UPDATE: Third Party Booking — What Are The Potential Pitfalls


I just received an instant 15 day third party booking from an Airbnb user with 7 good reviews. She’s local and said she’s renting my place for an employee who’s coming from India and might need to stay longer. Should I be concerned? Does this qualify as Airbnb For Work?

UPDATE: I heard back from Airbnb. They said, “Yes it is a third party booking. Third-party bookings are in violation of our Terms of Service, and as a result we cannot ensure protection under said Terms of Service, cancellation and refund policies, and other safeguards.” They also said the person who booked should be able to sign up for “Airbnb For Work,” which would allow them to book for employees and add them to the account as well. Apparently someone else will contact me about that tomorrow.


1 Like

I think that’s what it is: Airbnb for work .
I am not sure why people are being so concerned about third party bookings. I think that’s why Airbnb created this so called Airbnb for work because their own rule, no third party bookings didn’t work in this case and these bookings are the best as it’s longer terms .
I had it many times , parents book for kids and visa versa .
As soon as I receive a booking i ask for contact information of a guest who stays …and I never had any problems

Possible pitfalls: person who is staying may not have even seen the listing, won’t be aware of rules, expecting hotel-like stay, etc. Also, if you don’t have the names of the people staying or a clear communication with the actual person staying and there is an incident - will your insurance cover if something goes wrong?


We had a woman book a stay for her co-workers. We have four beds and she was booking for 4 guests. Well 5 showed up. We have an extra air mattress and linens but we keep it in the closet because not everyone needs it. Since they booked third party, instead of asking us or the woman who booked it, these 5 men just left and got a hotel. Then the woman called us the next day screaming at us and tried to leave a review that deceptively said we had no additional bed even though she never asked. We had the review successfully removed. Her attempt at a refund was also rebuked.


Yes, be concerned. And unless you are enrolled in ‘airbnb for work’, then no, it is not ‘qualified’. and since it is against TOS, not only do you have no recourse if anything happens, but you have no direct contact with the people staying with you. I see no upside to any of this.


Hosts are pretty divided on this. For hosts who rely on things such as the guarantees and perceived insurance that Airbnb ostensibly provides, then these are negated by third party bookings.

Hosts who have good insurance coverage have no problem because they aren’t relying on anything but their own resources (both the resources they pay for - insurance - and their own ability to deal with problems should they arise).

I used to object to third party bookings ONLY if the person booking made it very obvious in the Airbnb message system that it was a third party booking. This was a ‘just in case’ reaction - in other words, if ever Airbnb wanted to get nasty with me for any reason, they had got me right there - I accepted third party bookings. (Although I still took one every so often).

However, plenty of hosts have reported that Airbnb don’t really care about third party bookings, which is hardly surprising.

What would concern me more is this:

Assuming that you have no-one coming in on the dates immediately after the booking, it’s more than likely that you’ll get booked. So you can’t guarantee that and I’d let the booker know about it (if you haven’t already). I can understand that the guest wants to experience staying with you before they book the extra days but in all likelihood you’ll be booked.

Added in edit: If it’s an official work booking then it’s completely fine :slight_smile:


How is it completely fine? Is this your opinion or is it a TOS that I did not see?

1 Like

Airbnb allows third party bookings if the company is booking for an employee under their Airbnb for Work system. If the booking is made using a company that has enrolled for this service then it’s absolutely fine. Not just my opinion.


1 Like

@jaquo The person who booked did say she realized the place might not be available if her employee needed to stay longer. Also, I’m under no illusion that the Airbnb insurance “guarantee” will be there for me if I ever need it. My booking requirements state that the person who’ll be staying with me needs to have reviews from previous hosts and government photo ID. The person’s boss said she could send me a picture of her employee’s passport (at some point). I’m just not sure how to proceed.


Actually, it is not going to happen unless the host is signed up for it, so it will never be possible ‘blind’:


Correct. We are signed up for it. I imagine most hosts are? I don’t see any reason why not to be?

One more point to add is this:

From what I’ve read here, Airbnb only considers communications made through the Airbnb Inbox in times of disputes (no SMS, no WhatsApp). But your conversation with the 3rd party will not be through the Airbnb Inbox. So, whenever you make any agreements with the guest or deal with any complaints etc., you need to make note of it in the Airbnb Inbox to act as a paper trail.


Why would you image most hosts are? IMHO, this is not something that works for me, I can imagine the subset of folks who have this is quite small, considering the requirements…


The requirements are more or less what we offer anyway. But I imagine a lot depends on where a host is situated. We are in an area that has a lot of conferences, exhibitions, etc. and get a lot of people who are travelling for work so being ‘work-approved’ is an added bonus for us.

We also get a large number of people who come here for work but book independently though Airbnb.


You should be able to see on the guest profile if it is a “Work” account.

I used to host third-party bookings, but had too many bad experiences. The guests were hard to reach and hadn’t been informed of the house rules, check in procedure, etc. A CS agent informed me the host guarantee is void if I chose to host a 3rd party booking (of course the CS agents always beg me to make an exception when I call to cancel 3rd party bookings). Now, many hosts here have found the host guarantee to be useless, but they’ve always paid what I’ve asked for (I’ve only ever asked for my extra guest fee when guests snuck in extra people), so I am not comfortable hosting without it.


My listing does have work “WORK” on it.


I prefer to have profiles on everyone. It gives the impression of accountability. Oh yes, the insurance (such as it is).


I have had the occasional third party booking. Not a problem for me.

If you are anxious, concerned, why don’t you meet up with the local person and go over the space together. You will feel so much better if you have started a direct line of communication and perhaps it opens the door to a direct booking.

Does your space offer a kitchen? You might want the forum for the keywords ‘curry’ and ‘cooking’.


@Xena There’s “WORK” on my profile but not on the profile of the person who booked.

That’s exactly my thoughts .
I never relied on Airbnb as much as other hosts seem to do when it comes to host guarantee and resolving conflicts .
The process of getting any reembursment from them is painfully time consuming .

I can understand fears of someone else booking and then all the little nuances happen…but when it comes to workers its a sure thing most times and miss this opportunity only because it’s 3rd party booking is not smart business decision .
I host workers for 3 years now and prefer them to vacationers by much.
Only once I had fussy workers who are used to stay in penthouses and suddenly their boss dared to put them in a simple house like mine.
They also left after one week …but I rebook house almost immediately and never had problems since .