"Uncomfortable" with booking request. Update -

Got a booking request (even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then, lol) from a woman. Says she and her boyfriend just need a quiet getaway (I have a tiny cabin in the mountains, so is perfect). I started to hit ‘accept’ and then I noticed that she had no, as in none, verifications of any kind. No phone, email, other ID …nothing. And showed 1 review. Let’s call her Sally…So I clicked on the review. The host said that ‘Jordan was an ideal guest, left the place very nice. I would be happy to host him again’…Ok…so I messaged her with a thank you for choosing our place, but would she kindly clarify the discrepancy on the review, and give Airbnb to provide some form of ID, I even said just so they can verify your phone even. And said I would be delighted to host once I got these clarified. Got no response. A couple of hours pass, nothing. So I called Airbnb, and they did some checking and said that she had been a guest of ‘Jordon’ (although the review didn’t mention anyone else) so perhaps why the review came up in her name (???) So I messaged her again, stating I spoke to Airbnb and they had told me that she had been Jordan’s guest. And is that who she is bringing? Also that if she would have Airbnb at least verify a phone number, I would be happy to get the reservation completed. No response. It’s been about 5 hours and my ‘response’ time is stellar. However, that doesn’t really matter to me now, as I am winding down my STR business. But I still want to be fair and give the benefit of the doubt. However, I am cautious, especially because my cabin is on my farm, where I live. Never had any real problems before but it seems those kinds of things are increasing. I did stop a potential bad actor a couple of months back , so would rather not have any issues from this. Thoughts?
UPDATE - she cancelled after my second message asking for the clarifications. Thank goodness…

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Does your listing require a verified ID (or whatever Airbnb calls it)?

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Yes. And there’s always been something. Even just a ‘verified’ phone number. Not foolproof, I know. But I had a scary incident a few months back. Got a booking request from a ‘Christian’, and an odd message…‘Hey we want to book a room for 4 nights’…So I messaged them and said are you aware this is a cabin? and tiny cabin (it’s clearly clearly stated in my description, same as always for five years). Didn’t get an answer and my gut told me that I needed to follow up. I didn’t get a good vibe. The wording was odd. So I waited. Finally I gave in and accepted. Then the photo came up, and it was an older lady, like 65-70. Ok…odd. So I called the number. A ‘dude’ type answered with a ‘yeah?’. I asked if this was Christian. ‘Nah, he ain’t here’. Now I was getting mad and scared. So why are you answering his phone? ‘Hey, cause Airbnb wouldn’t take his so we using mine’…I asked if the woman in the picture was who was going to stay. ‘Nah, that’s my granny, it’s gonna be Christian, me and another guy, that ok?’ uh…NO… I told him he had to cancel because he made the booking fraudulently. And I would report him to Airbnb. He cancelled immediately. So I guess I’m a bit goosy. And been reading too many horror stories here and elsewhere.


You’ve already satisified your response time and your response rate by messaging the guest the first time. Now all you have to do is to accept or decline by the 24 hour mark. If you decline it only affects your acceptance rate which is not a big deal and has a lot of wiggle room (and doesn’t affect superhost).

Airbnb requires a verified phone number and email address for IB already, it is their requirement and she needs to do that. And if you require verified ID then you have every right to hold off until she gets it done.

I get a lot of these and two things have helped me:

  1. send her the link that explains how to get verified ( Verifying your identity - Airbnb Help Center )

  2. if you don’t hear back in another hour or so then send her a text message and/or email asking her to please log-in and check her ABB messages.

99.9% of the time guests have apologized profusely about not getting my messages and then verified their info immediately. They didn’t have notifications set and didn’t know how everything worked.

Thank you, the link idea is great. However, unless I ‘approve’ there isn’t any contact info for the guest. I looked all over it, and that’s been a problem before. And Airbnb has done away with that great temporary email for guests. I really liked that for my directions, restaurant and grocery list, and other activities. Sigh… They keep fixing stuff that isn’t broken…I did appreciate CS looking into that review/reservation tho. That helped me stand firm. I am trying to be as kind as possible, but am not a doormat. And I have been doing this long enough (in some form or another over 20 years) that I don’t care if a guest cancels . Part of the business. Glad to be retiring tho, am quite tired after all these years. This old lady doesn’t want to deal with the stress that can come with this business. You young folks are much better at it. I know I WAS…
And after my second message asking her politely to clarify, she cancelled. Thank goodness…


It’s still available you just have to go and do an attestation of not using for it spam and such. It’s never gone away. I forget where it is, let me find it for you. I can’t imagine doing everything without a guest email.

Okay I found it:

Profile → Professional Hosting Tools → Allow me to use an email alias to reach guests

But this request may just be more trouble than it’s worth. You could just decline it and then open up your calendar and your Friday evening. The goal for acceptance rate is only 88% and all of you IBs and everything count.

Just saw that she cancelled. So, enjoy your evening!!

As far as I’m aware, it is still available, but you have to activate “professional tools”, then “attest” that you will only use it to email necessary documents (guess Airbnb figured people were using it to make side deals).

I used to use it a lot when I first started hosting, as I have to send guests my hand-drawn map to my hard to find house.
But I found it to be glitchy- some guests would tell me the email came through, but without the attachment.

So now I just ask guests for their personal email address to send the map, give them my email address so they know what to keep an eye out for, and have never had a guest balk at providing it.

All my guests have had phone numbers and email addresses listed and real profile photos, as well as actual first and last names (of course I can’t see the actual information until accepting), but I have never paid much attention to whether they have verified ID. I figure anyone can have and submit a driver’s license, it’s no assurance they will be good guests. Airbnb doesn’t do criminal record checks much, I don’t think.

I’ve been lucky in that all my guests have been good communicators, with no red flags, so that’s what I go on. But I homeshare, so don’t have the worries hosts of entire places do.

This happened to me today:

Reservation requested 11:30pm; accepted 4am. My listing requires covid vaccination card or equivalent to be given to me upon acceptance of the booking; house rules, also the ‘final agreement’ before the booking can go thru, and then an immediate message after the booking goes thru. So, 3 times had to see and agree.

10:30am I get a cdc card with a big white sticker over the name etc area (actually there seem to have been 3 stickers) and a cloudy nothing where it should have info:

I send guest links for the cdc database and the state database; the guest says it is from spilled hand sanitizer and the guest says they are too busy to send me the info, so can I just cancel?

My bnb is strict and no, I say, YOU cancel, and if I can rebook I will happily give you $$$s.

He calls air who back me up with my policy. Guest then threatens to ‘just show up since he is paying for the space’ and stay. Guest threatens to sue me (???) according to air.

Air pays guest off and also pays me for the reservation.

THIS is why guests have to be vetted. And, IMHO, kept to their agreements.


Spilled hand sanitizer? :rofl: I suppose that’s possible, but anyone who takes such poor care of an important document is probably not great guest material. And the sticker over the name? Looks like he just used someone else’s document.

Very cool that Airbnb was supportive of you.

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I’m tired of hosting and I haven’t had many problem guests in over a decade. Just tired of the constant vigilance when booking and hosting in my home.


My 3rd party momma booker - she was like pulling teeth to get any answer out of her. Took me over 2 days for arrival time and then they came 4 hours later which is why I wasn’t there upon checkin. Obviously that was her plan all along. And now she got me suspended for my discloses cameras

Just how I feel. I want to ‘retire’ while I’m ahead, and before I run across one of these nightmare scenarios. I know those who are ‘absent’ owners/hosts say ‘get tougher skin’ but in order to do that you have to somewhat stop caring. And not be a ‘present’ host who greets and is more of an old fashioned ‘bed and breakfast’ type. I can’t, and my property (being on my farm where I live) also makes that impossible… and I’ve been fortunate that 99% of my guests have been just fine, some great, some ok, and only a couple I would never host again. BUT I’ve never had some of the experiences posted here. Don’t want to. So going to leave with mostly outstanding memories.


A similar situation happened to me recently. In my case she had no reviews and I had the Instant Book setting on so she would have to make a request. I received notification she was setting up verification. Once that once done she sent me a curt msg about booking. I politely responded that are policy is not to book guests with no prior reviews and asked if she could tell me a little about herself (as there was nothing to go on and I could see she was bringing a guest so I had nothing on that person either!) She responded that she was new to Airbnb, refused to give me any info about herself and then said it probably wasn’t a good fit. I wished her well and was about to decline the offer but she detracted the request (which I found out later was the best outcome!) otherwise that may be a strike against me! I plan to stick with my no review / no stay policy unless I am given a polite response and some basic info from the potential guests. It’s not worth taking chances as I have plenty of other requests. It is good that we are cautious! best to you!


Unfortunately, many new members think booking a listing is like booking a hotel room. A hotel doesn’t ask personal details and the new member can find this a bit confronting and you get pushback.

You can’t have a policy like that. Everyone starts out with no reviews, including hosts. If a host declines every guest with no reviews, who do they think should accept the newbie guests?

Of course if you use Instant Book, most of the requests you get are going to be from guests with no reviews.

Now if you ask a requester who hasn’t provided any real information about themselves some questions and they balk at being forthcoming, as this guest did, that for sure is a red flag. But I have read posts where hosts have mentioned the questions they ask guests, and I have to say some of those I would find intrusive if I were a guest, and wonder why in the world the host would need to know such things. So it can depend on how you word a message to guests soliciting more info, as to how it is received.

And I wouldn’t start off a message to a newbie guest by saying you don’t normally accept guests without reviews. Instead, I would message something like, “Hi XX, thank you for your Request. I see that you appear to be new to Airbnb and have no reviews yet. I want to make sure you have thoroughly read through the listing info, including the house rules and amenities list, to ensure this will be a good fit for you. Are you aware that…? (insert something that could be a deal breaker or info not front and center on the listing to determine if they have really read your ad)
I see you have listed 2 guests on the booking form- is this correct? Just checking, as anyone not accounted for on the booking will not be allowed on the property.”


What do you mean “can’t?” It’s not a violation of Airbnb policy and anyone with request to book can decline.

If they discriminate against a protected group and Airbnb catches on, or a guest reports them, they have a problem. But if no potential guest ever complains then a host might go their entire hosting career with such a policy. If they have too many declines they will have a problem.


We rent out a guest suite in our home and now require at least one review. I’ve had a bit of pushback here and there from inquiring, review-less guests, but we’ve had about 400 stays now and the handful of people I wouldn’t host again are mostly in the new-to-Airbnb category (like, why did you bring a large lumberjack saw into the house?). I simply tell them now that because we host in our home we need to set those boundaries. Good luck in your endeavors; it can be very satisfying for the soul.

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I should have qualified that and “can’t” was the wrong word. It isn’t against any policy to only accept guests with reviews- as you said, if a host just declines every request from someone with no reviews, they will soon have so many declines that Airbnb will threaten a suspension, and often follow through on it.

By “can’t”, I meant it won’t work out well for the host to keep amassing declines. Like you might say to someone, “You can’t park there”. Sure, they physically are able to park there, but they might risk getting towed or pissing off the neighbors.
I should have been clearer.

I just got an inquiry from someone that just joined Air. They were requesting a month long stay which I do not do. Of course, there was zero information about this person other than wanting a discount.

Haven’t had this happen in quite a while and think it odd that Air really tries to get you to accept this type of thing when my max nights are 7.

An inquiry is just someone clicking on the contact host button. Airbnb doesn’t have a hand in who uses that button or what they use it for.