Review advice needed

Soooo, what is an appropriate star rating for a guest that books for a friend (and neglects to mention that)?

My listing clearly states in 4 places that the host may be home.

Would love to help, but I think you need to explain the situation more clearly, like

How does this relate to the person booking for a friend? Perhaps tell us what happened???


1 star for communication
1 star for house rules, but only if “no-3rd-party bookings” is in your house rules, otherwise, base it on the actual guest
Cleanliness stars based on actual guest

I suppose you can look at your house rules as being an extension of Airbnb’s rules, and 3rd party bookings are a violation of Airbnb’s rules. The reason 3rd party bookings is such a problem is that you are supposed to be reviewing the guest that stayed in your listing, and the review goes instead to the person that booked your listing, so any rating you give that person for cleanliness is definitely bogus and any rating for communication might be bogus. That said, I didn’t care about 3rd party bookings as long as there were no issues. My experience is that communication is usually where things go wrong with 3rd party bookings since the contact info for the guest that stays is not automatically provided to the host, and only rarely does the guest that booked pass along the host’s contact information to the guest that stays.


@Heidi_Hudson Some guests may do this for nefarious reasons, such as the person they booked for has been banned from the platform. But some guests simply aren’t aware that this isn’t acceptable. I don’t believe in punishing someone for something they did innocently- I’d just let them know that it’s not okay.

I’d give the same ratings I would if it hadn’t been a third party booking, unless I knew that they did this with intention to deceive.

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In the future, consider more communication with the guest, especially just after the booking is made. This would have been prevented.

3rd party bookings are against Air policies. You can leave whatever review you like. If the booking guest is savvy, they can have it removed as they did not actually stay. But they would have to endure massive hold times and get a decent agent - all not likely these days.

So … in your shoes, I would leave an honest review but not mention the guest’s name.

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“Can’t recommend this Account Holder as he/she made an illegal 3rd party booking, which I did not discover until the actual guest had almost finished his/her stay.”

1 star communication
1 star house rules


My best guess is the person that made the reservation thought it would be no big deal if their unvetted friends showed up cos no one would know (if it is a host that is not present). Some people are still surprised to see a host here even though the listing clearly states we may be here.

I did try to get replies from the people that made the reservation but received nothing back from them till about 6 hours after the people had checked in and after I’d started asking a lot of questions.

Illegal? Poor word choice.


Yes I did find communication with the 3rd party was difficult since I didn’t have their contact info. Also, they were clueless about any of the house rules as they had never even seen my listing nrvermind read it, so I had to do a lot of coaching of house rules which I don’t like to do and usually don’t need to. Communication with the people that made the reservation was even challenging.

Not sure illegal is the appropriate word here. Maybe “inappropriate “ or “illicit?”


I’ve had similar issues with people arriving to find that we live here! Even though my listing states clearly throughout that we are a B&B.

Hey ho.


There are many hosts, including me, who don’t care if the person staying isn’t the person who booked.

The way I look at it is that it doesn’t make any difference to me. If John booked and came himself or if John booked for Jim and Jim came there’s no extra work for me, no extra costs - so why worry about it?

I’ve found that Airbnb in theory doesn’t allow third-party bookings but they definitely turn a blind eye to them. The only time I don’t like it is if the guest says that they’re booking for someone else plainly in the message system.

I can’t remember any third party guests who have left a review. How can they when they were never here? By the same token, the host can’t review the guest.

So I would only review if the guest did something dreadful. For example "John did not stay here but booked for his friend Jim who left the apartment in a dirty and untidy condition’. That way, other hosts are warned off a bad guest. But as @muddy says, plenty of guests don’t know what’s unacceptable and why should they?


I live here but am separated from my guests. I used to regularly greet them in person but now with covid I don’t and won’t unless they need something for which I need to see them in person. Because I have instant book I’ve had people book and then tell me they were booking for someone else. I just say okay and get the name and direct contact info of the person who is staying. I’ve yet to have an issue. I could have had other people book for someone else and I’d never know. I’ve definitely had a wife’s name and photo on an account and some male who I assume is her husband has stayed here alone.

I look at it this way. I want Airbnb to get me bookings and send me my payment. The rest of the management is up to me and if I were doing this on my own or direct booking I’d accept 3rd party so I may as well do it with Airbnb. They don’t “vet” guests anyway. When I have time I sometimes google the names of my guests to find out more about them. I read their reviews if they have them. But that’s it. So far (800+ bookings), so good.

As for the review I’d simply state "X booked for another person. That person left the room in x condition. " If you have other things to say like “I wouldn’t host X and don’t recommend due to this” then say them.


The third party guests don’t have to agree to my house rules (since they haven’t seen them even) but I prefer guests to stick them. These third party guests did not follow the check in directions, (since they never received them) helped themselves to my food in the fridge, left dishes in the sink and room, smoked inside and the room was left in bad shape (and they were only here a few hours!) So I will be adding “no third party reservations” to my listing!