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

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.

I charge a $50 early check in/late check out fee. I operate on pretty much 100% occupancy, so to give my cleaner time to operate my check out is 10am and check in 5pm. If they want to check in at 11-12 that puts her out and makes her rush. Of course if the space is ready a little bit early I welcome them to come, but I srand strictly by my fee until the day of the reservation.

I would absolutely not let those guests check in at 3am without paying 50% of a night.

I have a 11am check out so a 6am check in could make things a bit crowded.

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I have an 11 am checkout too and just an hour ago I had an inquiry from a guest who wanted to check in at 10.30am. Although I’d expect the previous guests to be up and conducting their pre-checkout clean by that time, the bed would certainly be still warm :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the info. How would a $50 fee be set for early check-in? I don’t see that option.

Want to thank you for posting this question. I recently had a person send this reques:

" Hey Victoria,
Your place is really nice and I was looking to rent it. I am coming to niagara from Ottawa on friday night(mostly around 12am) with my friends. Can you let me know if it is available for Friday and Saturday Night? Also I have 3 friends with me. Also just wondering if the full apartment is rented or owners are living too?"
20 Aug 2018

My response because I was on the ball due to your question:

"Hello XXX,

Our lower level apartment is currently available for arrival Friday August 24 with check in time after 4 pm until Sunday August 26 with check out by 11:00 am.

If you were looking to come in on Friday August 24th at 12:00 am then that is another night and would need to be booked as Thursday August 23 (Total of 3 nights and not 2 nights).

We live on site as this is our home and live on the upper level…"

Crickets after my response but then I was booked by a lovely group from Atlanta GA a few hours later. I believe I would have missed the 12am reference and or assumed 12 pm - thanks for helping me dodge a bad one!

This is also one of the instances where a Special Offers come in handy.

Just send a special offer including the extra night or extra charge and then send your message saying that they are welcome to book the additional night and that all they need to do is accept your offer.

I had an injury with almost the same request. After explaining that was actually 2 days, I offered a discount for the second day. I would however require a 2 day reservation. They never responded back. Whatever, I don’t want to host someone who is trying to rip me off before they even step into my house.

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I also had a weird situation where one guest booked 4 nights, and then asked whether it’s possible to book an additional night 2 days after the first check out. My policy was 2 nights minimum but I still offered them two choices, either book 1 night and pay another cleaning fee, or book 3 more consecutive nights. The second option really just costs a hundred dollars more. They didn’t respond. I sent another follow up and they still didn’t respond. Strange fellows. Thankfully I had strict cancellation policy on and the 48h grace period has lapsed. If they suddenly cancelled their first booking I’ll at least get 50%. Phew.