Was this request a trap to pay for one night but get two?

I am somewhat new so still learning. I had an unusual request that I feel may have been meant to confused me so I am wondering if this is a “trick” and if so, are there other tricks out there.
I had a request late last night, about 11:00 PM, Friday, July 6. They were requesting July 7-8. I was open and almost clicked “accept” but then noticed this message, “We will be able to check in at 3AM Saturday out 10AM Sunday.”
I messaged before accepting, “Did you mean 3PM Saturday.” The reply was, "No,3AM, we are heading to Louisiana now (big fesitival in New Orleans and I am about 40 minutes out so my rates are much lower than the city right now) so we will be there in about 3 hours.
I realized that technically, this is two nights because they would arrive 12 hours earlier than my check-in, go to sleep (night one), then spend the night on July 7th.
I replied, “Sorry but that is too early to check in and technically two nights” and the reply was, “Thanks anyway.”
I am concerned that I almost accepted it thinking they would arrive the next day and if I would have, they would have been knocking on my door in the middle of the night a day early.
Is this a scam to get a free night? Thanks.

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Hard to know. We’ve had this in the past and always said no to middle of the night check in. One way to avoid this is to have a cut off time which you will find in Airbnb settings. We block all same day requests to book by requiring one day advance notice. Last minute people could be ok but they are too serendipitous for my liking and maybe just poor planners. Better suited to a hotel! Jmho


If I decline, is that held against me or drop my score? I have tried to figure that out but cannot.

Yes declines are counted against you. Ask the guest to withdraw their request to book. Response rates are counted as well if you let it expire. I’d probably call Airbnb and see if they can cancel it as it’s outside of your check in window and technically would be two nights which they clearly didn’t want to pay for. Keep us posted.

No I don’t think it’s a scam. It’s just that some people are daft.

If anyone asks about checking in at a ridiculously early hour just tell them that the last guests will be asleep in the apartment :slight_smile:


I’ve used this little white lie :joy:


Wouldn’t they be able to see if I was booked or not for the night before?

It wouldn’t matter. The booking could be from another platform or from your own website. It could be a repeat guest who has booked direct. It could be family. If it’s But it doesn’t matter - you get the point across.


I have never declined anyone because I just let it expire while we are messaging back and forth. I always reply though and try to work it out. I am not sure how to go about handling the situation when I am asked questions and we are going back and forth to see if we can make it work out. What is the best thing to do? Should I go ahead and “approve” them at my current rate and let them decline? I had a situation last week where a single person wanted to book and wanted a discount since the room is for 2 but it wasn’t worth it to me. What is the best way to not get things held against you?

Remember there’s a difference between an Inquiry and a Request to Book. No penalty for ignoring an Inquiry (do not click Approve or Decline).

Thanks. I think I understand. I am not on instant booking, therefore, would it always be considered an inquiry? I will have to make sure I understand the difference when I receive the notification.

You should not let Booking Requests (as opposed to Inquiries) expire, because that counts against your response rates, and looks bad to attentive prospective guests (admittedly, probably a rarity).

You should either accept, decline, or ask the guest to cancel the booking request if you don’t want to accept it. The last is ideal if you don’t want to accept, but of course there is no saying whether your would-be guest will cooperate.

You might be booked on a different platform or try “sorry but some family just turned up for the festival in X, Gotta run!”.

You always need to be on your guard. I would hope Airbnb would have supported you on this if you had accepted by mistake because it is 2 nights and probably after your check in time. I don’t know what people are on thinking it’s ok to check in at 3am unless it’s specifically 24 hour check in.

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You need to go back and read the Airbnb materials.

If you are not on IB (which many of us recommend you NOT do as a newbie), then it is not always an Inquiry. You will receive either an Inquiry or a Request to Book – it says what the message is right in the heading of the email.

An Inquiry is just that – someone asking about your place – how far to the beach, do you allow orgies, can I bring my Emotional Support Alligator even though you say “no pets?” – that sort of thing.

Air wants to you to Accept or Decline these ‘lookie-loos’ in in effort to get them to book. You have to click the Accept/Decline button to answer the question, but do no have to Pre-Approve or Decline the person as a guest (just ignore that bit, and answer the question(s)).

A Request to Book is just that – someone is saying “I want to stay with you on these dates”. You must Accept or Decline this future guest. Best not to Decline unless something the guest says in their message makes you “uncomfortable”. If you Decline too many Requests, Air gets ‘mad’ because you aren’t making them enough money, and you’ll get in trouble. Probably the most used reasons for Declining is “I don’t feel comfortable about this guest”, which you expand upon to some extent – “I have an unreasoning fear of alligators as Support animals.” for example.


What about guests who want to do satanic rituals in the living room at 5am?


Same exact thing happened to me recently:

I’m starting to think this is a “thing” now to trick hosts into a free night. :rage::angry::rage:

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Yep. I guess you could have offered bag storage then check in at normal check in time. I think guests are after a freebie.

kvb Be wary of people asking for discounts - they tend to give the most trouble.

Only if you accept the discount :slight_smile:

But this is really too much of a generalisation. Often it’s a cultural or occupational thing and the guests are lovely.