to greet guests. I find that if I don’t then the stay doesn’t go well in terms of guests needing to conserve water. I also want to collect tax right off the bat, and get other business of the stay over with.

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Yes, this happens to me all the time. In fact, the guests who arrive when they say they will are the anomaly. Yesterday I had guests who said they would be here at 2:00 P.M. I rushed to clean the guest room as my check in time is 3:00 P.M. at 2:00 I got an email stating that they were having a late lunch. The arrived around 3:30.

To all of you who will suggest self check-in; my dogs will bark non-stop if someone they don’t know comes in the house when when neither me nor my husband is home. Also, I find that I need to show guests pretty much everything.

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Even though guests tell me their estimated time of arrival, I always let them know that I will text them late the morning of just to confirm they are still on schedule.

Around 11:30 a.m., I will usually text something like “Just confirming you are still on schedule to arrive at 4 p.m. We are on schedule to have the cabin ready at check in time.” - this is when they may reply back with “oh…we got a late start this morning so it may be more like 5 p.m.” or “we are going to grocery shop before we arrive if that’s okay.” Then I may reply back with “That’s fine. Just text me when you are about 40 minutes away” or “text me when you are leaving the airport.”

One thing I have learned is to never delay cleaning because a guest plans to check in many hours after check in time. Tsk, tsk for me…I know better than this! But I had a recent guest (lovely family) who had a last minute emergency they needed to take of in the morning for their vehicle. They said they would be arriving late evening or maybe even night time. I was taking my dear old time in the morning and then taking my dear old time cleaning. It then dawned on me to check how many hours it would take them from Florida to drive. And because they were at the top of Florida, I started wondering if they had other errands to run before leaving- because they likely would arrive earlier than they said…

So my gut said to go ahead and text to see if there were any changes in their arrival. And what do you know…they are already passing through Savannah GA. I started panicking and had to really scramble for the next few hours. It all worked out well…but never again - always have the place ready by check in time.


Mmmmhh, I guess you misunderstood me in the other topic. I will never advocate letting guests walk over hosts. I think it’s a relationship of mutual respect.

I will get back to you in the other topic. Tomorrow evening :wink:.

A small question for now: What is the reason you don’t include the (tourist?) tax in your rate?

Because then I pay state and federal income tax on it, as it’s considered “income.” I also pay the 3% Air commission fee on it.
It’s easier for my books to get it in cash.

Thanks! Didn’t think of it that way, but that makes perfect sense.

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Although someone questioned me yesterday. Normally they pay it without questioning.
There is NO WAY they don’t know about it. I tell them when I accept their booking. Again when I send them the house notes and AGAIN in the house directions.

I must collect excise and accommodations taxes in CASH, due upon arrival. Please have this amount ready. Collection of tax is mandatory and non-negotiable.

This guy questioned me because his other hosts either didn’t collect it or they added it to the nightly stay. When he further pushed me, I told him that most likely the other places he stayed at weren’t legal and I showed him my tax license.

He forked it over.

Honestly… It would really help if Hawaii had allowed Air to collect tax but it got vetoed because there are SO MANY illegal rentals in Hawaii and the governor did not want to legitimize illegal rentals.

In fact, my guests who left a couple days ago told me they got cancelled by two hosts, bad as it is during our high season. They were probably illegal and someone shut them down between the time the guest booked and the time he got here.

But that is another topic for another day.

There are so many problems that guests can encounter when they travel. Plane delays are usually easy for the host to check because the information will be on your local airport website. But no matter how the guests are travelling, delays can happen. I recently had guests who were late because their car had been towed for example.

I give guest a three hour window for check in as long as they keep me informed along the way and update their ETA if necessary. Luckily, I am able to offer self check in later than that time, although I prefer to meet guests and do the house tour.

I have another advantage in that I work from home and can arrange my work schedule (meetings, deadlines etc.) to accommodate that three hour window. For example, if guest tell me that they will arrive at 4 pm I make sure that I have no meetings or deadlines for the next three hours. They are paying me for a service, so it’s the least I can do.

On the very rare occasions when I won’t be available during that window - a dental appointment or whatever - then I let the guest know but even personal appointments such as these are normally scheduled around the guest’s ETA wherever possible. I just believe that it’s all part of the service. :slight_smile:

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I highly recommend having the flightaware app on your phone to see the progress of a particular flight. Much more accurate than either the airline or airport websites. If you use the flightaware website, you can even see when they reach the gate or if they are being held out on the tarmac for some reason.

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Brilliant idea.

Although I use IB I’ve found that many guests enquire before booking and the reason that so many of them do is because they are asking for a checkout or check in time beyond the times shown on the listing. And often this is because a) they don’t want to be carting their luggage around and b) they don’t know how they are going to spend that spare time.

I like to offer solutions to their problems so I’ve arranged a way to look after luggage and have plenty of local information at my fingertips so that I can advise them what they can do and see before/after check in / checkout time. It takes minimal effort and guests who have enquired about these issues normally book.

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Your location has the advantage that it is near where most of your guests will want to be exploring. For those of us who are a little off the beaten path, it isn’t always the most convenient place to drop their baggage, but they are welcome to do so. Same thing with leaving them at the house while they go to their class, activity, etc. If this event is nearby, it is very convenient to stop back by to grab their bag. If it is happening in South Boston, then it is more convenient for them to take their bags with them. Of course, often they don’t know if my location is convenient but I can help them out with that as well.

My home is conducive to these arrangements however. My AirBNB rooms are on the third floor. Guests are asked to put the left baggage in the corner of the first floor living room. This means that my rooms are cleared for cleaning, and if the next arrives on the early side, they won’t be bumping into each other in a private space.

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Yes that’s true. We’re near the beach, there are lots of museums and many perfect coffee shops, cafes and restaurants so it’s easy to suggest places for guests to go to kill time. (If it’s the beach, I offer them the use the beach chairs, sun umbrellas and beach towels from the rental if they wish - but I can’t recall anyone taking me up on the offer).

The perfect solution. :slight_smile: