Response to a Request to alter reservation?

Hi all.
I have Instant booking on this listing: Last night I received a request to alter a reservation from a guest who had reserved the apartment for 6 nights. He requested to shorten his stay on the end of his stay by 1 night to make it a 5 night stay. No explanation, just the request. I accepted the alteration.
Within 10 minutes of my acceptance he requested to alter the reservation again, shortening the reservation by one night to make it a 4 night stay. Again, no explanation.
My question: is this common? Do I need to accept all requests to alter a reservation on instant booking? I might not have a question had he given any kind of explanation at all.
I have not yet accepted the second request. Any advice from more seasoned hosts out there? I haven’t ever had this happen before and I am new to instant booking as well.

How long ago did he book, and how far into the future is his reservation?

I agree with Canadian, if the reservation is 4 months in advance, i’ll let them do whatever as re-booking is likely. If the reservation is within 3 weeks i would not accept the alteration as I’m not likely to get a replacement. You need to consider your cancelation policy however. I have strict, if you had more moderate, they could just cancel on you.

He made the reservation on August 22. The dates of the reservation are now Sept 10-15. If I accept the alteration it will then be Sept 10-14. Both requests to alter were made Aug 29. I have a moderate cancellation policy.

Today (Aug 31) I wrote him back and asked the reason for his requests. I hope the communication will encourage him to negotiate in good faith.

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What cancellation policy do you have

Probably best to accept change, given he can just cancel on you if he wants to.

I think so. Thx. Just wanted confirmation that I am thinking correctly.

My cancellation policy is set to moderate.

If you don’t think it would impact your bookings I would move to strict cancellation policy. Each property is different.

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Thank you, Brandt. I will consider. We have a great place, if I do say so myself. We do, however, have quite a bit of competition closer to the tourist part of town. For business guests, of which this is one, we are closer to a lot of the offices they would frequent, and really close to different highways to get to points beyond the immediate area. If we are able to capitalize on the business traveler it would be easy to change to strict cancellation. I will work on the wording in our listing to highlight that feature. Thanks again!


Had something similar recently, we host channel swimmers so there is some inherent uncertainty, this only happens for a couple of months but it works well for July/August. Air see the instant book function as something to be used only if you are completely happy with what you are booking. They happily cancelled a similar direct book, since receiving this we have added a house rule that emphasises that an instant book in unconditional and if there are any doubts an enquiry should be made instead. From an Air perspective the house rules are part of the contract so hopefully easier in future …

We are close to a port so specialise in short stop overs, during the summer peak we have a strict no kids policy, so the swimmers fill this gap well. Our cancellation policy is flexible, we used to do moderate but there is not much difference in practice, the strict policies are different.

Hope this helps, we did make sure we got the Irish call centre to resolve though!


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