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Two Strikes Against Instant Booking



As a super host I get a lot of push messages encouraging me to try Instant Booking. So I did. Two incidents occurred within two weeks that have made me very shy about the feature. First a booking came in with half the quoted price. An Airbnb financial team is looking into the matter and they have promised to get back to me but that was a couple of weeks ago. If it were a normal booking, even if Airbnb had made the pricing mistake, I would not have accepted the booking. If I cancel an Instant Booking however, I lose my super host status. So I had to bear the 50% discount for 5 days. Second, I received another Instant booking for two nights a year from now. I haven’t set my calendar yet for our own vacation and the two days fell into the week we were planning to take off. Within 30 minutes of receiving the booking I asked the guest if he would consider cancelling. He obliged so I thought I was out of the woods because the guest cancelled, not me. The next day checking my home page I had lost my super host status for a year. Fortunately after calling airbnb they cleared the cancellation from my stats and I am able to retain the super host status. In short, Instant Booking is filled with pitfalls and I am staying well away.


The problem may not be IB but your other settings. I think it’s under “Availability” you can set your calendar to only allow bookings 3 months out or 6, 12 or no limit. That would stop a booking 2 years away. You can also stipulate certain criteria for allowing IB. For example, guests who have a government ID (like a drivers license) and have been recommended by other hosts. Why you got a booking at half price I don’t know but that sounds like some sort of glitch. The good thing about IB is it makes it more convenient for guests and it raises you higher in the listings search so you should get more bookings.


Thanks for the heads up on the settings. I’m still wary though until Airbnb uncovers the discount “glitch”. I’m always skeptical when a "glitch"earns the other guy and costs me. Unless there’s some kind of 50% discount setting that I initiated, and I can’t imagine that I did, airbnb gave the discount not me. I’ll keep IB on hold for now. Actually when I called customer service they actually advised not to use IB. I suspect there’s a good reason why.


First case with the glitch was just a really bad luck, I guess. I hope Air will sort this thing out for you soon!

As for the second, that is kind of your own fault since there is an option to have the calendar open just for the next 6 months or so, I it is a thing that I would recommend to anyone with IB as no one wants to get a booking for 3 years in advance. Anything can happen in that period to both hosts and guests.


I’ve been using IB for a couple of years with no glitches. Also, Airbnb says you can cancel without penalty if days are IB’ed that you meant to block-- I haven’t tested that particular feature though.


Thanks Irmcilwain. I talked to the guest whom of course cat be blamed and he was amazed at the discount. He had no special insight but mentioned that it had to do with some sort of point system. I know that I receive discounts from airbnb as a guest but the discount is from airbnb not from the host.


Thanks for your input. I’m sure glad you weren’t the customer service employee I talked to when I called airbnb, I would have lost my super host status for a year.


I also use IB and have done for about 2 years and no issues.


Co-incidentally, I am dealing with the same glitch on one listing, and they’ve been on it for a few days now. They also recommended that I take it off IB.


Take charge!

In this case, I would have contacted Airbnb and said unless they confirm in writing, before the booking commenced they would cover the difference, they will need to cancel the booking.

In the second case, you hadn’t set your calendar correctly so it’s good that Air helped you without penalty but it does reflect poorly on all host’s when guests are cancelled or forced to cancel so please be mindful of this.


Of course, we all like to get away with things. I’m glad that you did, but my point was, closing the calendar is your own responsibility and don’t count on Airbnb on cancelling your reservations in the future, no matter how far in the future they are. Instead of being sarcastic, I would advise you to familiarize yourself with the features that Airbnb calendar offers. Its not my fault that Airbnb ACTUALLY has a way to prevent guests from booking a year in advance, just that the host has to know hoe to use it.


Did you have smart pricing turned on/


Also seems to be an Extenuating Circumstance if there was a system failure.