Should I cancel this guest?

I accepted a reservation request, against my better judgement. After looking at the review that this guest left for her last stay, I know there is no way to please her. She complained that her super tall son wouldn’t fit in a normal bed, furnishings should have been higher quality, things like that. Our century home is far from perfect, with low ceilings and some unlevel floors upstairs (we level the furniture for comfort), but is clean and comfortable, and has a 5-star rating with 94 reviews. She asked for a discount upfront (yes, red flag, I know) which I didn’t give, and she also asked her last host for a discount and didn’t get it, which is why I think she gave that beautiful place only 4 stars. Losing super host status bothers me the most. Losing the money, we’re ok with (sort of.) The booking is 3 months away, so she can find another place, and I asked her to cancel stating that I didn’t think the house was the right fit for her group, but got no response. Do you think I should cancel, or ride this out and take a ding to our star rating? How much damage would canceling do to our listing?


Won’t you automatically lose Superhost status if you cancel a confirmed reservation that was not instant-book?

She left that review after you had accepted her request? Or do you not check out the reviews until after you accept?

As Brian says, you will automatically lose Superhost status unless you have had enough stays that the cancellation would amount to less than 1% of your bookings.

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You may have made a mistake, you may not. I wouldn’t cancel. You asked her to cancel, but she didn’t. So I’d just sit on it. Many things can happen between now and 3 months from now. If she ends up staying I’d just try to make sure she has a fantastic stay. Then if she reviews you and violates any of Airbnb’s guidelines you can have the review removed.

You’re worried about a possible ding to a star rating instead of a certain ding if you cancel? That doesn’t make sense. FYI, I don’t stay with hosts who have a note on their profile that they canceled a reservation but I assume they are flakey and might do the same to me. That’s another possible negative to canceling.


She had two reviews, one not accessible, the other was a decent review as a guest, but when I checked to see how she reviewed her host (I didn’t think you could do this before booking, or maybe you can but I failed to do it) is where I found her review of a beautiful property unsettling, and the response from her host mentioned that she asked her for a discount also. I believe she penalizes people who don’t give her discounts (can’t prove that though) and I’m sure she will find issues with our house.

We will probably have 100 stays by April 1 when super host status is evaluated, which would be a 1% cancellation rate or a little lower. Is that when we’d lose super host status, or is that an immediate consequence?

I agree that cancellations (with some exceptions) are not cool, but if I cancel her now, she will have plenty of time to find a new place. You are right that it’s a long way off and anything can happen. I probably will sit tight and hope for the best, but needed to hear from people with more experience, so thanks for responding.


From Airbnb website:

Superhosts cancel less than 1% of the time, not including extenuating circumstances. This means 0 cancellations for hosts with fewer than 100 reservations in a year. Rare cancellations mean peace of mind for guests.

1 out of 100 stays a year, not per host lifetime.

Although I advised against canceling, if you’re going to fret about it for 3 months and are really sure she’s going to be unhappy, then just cancel. Superhost is given/taken 4 times a year. The main reason to go a whole year is to get the $100 voucher but a lot of hosts apparently don’t use theirs.

Frankly, if I were going to cancel I’d tell the guest why. “My home has the same features you complained about in a previous review. Given my expectation of getting a poor review from you as well, your request for a discount and your ignoring my request that you cancel this booking, my best option is to cancel your booking.”


It’s a shame you decided to accept her booking knowing about the red flags in her reviews . But if you use IB just call Airbnb and ask them to cancel penalty free.


You might give it one more try and fudge a bit: "Hi so-and-so, did you see my recent request for you to cancel your reservation without penalty?

To provide you more information, I see from a prior stay review that you have a tall family member. The rental home is over 100 years old and has extremely low ceilings. I can recommend you consider the following properties, which are similar in price but have modern high ceilings and other features [list the names of a couple more modern Airbnbs near you].

Also, having the place vacant at that time would accommodate some scheduling issues that have come up for us. Apologies for any inconvenience, and thank you for your consideration."

Then if no response, regrettably you will have to cancel due to those scheduling issues.


I know some hosts see inquiries, questions and problematic bookings as an opportunity. And depending on the way one runs their business, maybe it is. But if time is being spent on a person who is just going to be a pain in my rear in the end (punny, ha) then I don’t see it as a good use of my time. And would not use the word “recommend” because they might then think you are recommending those places.


Yes, you can do that when it is still in the inquiry or request stage.

Good catch, should just say, here are some nearby modern properties, instead of “recommend.”

The only reason to spend any more time chatting up this questionable guest is to make a last attempt to charm them into cancelling rather than the host getting dinged.


Darn. Live and learn :slight_smile:

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First, don’t worry about the star ratings or a bad review that Air won’t remove. It will get buried and you won’t lose SH status on 1 review.

Second, call AirBnB CS and tell them “I’m not comfortable with this guest because I don’t believe my 100+ year old home will be safe for them.” Then cancel. She won’t and she’ll probably complain the whole time.

Write to her 1 more time “Based on our messages and your review of other ABB homes, this is not a good fit for you (low ceilings, old furnishings, etc.). Please cancel your booking and find someplace else.”

That way you’re documented.

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If you cancel you may lose superhost & now there is a $50 (or is it $100?) cancellation penalty paid to Airbnb. Airbnb will block those days on your calendar too. So the loss will be: maybe Superhost + $50 + $$$ week rent & an automatic review of “this reservation was cancelled by host”.
Unless you can conjure up a reason for cancellation that fits as extenuating circumstances, it could be a hefty penalty.

You can survive one grumpy, whining (non-destructive) guest and poor review.

BUT it’s your rental. You can get Superhost back in a year. Your peace of mind has value.

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So I had a guest do an inquiry and while I was responding (within 2 minutes), they Instant Booked. Eight - eight - messages later, after saying they read the HR and agree to them, they say “BTW, I’m a smoker and will do it outside.” My listing says, very clearly in about 8 places - No Smoking on Property. Period. They then go on to stay that they will be here 24/7 (not something I encourage in my listing), want to know my wi-fi speed as they WFH and access large files (that will screw up my large file business). So I tell them it’s not a good fit and suggest places that actually cater to their needs.

Crickets. Reservation is in 7 days and I’m not happy. The last “smoke in the driveway or while walking” took a couple of days to get the smell out of the room and the guy with pot had me closing for 2 weeks. I told them that and now they’re ignoring me.

I get the feeling this is one of those cases where a host (SH with only 8 reviews???) is going to be a PITA guest.

My listing is busy, I’m not worried about re-booking, and I don’t want a smoker - I’m asthmatic and have allergies.

Plus, my listing is not close to where she needs to be daily. She wants bikes and waterfront promenades (not near me).

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STOP worrying about Superhost Status!! Superhost + $5 get’s you a mediocre cup of coffee these days!

You should never have accepted her Request in the first place; the discount request should have been enough of a red flag… You should have researched the possible guest before accepting.

Cancel now and avoid the rush. “Uncomfortable with this guest”.


This is IB so no problem cancelling. If you’ve already used your 3 freebies or you’re hoarding them for some reason, email them or give them a call.

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That’s pretty harsh. It could have been a plumbing problem, a family emergency, a health issue, anything. Making an assumption that one or 2 cancellations means a host is “flakey” is really taking a leap.