The right way to ask for late checkout

I know a lot of hosts think anyone asking for a late check out (or early check in) is being entitled and demanding, but we just got a request for late check out) tomorrow that’s polite and understands she’s asking for a favor:

“According to airbnb tomorrow’s checkout is at 11am—and we of course completely understand if you need us to stick to that so the staff can prepare for the next guests’ arrival. But if there is a slightly later time that we could depart from the villa … even if it means vacating the house and just hanging out on the terrace and pool … please do let us know as that would be most helpful.”


Yes. that’s the “right” way to ask. And if possible, I would say Yes – with a time limit. You don’t want them there all dang day…


They have a flight out at 4:45 so have to leave around 1:30 - and we don’t have guests arriving until the next day.

We often do this, particularly if they are fine with just hanging in our common areas. When I welcome people I always mention whether there is flexibility on the check out time, because then I can get up later too (home share with breakfast)

I agree they asked the right way and I’d let them have the late check out. I’d also ask them to please not mention it in a review, should they choose to review you, as it’s not a courtesy you can extend to all guests.


I realize that my rental property is a little different than a lot of people here, but I almost always proactively offer a early check-in or late check-out to my guests. There is often a few days in between my next guest or my own arrival to the cottage. I find it a great way to offer a goodwill that doesn’t cost me anything. Guests always appreciate and it makes no difference to me one way or the other. And yet often they don’t even take me up on it! Most of my guests are coming from a three hour radius and they have work schedules to they usual stick to.


I used to offer early check in or late check out for a fee but with Covid I block my space day before and after and what a full day of running HEPA machine and fans going before I enter the space to clean.

What I now do if asked is that I can’t guarantee early check in but if it’s available early I’ll send them a message. Guests seem to accept this.

It’s harder for me for late checkout because I don’t want to have to wait around until they leave to set up the fans and air cleaning machines so I unfortunately can’t offer that unless I have known extra days between the blocked days.

The OP letter is great, but I would happily consider any request with those two characteristics, even if they are much less wordy (esp since many of my guests are not fluent in English):

“Our flight leaves late afternoon. Is there any flexibility in check-out time?”

This would work just as well for me, as long as I am not expected to justify my yes or no answer.

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It is nice. I appreciate it even more when they acknowledge the fee & ask me in a timely enough manner that I can make it happen. I provide this information upfront.

Sometimes I waive the fee and sometimes I do not.

But, I go to the house about two hours before their arrival and make sure everything is good and drop off fresh flowers, treats etc.

And myself & my helper are scheduled for cleaning immediately at the checkout so I don’t have flexibility without planning. I especially hate late checkout because it takes several hours to clean.

I had 10AM checkout (11 AM now) but people seem to struggle to get out on time. Most everyone is good w/ 11 so far.

That is a very considerate note!
I’ve been spoiling my guests and offering late check (via text the evening before) out at 1. I no longer have 1 day turn arounds and about 50% accept, and are over the moon to have those 2 extra hours. My hosting style and cleaning (which I do all) schedule is quite flexible; I guess It is part of what I feel is in the “Value” category. There is no charge for this, @200+ per night, I feel it is not fair to charge more.

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This is really good advice. Not only to protect your listing for future reservations (and unwanted expectations) but it kinda makes the guests feel even more VIP about the whole thing. Who doesn’t want to be a VIP? :slight_smile:

The way they asked couldn’t be nicer too, so that helps.

However, I loathe to think of the guests loitering around the grounds for hours on end after they’re to be vacated. Eventually somebody will have to go to the bathroom. Eventually one of your crew members may speak to the guests (we’ve had NOTHING good come from this). Eventually somebody may see your crew do something they may decide they don’t like. Eventually somebody will mess something up that may go uncorrected for the next guests.

I dunno, I’m super jaded! We’ve kinda seen it all. . . Take my thoughts with a major grain of salt. And I’m always trying to limit every type of liability (to a fault). Once the stay is over, we’d like it to be over.

But if you can handle it and the listing is right there for you to see/manage, it’s an easy win/win.


I think many of the hosts who feel like that are subscribers to the combative style of hosting, i.e. every aspect of hosting is a constant battle between them and their guests. They often forget that we’re in the hospitality industry…

Now that we have a buffer day between bookings, depending on the guests circumstances, we often offer either a later check out or let them know that they can keep the garage space until later in the day (parking is at a premium in the historic district).

Doesn’t cost us anything, and often goes down well with the guests.



If it’s doable then I make a point of offering a late checkout the night before, I just say, “you guys are welcome to check out later, sometime in the afternoon if it works with your schedule”. I only offer a late checkout if I don’t have a same day check-in so it doesn’t matter how late they checkout once I offer it so I don’t give a time limit, though some do ask, “is 2 okay?” or something. And as @CatskillsGrrl 's guests, most of mine need to leave earlier anyway. But some of them have a 4pm flight and are ectastic to stay until 1 or 2.

I certainly don’t mind someone asking but I get really steamed up about guests who dawdle for an extra 15 or 20+ minutes without asking or being invited to do so. So different strokes I guess.


My regular checkout time is noon, so when a request comes in for a late checkout (without explanation – just “Can we get a late checkout?”) I feel like they are asking that wherever they go. But if I can give them another hour or so, I do it. I often can’t, but it’s hard to feel bad about that when you’ve already given them until noon.
This fall, a solo guest asked for a late checkout of 5 pm. She had an explanation. She said her husband, who had dropped her off for the stay, had to work and could not pick her up until then. If I couldn’t accommodate the extra time, she would just wait for him at the side of the road.
For five hours.
I was able to accommodate, and she was effusive with thank-yous.
Her husband arrived at 12:30 and the two of them stayed until 5.
So I guess in this case it was the right way to ask, but the wrong way to avail.


You’re right - that’s definitely the right ask!

I have a home stay that’s very close quarters- even storing luggage is a bit awkward. But we can offer the garden in fair weather (the WiFi is good there :slightly_smiling_face: and cafes and such a 5 minute walk around the corner. My partner cleans around a flexible work (volunteer) schedule, and we have had only a couple requests, as most of our guests are either working or coming a distance by air. We do get requests for early check-in, and always accommodate bag drop, both of which have been met with delight.

:face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :poop: :japanese_ogre: :japanese_goblin: :-1:


Couldn’t agree more.


Are you sure it was her husband?

Sorry to hear the guest lied to get what she wanted.


A case of no good deed goes unpunished…so sorry she did you like that…I might have let her know that now that her husband was here it was past tune to go….

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Fair point!! 20202020

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