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What would you say

A guest texted me to ask if it was Ok for his wife to join him for one of the 2 nights he is staying. I sent an change reservation request…

“Why the extra charge. Isn’t the same room?”

Me: “That’s how it is on Airbnb, and my charge for a second person is listed.”

“t’s for one night only. That’s more than I paid per night.”

“Thanks but not at that price for one night. I declined the change. Thanks anyway.”

What would YOU do? He is arriving tomorrow…

Truthfully, I’d have said yes when he first asked if his wife could stay. In fact, I’ve done this quite a few times. I say that I can’t supply any extras though but I leave enough supplies anyway so it’s never been an issue.


I have one room in my home and don’t charge for extra guests. Two people max, same price as one person. I just ask that if the wife/daughter/son/husband/etc is coming for any part of the reservation that the entire reservation be for two people and I have the names for both on the reservation. I have a super large (new!! wheee) washing machine so a few extra towels don’t faze me.


I charge extra for any guests more than 2.

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My home is different and I charge for a second guest - and I have one room that does not allow any extras (for example).

My question is what do you all think I should do NOW? I am concerned that this is potentially a disgruntled guest. We see all the time here guests who ask for things that go against house rules or ask for (in this case) a lower rate ‘just because’. And his dissatisfaction with my reservation change (which is listed in my rates) will turn into lower ratings etc…

So who declined the change? The guest? Personally, I’d allow him to stay with his wife and tell him what @jaquo said. If he leaves a bad review, you can respond to it nicely with “XXX booked room with additional guest fee and was upset with additional charge…” @JohnF is good at these.

Or you can cancel and tell Air that the guest knew he was booking a place with an extra guest fee but didn’t want to pay it and tried to pull a fast one.

You have been doing this for a long time, right? One stinky review will get buried quickly. Review him honestly, let the wife stay “for free,” and move on.

What to YOU want to do?

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Well, as he’s declined the charge, there’s not a lot you can do. But if you want to keep him as a guest, rather than antagonise him, say “As you can see, we normally charge an small extra fee for an additional guest. This is to cover items such as extra hot water for showers, extra towels, additional coffee, more toiletries (etc. etc.) … However if you’re happy for none of these extras to be supplied, then we’d be happy to host your wife for two nights of your stay”.

You can also explain that the extra guest fee helps to keep your costs down for single guests.


I agree with jaquo- that wording comes across as curt and rude - you could have just as easily explained that the extra guest charge covers extra amenities used, which I think would have been accepted more easily.


Sometimes. TBH, in this instance I wouldn’t have involved Airbnb at all, and just given the guest a nominal price to be paid in cash on arrival (on the basis they were communicating off platform by text).

The OP is simply going to have to tough it out with the guest, who is already likely to be somewhat pissed off by what he sees as a money grabbing host. Deflection may be the only recourse, as in blame Airbnb and a lack of insurance cover if the guest count alteration isn’t done via them.

Depending on the situation, being a little bit flexible with guests and not being overly rigid with rules etc can often benefit a host in the long run.



If I’m reading it correctly, this is a multi-night reservation and you added a 2nd person to the reservation, which charges the extra fee for every night, can you just send a request for funds for a 2nd person for one night?

Not as a reservation change. But the first reaction was

Even if it was a minimal fee, the guest was not having it (in my view).

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If you aren’t depending on this guest for your income then you could cancel him for “may not follow house rules”, if it was an Instant Book. I wouldn’t want a guest who is disgruntled before even arriving, especially for a 2 day stay if I don’t need the income.

I agree with @jaquo and @muddy that your response to the guest was harsh (and that’s saying a lot coming from Muddy). At this point, regardless of fees being paid or not, it will probably be uncomfortable. The guest is already annoyed and you were already rude to him and you are already frustrated with the guest and may not get your extra guest fee.

If you are not dependent on this 2 night stay, it’s totally fine to ditch him. Your house.


OK. If you’re worried about the review and/or an awkward stay, you could tell him that you’ll authorize a penalty-free cancellation if he wants to book elsewhere.

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As KKC has said about herself, I talk a tougher game than I actually play in personal interaction. I don’t believe in sugar coating things, but I tend to patiently explain things to people, if they are obviously unaware of the reason for something, rather than simply dismissing them as clueless. People often simply haven’t thought something through, or like guests who don’t understand why they should have to wash their dirty dishes or take out the garbage, saying “I paid a cleaning fee, why should I have to do all the host’s cleaning for them?”, have obviously zero idea of what cleaning a house entails.

Being a clueless jerk isn’t the same thing as simply being clueless. The latter category will often say “Oh, I didn’t realize that. I get it now” if things are explained to them.

So true! I guess my ‘mistake’ was getting annoyed when the “I am here, why not have one more stay - it’s not like this is how you pay your mortgage” and “Pay what you ask? No way” was the response to my cordial reservation change. I suppose that negotiating something after booking and asking for special treatment is this person’s way, but it is not ok with me.

Of course, I realize that there is now conflict. But geez, after over 600 reviews and years of high ratings (I’ve been a host since 2011), I am a bit burned out by folks who expect discounts etc ‘just because’…

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How about I message him with:

"Sorry I was a bit harsh in my reply to you about additional guests. If you would like, I am happy to accept your cancellation and refund you 100% of your money - I certainly don’t want you to be unhappy. My airbnb income covers my mortgage - I am retired and this is my full time job and income - and airbnb and my insurance company asks me to be strict about guests (for example, I cannot have guests who are not on the reservation). It is beyond my abilities to have a guest stay under the conditions you requested.



Much better. If a guest was jerky, and sent a message like “That’s outrageous! Why should I pay for another person if we’re sharing the bed? You Airbnb hosts are so greedy”, they’d get an appropriately curt reply. But if it was possible that they just didn’t understand why there would be an extra fee, I’d try to explain.

I’m sorry, I don’t think it’s a great idea. You are admitting fault about being harsh, even though the guest didn’t say you were harsh (we did but we’re a tough audience). Don’t create a problem that you don’t already have. Along that same line, don’t admit to Airbnb that you were harsh to a guest, because anything in a message is telling Airbnb the same thing. I don’t have any expectation that this will escalate, but if it did, it would be better if you hadn’t said that. And don’t give the guest any ideas. Perhaps he did not think you were harsh. Always cover your own burro.

Also, there is no point in trying to make your stuff (mortgage, retirement, income, etc) your guest’s issue. It is not and it never comes across well. It doesn’t sound apologetic, it sounds defensive. Giving a bunch of excuses as to why you have an extra guest policy does not support your policy. If it is a reasonable, fair or just policy (and it is!) then you don’t need to justify it by explaining your personal circumstances.

We aren’t currently charging an extra guest fee, for various reasons but not because I don’t think it’s a great way to operate, because I do. We did charge an extra fee for every guest over the first one, both in our 2 person studio and also in our 4-5 person 2 bedroom apartments for nearly 3 years. I have been in the position to explain (because it doesn’t require justification) it quite a few times. I am going to show you what I say. I am not saying that there’s anything special about it or tooting my own horn, but only that it has been successful. I have never lost a booking because of our extra guest fee. The most common time, and I’m sure you know, is when people book for 1 person and then say, “we can’t wait” or something. Anyway, not sure if you’ll like it but it works for me:

I’m noticing now that you’ve booked for 1 Guest but it sounds like your Mom is coming too and will need to be added for insurance and Airbnb terms. Note that the price will change a bit ($20/ night), sorry that’s just the way it’s set-up (it’s a way to give solo travelers a discount).

I can send you a change request, adding your mom to the reservation, and you can either accept or decline once you see the new price. If it doesn’t fit into your plans, I understand either way (though we’d love to have you stay!).

In the case that I’m dealing with someone later in the game like you are, I would say something like:

The apartment is priced for one person with each additional person charged as an extra guest. It is set up this way so as to provide solo travelers, couples and small groups each with a fair price and to accommodate a larger portion of the Airbnb community.

You can see the spin. Now it’s not your personal circumstance that is the reason that the guest has to pay more for a second person. Now the guest has to pay more for a second person because you are a generous host that looks out for the whole Airbnb community and you are also now a host that gives discounts, as opposed to just a host that charges some people extra. Spin is not always a bad thing, sometimes it makes people feel better. It works. And, for us personally, it is the real reason that we charged per guest because I am an avid solo traveler.


Was in instant book? Can you cancel? I think you are getting n unhappy guest at this point I would try and get out of it if I could do it without penalty.



I agree and would amend my response that it’s much better. As you pointed out, not a great idea to apologize to a guest who’s already ticked off- they can just use it as fodder against you.

And I also bristle at a host telling a guest that payments are necessary so they can pay their mortgage. What a host spends their income on is none of a guest’s business, nor do they care, and is quite different from pointing out that an extra guest fee covers the added utilities and amenities that cost the host extra money.

And personally, I don’t consider the host’s mortgage to be an expense related to running an str. It’s related to equity in their home should they decide to sell, not a rental expense. That’s how I see it, anyway.

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