Very late arrival rant

Prolly more a rant, but we got a same-day booking 30 mins before our cutoff (5pm), and we’re still waiting for the guests to arrive 4 hrs later than they said. Their ETA is now 2am. I’m partly posting this just to occupy my time, but at what point should a guest have just called, cancelled and have found a hotel? Had I known, I would have just offered her the damn money back. We’re hosting a NYE party tomorrow night, well tonight now. Christ, it’s like I’m going to up 2 nights in a row partying! I get that I’m in the hospitality business, but this is just damn rude. We’re not a hotel with 24-hr concierge, we’re human beings. Shm!


Yesterdays guests - kept telling me they would be there at 5 - arrived at 7 - house primped and plumped - linen cupboard tidied out - external cobwebs dealt with…rang them to check if they were ok and not lost…

Todays guests - not one response to arrival time query…NOT ONE …when do they arrive 11 am whilst cleaning and wondering if they were going to actually show and they wanted early check in! Nope nope nope - you can ping off until 2!


You cannot wait up all night for people. And you are not in the hospitality business the same way a hotel is. You need to have firm rules around arrival times and if they show up past the latest hour you will accept they will not be admitted. I used to allow guests to show up at any hour until someone kept me up until 3am exploring the lava flow. Meanwhile I had to get up at 530, so never ever again. If they arrive past midnight without a verifiable flight reason, they won’t be admitted.


I’m so tired right now, so I’ll need to check later, but do you know if Airbnb has an option to specify a no-later-than-time, it so I need to write that into my description?

Thanks! If this was a weeknight I might have handled this a bit differently, but still, my Sunday, and New Year’s Eve, will be rough. Happy New Year!


PS: This guest also booked our very single, twin bed, small guestroom, which is not for now than 1 guest for her band her husband. I only noticed when she said “we” in an email. I should’ve known.

Finally called and they’re 10 minutes away they say. I know they more than 10 minutes away bc of where they are. I live around here. But OMG, hard lesson learned.

OkAy. you need to call Airbnb right now and ask them to cancel this reservation penalty free. The guest is behaving unacceptably. You should not have to deal with this.

You can specify a check in time and it should be with the check in instructions you send out at booking.

Be firm about it in the future and call Air right now to get rid of this loser!


Oh…did not see the on the way message. In the review you need to account for all this nonsense. Ridiculous.


I agree, and from their tone over the phone, they sound equally frustrated from their drive. In their defense, they traveled in snowy weather, but they should’ve known and made other arrangements. I’m a huge softy, but you’re right, I need to set boundaries. Tomorrow, btwn napping and prepping for NYE, I’ll set a limit on check-in and add it to our description. We live here so it’s a bit easier for us to be flexible, but still, this is what hotels are for.

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Also, that gives you an out if you ever need to cancel someone. Although the snowy weather may have been a factor in her lateness. Hard to say.
If you are on the East Coast, it’s coming up on 3am?? Just no damn way.

I started out being so flexible back in the day. I just got worn down over the years with people taking advantage of that flexibility.

It’s waaaaaaay easier to set boundaries. Easier on them, easier on you.

They won’t appreciate or notice that you are a softie, except when it comes to them trying to get more out of you!

  1. Don’t accept same day bookings

  2. Clearly state your check in time and make it clear guests won’t be accepted outside of these times. Have an emergency self check in system for genuine issues around late arrival such as delayed flights.

  3. Make it clear as a condition of bookings that only guess who have booked can stay


Do hope your party goes with a lift and you forget being so tired! Put your check-in limit in your House Rules too, together with something about no unregistered extra guests. Airbnb will cancel any breaking of HRs without penalty if the evidence is in the message thread.


I work shifts, so I have it in my house rules (and about three other places in my listing), that guests must contact me to arrange an check in time prior to booking. If they don’t, I send them a message with my available check in window for that day. I make it very clear that they have to check in during that time. All of these messages are done through the AirBnB platform.

Quite a few of my guests are short notice or last minute bookings. Most of the guests are great, but I’ve had a couple of guests who have booked without contacting me first, or have not replied to my check in window times. Every time, AirBnB has sided with me and paid me for the stay. Why? Because it’s clearly stated in my house rules AND listing information, and the messaging proves the guest did not arrive at the agreed time and I tried to contact them.

Here are examples of the message I use, to help in the future.

Step 1) When they book, send them a message via AirBnB immediately that said, "Thank you for your booking. Because you booking is last minute, and since we are not a hotel with 24 hour staff, I am able to offer you a check in time today between XXX and XXX. If you can let me know what time to expect you, I would appreciate it."
Step 2) STICK TO IT! Half an hour before to latest time, if they haven’t arrived yet, message them again, “I just wanted to see if you are on your way. As I indicated earlier, the latest check in time I am able to offer is XXX. I will be unable to check you in after that time.”


Now that I’ve had copious amounts of coffee, and I’ve chatted with the guests, I’m over the initial hurdle of dealing with a late check-in. Last evening’s booking could not have started out more problematic though. Not only was my cellphone offline for most of the afternoon due to resetting it to factory settings, I was in the process of reinstalling applications when my partner came home at 5 pm and said there was a booking made 20 minutes early. I went back and forth with the guest almost every hour until 2:30 am. They also did not have good cell phone reception where they were, and I can attest to that.

I don’t think the guest intended to falsely book for one when she had a companion (sometimes couples have booked the larger guestroom as one guest and just told me they had a spouse/partner). Although, had the other room been occupied, I would have needed to cancel her instant booking. Since it was so last-minute, I would have just offered a full refund. Sometimes it’s not about the money.

I think for both the guest and me, we learned valuable lessons about planning ahead and setting boundaries. I have updated my booking availabilities and set a check-in time limit.

I’m looking forward to having a party tonight, tired or not. Time for a disco nap!


I wish I were coming!

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Similar situation here. Guests arriving at our farm for a booking made months ago. We need to meet and greet and e plain a few things. Have not heard anything from them at all. Still an hour until our check in time but still would like to know if they are coming.

Totally exasperating! What’s wrong with people (i.e., guests) these days.

(I hope you don’t mean you haven’t heard from them for “months” because then it might be on you.)

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We messaged when they first booked with all the usual details. I then follow up the day before arrival which was yesterday.

What @Helsi said! We decided this past year (our second full year) that we don’t need any guest who needs same-day accommodations. It has removed stress and allows us to plan our days and cleaning.

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I make it part of my booking conditions that guests need to confirm their check in time on booking.

A couple of times they haven’t done this despite me sending follow up messages.

I then contact Airbnb to tell them this and they then get hold of the guest for me, so I always have a confirmed arrival time.