Someone booking for elderly parents

Hi all,

I just had a request from someone who is a neighbor and wants to book a room for her elderly parents who are visiting. I don’t think they have an Airbnb account or are tech savvy, hence the request. I know we are not supposed to take third party bookings and I ket her know that.

My worry is that I am supposed to either Approve or Decline the request, per Airbnb. I can’t accept because she’s not the guest and I don’t want to decline and get dinged by Airbnb. Any suggestions?

Also, the person requested a reservation rather than use IB, which I have turned on. Why would someone do that?

She’s trying to get around the system…

I had accepted such reservations. If the daughter/son who makes the reservation has high reviews I treat the parents as if they were mine. I had no problem with them; they were polite, they had people who came to pick them up and brought them back, they went to bed early… no problem whatsoever.
I also had a mom make a reservation for her teenage son, and because the mom was nice and assured me her son was respectful I allowed it. Indeed the son was very respectful. He was in town for a volleyball tournament and I had no pb with him whatsoever.
Another time I accepted a reservation made by a father for his college student daughter who had to do a medical internship - she was a med student - and stayed at my house for a month. No pb with the girl whatsoever.
I also had accepted 2 reservations made by wives for their husbands. One was a lady from China sending her husband to visit their daughter student in the USA and another a lady sending her husband who worked 12 hrs per day with disabled children. I had no pb whatsoever. Use your judgement and see how nice is the person making the reservation.


I have had no problems with the 3rd party bookings I’ve taken. But every person disclosed in advance and I felt comfortable. I could have had 3rd party bookings and I wouldn’t have even known it because many of my guests come and go and I never meet them. Many people don’t look like their pictures to me and I just see them on the security video.

If one of my neighbors wanted to book in their friends or relatives I’d probably just have them pay me cash directly.

I woundn’t worry about it but if you have concerns then just tell your neighbor you can accomodate them.


I used to accept 3rd party bookings, and it was either kids booking for elderly parents who weren’t tech savvy, or other locals booking for friends/relatives coming to down and they wanted to pay for their friends/families’ accommodations.

I stopped accepting these bookings because I didn’t have any way to get ahold of the guests if I had safety concerns. I try to keep all my communications through the app, but the old folks didn’t even know how to text.

The last time I had someone instant book for their elderly mother, I called AirBnB and asked them to cancel. They did, but it took a few phone calls to get a CS representative who would do it. I was encouraged to accept the reservation despite informing the CS agent that it was against their own rules. I ended up wasting a few hours of my time.

I added “Per AirBnB’s policy, no 3rd-party bookings” to my rules shortly after.

I’ve had one group I THINK was a 3rd party booking since then because a different person picked up the keys and they didn’t response to any of my messages checking-in. However, it could have easily been the spouse of the person who booked, so I let it go. Thankfully there were no issues.


Thanks for your feedback everyone. This was really helpful. Since she is a neighbor, her email was very respectful and we live in a small community I decide to go ahead with the reservation. I probably won’t do third party in general though.


I’ve accepted 3party bookings made by adult children for their parents. To get past the communication challenges, I’ve asked for the parent’s cell phone numbers & called them in advance to let them know what to expect and to give them my number. I document all communication in the Airbnb App.

“but the old folks didn’t even know how to text.” Since we can’t repond to Airbnb SMS messages, not texting is not a problem. Many people, not just those over 80 prefer to talk to their host.

One of my 3rd party bookings for parents did not go smoothly but adding in the phone communication would’ve avoided the problems. I will gladly do it again.

Good money. Good guests. Accommodating some one like my 85 yr old Dad. Hoping someone it will generate some good karma so a future person will help him with something.


Maybe she did it because she knows that it’s actually against AirBnB rules, but she wanted to be open about the situation. We ourselves have always accepted these kind of bookings, except for one time when we asked AirBnB to cancel the booking, because the son thought we should call his dad to get all the necessary information we require.

I think with these third party bookings that all the people who strongly oppose should take the following into consideration. Let’s say I want to book for my non tech savvy mom: I can do it through my account, I can just as easily make my mom an account. However this doesn’t mean she will ever read a listing or it’s rules. I would be doing the reading and the booking. Maybe I’ll show her a few pictures if she’s interested. The booking wouldn’t be a third party booking anymore, but the result would be more or less the same: A parent not knowing what he/she is getting into.

I do understand that this course of action would be better for hosts insurance wise.


For a neighbor I’d make an exception; in fact so long as they contacted me outside Airbnb I’d book them directly.

Communication is my biggest issue with 3rd party bookings. All my check-in instructions are in-app, so it’s a PITA to make sure they have all the info they need.

I avoid 3rd party simply because they seem to be my most dissatisfied guests. I suspect these folks were booked by a family member and never read the listing themselves, so they’re irritated/disappointed in some aspect of what they booked.


I accepted a 3rd party booking by a well reviewed young man for his mother. She was crushed because my insurance does not allow cooking. And she insisted on an ironing board, which I haven’t used since. End of third parties. However I also noticed that she may have had vision problems (which would explain the son booking).

My biggest issue with 3rd-party guests is they typically do not communicate through the platform or app.


We have accepted third-party bookings from family members booking for other family members. Usually from local people booking for their parents, and just recently, from a local man booking for his niece. These types of family bookings have been no problem. We did accept a third-party booking from someone for a person who ended up using our place for professional consulting sessions, and that was a huge problem. If the person doing the booking fully discloses who and why, we generally accept, We also require a direct contact number for the person actually staying there so we can stay in touch. When I direct text, I always send a copy of the message through the app as well so as to leave a ‘paper trail’.