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Three strange reservation requests in first month - normal?


Hi Ken,

Airbnb absolutely requires a photo:



Not quite true. That Help article actually says:

We require all hosts to have a profile photo, and guests are expected to upload a profile photo before checking into their first reservation.”

To Guests, it further says:
“A great profile includes:”
“At least one profile photo that shows your face. This is helpful so hosts know who to welcome into their home.”

It DOES NOT say that guests are required to have a photo


Airbnb Superhost here too, 13 straight quarters. Over 300 98% 5 star reviews. I ALWAYS instant book, no restrictions other than Government ID.

Before making your absolute pronouncements about what hosts should and should not do you should realize that every host and every property is different. I agree that a new host like this might not be well suited for instant book. You should also be aware that Airbnb has experimented with requiring new hosts to have instant book. I haven’t seen any posts lately on the topic so don’t know the status of that policy. I wouldn’t be surprised if they require everyone to allow instant book at some point in the future.

What they have as a stated policy and what actually exists are two different things. There are 1000s of guests and hosts that don’t have a photo of their face.


K9 is right that this policy is not applied, particularly since the discrimination accusation that Airbnb faced. At the time they were considering/being advised to remove all profile photos. But, as usual nowadays, it’s all yesterday’s twitter news now and nobody cares or remembers.

Photos mean nothing, by the way. Said it before, saying it again: most of the time people look nothing like their (older more flattering) photos. 100% of the time, it does not guarantee a good guest.

Can someone explain to me what comfort you get from a profile photo? What on earth do you think it guarantees?
That Airbnb have checked it against their passport/ID? LOL! Of course they haven’t! It could be anyone.
That a nice smiley face equals a nice guest? Pfft. Think again.

And what do you do when your guest turns up and looks nothing like their profile photo because they have put on lots of lbs, dyed their hair etc etc etc. ? Do you refuse them entry?


Oh there is a whole bunch and none of it’s coming from a good place. But they will deny it up and down so what’s the point in arguing it.

And on the other side of the coin…I used to ask students to guess “what is the most discriminated against group?” After all the guesses came in I’d say “it’s ugly people.” That starts a whole new discussion. Anyway, in between ruminating if Trump is the least competent head of state since Charles II of Spain and if Airbnb reviews really matter you can think about this:


Then you Ken for pointing that out. I stand corrected.


Hi Magwitch,

We are in a high booking area. We have had many attempts at people booking for other people. If we accepted that and they burned our house down, Airbnb’s insurance would not cover us. Only booked guests and their guests are covered. That’s how it works in the state we’re in. We have also had many guests try to sneak extra friends for overnight stays onto our property. So when we have guests whose profile photo is not one in which we can actually see their face, we ask them to add a photo of their face. Usually they comply. If they don’t and we cannot see who will be stepping onto our property we don’t book with them.

We also have security cameras that we check when the occasion warrants and we try and meet every guest. No, we don’t just look at hair color or weight to determine if they match the photo, we look at their face and that’s why we require a photo of their face. So say if someone booked our property and someone entirely different showed up, then yes we would make them leave our property immediately.

We don’t discriminate. We want to keep our Airbnb looking as great as possible for all our guests. It has been our experience that if a guest is trying to keep something from us, they are always the guests that will smoke, have a party or damage our place.

We have been Airbnbing for almost 2 /12 years and we have Superhost status and over 170 reviews. I think we are doing something right.


It needs to be said. There are other hosts that could care less about profile pictures, accept anyone via IB, and are Superhosts for quarter after quarter after quarter. Your way isn’t the only one since they too are doing something right.


I notice bally didn’t reply to my post saying

It’s best to ignore inconvenient data points I suppose.


Yes. Noted as well.

20 20 20


Double noted. Lots of ballyhoo but little substance of note…

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