Should guests have a proper photo in their profile?

I get irritated when guests request on my site without having a picture of themselves. Sometime it is their cat, or even a whiskybottle. Why does Airbnb accept such a profile?

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I have to agree. I simply will not accept any booking for which I cannot see a real human being that matches the apparent gender of the name. I know, of course it could be a fake photo, or a 20 year old photo.

I admit I’ve also rejected a couple of potential guests because of their human photo – a picture of a 20-something woman, partying hardy and slugging a drink, surrounded by booze bottles, who wants to spend spring break with us, and thinks we’re on the beach comes to mind. NOT a good fit!


I think there are too many hosts who also don’t use a photo. As a traveller this puts me off.


It doesn’t matter to me. I think that many of us have experienced having guests who look positively scary in their profile photographs but turn out to be lovely.

A recent guest had a photograph that looked like a police mugshot but he was wonderful in every way. I’ve mentioned before that I had one girl whose picture was so scary that when she arrived I blurted out ‘but you’re so pretty!’

Some photographs are so unlike the real person. I had one who was just a quiet looking blonde in her picture. In reality, I could just tell that it was the same person but she had bright pink hair and loads of tats. She too was a lovely guest.

I’ve had plenty of guests whose photographs have shown them drinking wine or frozen cocktails too. Also lovely people. My worst guest was a chap whose photograph made him look like a very sober and sensible businessman.

Further, I am hopeless at evaluating guests from their photographs :slight_smile:


Definately need a decent pic of themselves. I decline anyone who doesn’t have this.

My favorite misunderstanding based on a picture was the man from Japan who inquired. The photo was of him a far way away, in a snow storm. A short man with a parka and hood. I offered to get Japanese foods for his breakfast, but he declined. When he arrived he was 6’5" tall. Turns out he was German Suisse who lives in Japan where he works for one of the financial firms that failed the USA economy just a few years ago. He drank coffee as much as possible, and ate my rye bread with cheese with gusto. There was no way he wanted noodles for breakfast while he was in the West. Photos really don’t give us much insight.


I get irritated too. A picture of a potential guest was a horse? really a horse. I don’t accept horses inside the house. When i said I would like to see a photo of her, she said a drivers license, I said no, on your profile page. And even the rest of the group, i want to see and know names… I always ask, and sometimes its hard to get the names out of people. I think its wrong of ABNB not to make that a rule for guests. Could i use a horse for my profile picture?

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I had a (lovely) guest whose picture was a giraffe!


I have rented to a ‘flower’, a picture of Picasso and a few dogs including a tiny Chihuahua (dog people are always my favorite guests); they all turned out to be humans when everything was said and done. Their manner and diction is what really sold me on them.


choke cough…Hitler was an avid dog lover. :o

Yes, Blondie. So was Attila, fortunately those two lived before our time or the rise of ‘sharing economy’. :sunglasses:


Airbnb said they’d changed it to make it compulsory. I complained after taking a booking from a man who had a girl as his photo and some mad people who had toy monkeys as their profile pic. That was early this year. I’ve not had any guests since without genuine photos.

OK. I hear Kim Jong-un breeds Labradoodles :o

Hahaha. OMG is he something else or what? You heard about the minister that fell asleep during one of his ‘exciting’ speeches?

Labradoodles are sweet but dumb as bricks.

Really? I spent an afternoon with one recently and he was so nice. Gentle. It’s a dog. I didn’t want to discuss world events with it.

By all means, a guest should have a self-identifying photo in their profile. I mean, jeez! This guest is staying in my "home.* It’s a matter of security by way of identification, and it’s also a matter of avoiding third-party bookings.

… though, at times over a year ago, I have actually hosted guests whose profile picture was a dog. Or a Christmas tree. Or an avatar that contained an image of the guest, but only a pinpoint image, similarly described by an earlier poster. Those were judgment calls on my part, made primarily because of cordial correspondence occurring through the inquiry process, proper disclosure of the guest’s plans while in town, and pre-stated compliance with the house rules.

But, at some point around a year ago, we updated our house rules to let prospective guests know that their avatar image must be of them. Because a gut feeling will only go so far to insure security. By all means, it would be nice if the techs at Airbnb could resolve this issue from the get-go, so as to save hosts time from having to take that added step of verification.


I’ve notices that the quality of the guest varies directly with how clear the face photo is. My worst guests have had the most indistinguishable photos. I suppose I tend to have better experiences with folks who are up front and transparent about who they are.


Today I do rent only to people that I could see who they are.

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Airbnb may have made changed their rule about profile picture but they do not seem to reinforce it. Yesterday I had a request from a lady whose picture was a cat and her profile is from August 2016 so they really should have caught this one. Also I think the guests could write a little about themselves. We have to do so because it is important for the guest to know where they are going but equally it is important for us to know who we are letting into our homes.