URGENT! Help on dealing with MIA manager!

I am out of town at the moment, left the key with a lady who handles our place when we’re away, she’s usually very reliable and all has been excellent until now. She is the only one with keys to our place (yes, note one: always have someone else have keys too). Now there are clients arriving tonight and manager lady is nowhere to be found. Besides the obvious fact that we’re very worried something may have happened to her as it’s unlike her, how do we deal with this situation??
I can’t cancel now as they’re probably on the plane on a transatlantic flight - how terrible to land and have no one greet you. What can we do??
I know airbnb can react on emergency and find them a place which is probably not a very fun experience. but no only does no one else have the keys but the place hasnt been cleaned yet from the customers who left this morning (and to whom i just said to leave the key in the house since manager is MIA).
What can I do??

Contact air bnb. I would say you have only option to cancel them

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Do you have someone on the site to sub for you? If so, you could arrange to have a locksmith called… Do you have some service who handles the cleaning, and if so, does the manager coordinate with them? If you have such a service, have you talked to them? But I’d first talk to Airbnb and see what they think.

thanks for the replies guys - the lady does the cleaning and the checkin and checkout. It’s a bit difficult to get anyone to intervene now as the friends we have there are all working and I certainly cannot ask them to leave work to get a locksmith and a cleaning service for us. IT’s all complicated because there is also all the entrance doors which are with the magnetic key which cannot be made by the locksmith, so it wouldn’t work. I will call airbnb then. I am giving it another 2 hours hoping to hear from our manager. Thanks for the support.

Hi @whamser,

Sounds like a difficult situation. TIme to think about a fallback position in case it happens again.

Late to comment here, but have you considered trying to reach out to other hosts in your area, or even a local hotel? Maybe you can arrange alternative in case the manager doesn’t show.

Obviously you know now you need a fallback plan and I hope anyone who reads this and has a single individual as their manager needs to have an emergency plan. I hope you will come back and let us know what happened.

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That’s a really good idea. As others have said, a back-up plan is essential (sorry, I don’t mean to rub salt in the wound). We have a password protected page on our website that gives a full cleaning list, along with photographs and instructions for our emergency person, if it’s required. We put it online because then he can view the cleaning and other instructions on his phone.

Priority is to look after the guests. Forget trying to clean the room etc. This is a crisis situation and your guests need to be helped out.

My first suggestion is to contact AirBnB and explain. They can probably rearrange alternative accommodation or make suggestions. If they can’t then you should. Ie, either book with another local AirBnB person or a hotel/motel nearby.

Essential that you communicate with the guest while this is happening. For example, you may go ahead and book an alternative AirBnB whereas the guest may not have wanted this. They may have preferred a hotel for whatever reason. Put their needs first.

I double booked a few years back. After communicating with the guest (was within 24 hours during peak season) I explained I could upgrade them to alternate accommodation with NO difference in tariff. IN other words, I wore the cost of the upgrade as it was my problem, not the guests.

The best outcome was that:

a) The client rebooked with me on several occasions later citing the excellent service as their reason

b) The hotel was also impressed and have asked me to be their fallback in case they overbook.

I know this advice is probably way too late, but it to me, running around trying to organise keys, cleaning, meet and greets when the client is on their way is just too hard and is going to end up mucking them around.

Hope it all worked out for you and the guest anyways.


What happened? How was it resolved?

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Am I the only one annoyed by “Help! It’s an emergency!” posters that we don’t hear back from?


It’s especially annoying when members have taken the time to offer suggestions, and also when we could all learn something from the situation if they decided to come back and share…

The same goes for advertisers. The ads wouldn’t be so bad if they were coming from contributors.


To prevent this from happening to you I would recommend a couple of actions.
1.ALWAYS have a mechanical lock box out side the property where guests or repair man r cleaners can access 24 hours a day when something comes up.
2.I installed a Yale KEYLESS enter lock on the front door that is programable to the last 4 numbers of the guest’s phone number. The lock has a ZWave model inside of it that I have connected to a Vera Lite Home Hub. Also each bedroom has a ZWave power outlet connected to a night stand table lamp. When a guest books a room; I log in to Hub and program the lock for their pin code matching phone number, restrict the code to the days the guest is booked, and program a “scene” that when the guest code is entered in to the lock, it opens the lock, turns on the table lamp in living room for 1 minute and turns on the nights stand lamp in their room for 5 minutes. And it hub sends me a text showing the lock has been opened. 2 lamps allow guest to KNOW which room of 3 is theirs, see to get bags to room and get settled. Each bedroom is also individually keyed so guests can drop bags, lock room and feel that they can relax while out enjoying Vegas. And I NEVER have to worry about a guest getting access to the house, stealing keys, copying keys, failing to return keys, etc.
In a rush I have programed hub and lock from my cell phone when a guest Insabooks.

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Thank you all so much for all your helpful replies and tips and aorry for not coming with an update earlier, I had to travel myself. Basically our caretaker got in an accident (she is thankfully ok… Or will be at least) I contacted Airbnb they were very helpful and aid they’d find the couple another accommodation, we didn’t get penalized since this is our first cancellation. In the meantime because we had no way of reaching the guests before they got to house, I asked a friend to meet the couple in front of our door at the set time for checkin so at least they are met by someone and he could explain things and accompany them to a close by cafe with wifi where they could get in touch with Airbnb who had gotten them accommodation in the same area as us which they wanted. They were understanding and appreciative of the efforts. I did write them to apologize profusely and asked if their alternative accommodation was suitable and if not I would seek a better option, turns out they were happy with it. Now I got one of the keys from our caretaker that I have given one of the companies that does checkin and cleanings for much more expensive but it works for now, also since it’s a company there isn’t a risk of one person not making it. It’s temporary until we find other alternatives, I’ll look again at the advice posted on here. Thank you all again


Have you considered using a vacation rental management company permanently? The problem you mention is all too familiar – you rely on one individual to manage guest arrivals and inevitably, at some point something happens and the guest ends up stranded.
As somebody who has managed vacation rental properties, I know this problem well. Greeting guests is crucial to your value proposition – do it right and you will be rewarded with positive reviews. Do it wrong, or not at all, and you will be punished with bad reviews. An established Airbnb profile can withstand this problem very occasionally, but as a host looking for decent rates and good occupancy, standards need to be consistently high.
I’d recommend using a vacation rental management company. I now use Pillow and they completely deal with all guests. They can help install smart locks so guests can let themselves in with a secure digital key, issued by the owner, when they arrive at a property. It makes life a lot easier for you as a host - something to be bear in mind.

Why would I use Pillow when their sales agent can’t even read the whole damn thread? The host told the story of what happened and what they are doing now.



Again I use Yale keyless enter lock linked to a Vera Lite Home Hub and that allows me to open the lock FROM MY PHONE if a guest can’t get in, can’t be meet, and can’t follow instructions. I will NEVER have the problem of a MIA Manager!

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The lock won’t clean the house… That was part of the issue in the original post…

Maid is on a schedule and has her own code to get in. And it also sends me an email or text every time the lock is opened by code so I know who went in or out when. If maid is needed, I text her and tell her what needs to be done when, problem solved.

AND a guest can never steal, copy, fail to return a key because the only keys are for the individual rooms which I have spares and if they can’t get inside the house then a key to a room will not do them any good.