What's next and advice to prevent happening in future

Very last minute guests book my place at 12:12 pm.
He has 10 great reviews, recommended by 8 host. He came back to stayed with 2 same hosts.
Sent my check in instruction and door code before 3 pm.
He never reply if he understand or have questions to the check in instructions.

The reason that I need guests to read and confirm my check in instructions is because guests who don’t read : they will try to get in OUR door, and door code will never work (obviously)
The apartment is around the corner and has separate entrance, hence I need guests confirm that they read the check in instructions (step by step with pictures, some guests said it is very easy to follow)

Now back to the guests.
Texted me at 8 pm said they will be arriving at 11 asking if that would be a problem.
Texted him back saying, it wouldn’t be a problem if he read and understand where to park and where the apartment is.

At midnight, I send him message to airbnb platform asking if they are ok since we have a freezing rain warning. Left my phone on (otherwise it would be on airplane mode)
45 minutes later got a message said they are fine and thank me for being patient and see you in the morning…BUT they are not yet check in.
So I turn off the phone and back to sleep.

At 3 am I got up, got 2 texts said he couldn’t get in ( 2 am on camera)
I called him right away asking where he is. He said they decided to drive straight to their destination.
I asked him questions, then I know that he did NOT read anything at all.
Very calm guy, did not demand anything. He said he was looking forward to their stay.
I did not offer refund but I told him maybe on his way back he can stay again.

What are your advice on this? Thank you.

His travel issues are not your problem. It sounds like he was on the road and reserving and messaging from his phone. Especially if there are weather issues it can be very uncertain. So your solution was perfect and more generous than necessary.

I once had a guest who couldn’t get in at 2 am. He messaged and for some reason I didn’t get the message until a few minutes later. He said he would just go somewhere else (instead of pounding on my door…I live here). I frantically messaged and said “no please come back, I’m awake and will let you in.” Luckily he wasn’t too far and he returned and I got a good review.

It’s tricky. Guests have an obligation to read (and respond to the host to a point) but hosts have an obligation to make it easy on the guest. If your listing is tricky to get into maybe you just shouldn’t allow check in after your bedtime.

Do you find it tricky to get to the apartment from one of the picture on check in instructions?

Some guests don’t really follow check in time that they suggested themselves.
I keep repeating that they have to read the check in instructions if they wanted to check in later than 10 pm.

How can I make it simpler?

I don’t find it tricky but having a system that seems easy for 100% of guests is impossible. You can’t make them read and many won’t look at the instructions until they arrive and then if they have trouble they will message you. At my home there are two entry doors facing onto a covered porch and even though I tell them their door in on the left when they enter the porch and sometimes come to my door (not as often as I tweak the instructions.)

Is the door to the apartment visible there or do they go through a gate to get to the entrance? Perhaps a light at their door with sign and dark at your door? Could you have a driveway/parking put into that side of the yard? Expensive of course but maybe it would be worth it. I put an Airnb logo sign on my Airbnb door. Perhaps one of those under the light would make it obvious?

1 Like

They have to go to the gate into their private backyard where the door is.
Picture of the side entrance of the gate is also on the check in instructions.
Path lights are there, sensor motion lights are there.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to have a driveway put in at the moment as we are fighting with the city and everything is on hold.

Do you mind to share the tweak instructions?

I simply made them more detailed.

I used to say something like this: “Park in the curved part of the driveway. Your door is on the left and the code is xxxx. Let me know if you need anything.”

Now I say something like "Park in the curved part of the driveway in front of the house, not blocking the garage doors and not in the street. There will be plenty of lights on out front. (I have pathlights, a large light shining over the garage, a lighted address number sign and a bright porch light) Your door is on the left after you enter the gated porch area and has an Airbnb logo sign on it. Open the iron security door which is not locked and use the code xxxx to unlock the inner door. (Instructions on how to enter the code follow)

Those are my comments to you in parentheses, not part of the guest information.

This sounds like you have the problem of trying to keep the airbnb somewhat hidden at the same time you are trying to make it easy for guests to find. Sometimes one cannot eat their cake and have it at the same time.

We had a similar issue with people find our location. ( the house numbers do not go in sequence) what we did was place a small lighted tree on the porch. Maybe you could put something that you could mention in your welcome message. “look for the XX and follow the path around the house to the door”

1 Like

They are not hidden, just not marked Airbnb

That’s a great idea, I will think of how to incorporate that. Thank you Cindy.

Ok, good luck in your battle with the city.

@Ana2, you have mentioned this several times that you asked to guest if they read the check in instructions. I’m going to presume here that you were talking about the check in instructions link that you send them before they are due to check in? The easy answer to that is, no, they probably do not read those instructions or follow the link. I have the same problem with the instructions for my keypad on my door. It seems so simple to me I don’t understand how people can’t get it. That’s immaterial. So I send not only a link to the check in instructions, I also upload a picture that has illustrated instructions of how my lock works. Since I started doing that the booking guest generally has no issues getting the door unlocked. However, you can only upload these pictures on a mobile or tablet device. You cannot upload them from a desktop.


Could you try putting a large hard-to-miss sign next to your door with a map of where they have to go to their place? Something like:

“Dear AirBnB guest: if it is after 10pm please do not knock and follow this map to get to your door.” Then add the map as you have shown above.


Yes I mentioned 2 times on airbnb platform and 1 time on the text he sent.
I like your suggestion.
I will do, it is kind of easy to see which guests who read and who don’t.
Thank you for taking the time.

Thanks and taking the time to write.

1 Like

That’s great idea. I will do that too. Thank you.

UPDATE : "Hi Ana,
I missed staying at your place on the 5th of Feb. I was busy with my travel and as we are relocating from Mississauga to Virginia Beach.
I am wondering if I could request for a partial refund as I did not get a chance to actually stay or use the apartment?
Please let me know
Thank you "

Today until 3 pm is the last day of review. Not sure how much to refund him…$25? $30?

Not your problem. He kept you from booking anyone else in.

I might refund a small amount because I didn’t have to clean/do laundry/no utilities used.

His poor communication during this makes me a little less inclined to do anything for him. If someone cancels in advance I generally refund but this is not that kind of situation.

1 Like

Yes, I feel the same way, and he called airbnb on this too :slight_smile:
Due to slow seasons, my rate on his reservation was $80 minus fee is $77.60

My plan is to give him refund of $20 after the review time is over.
Should I review him then? Not recommended because he did not read?

I would send him a message that you are busy and will look into it in the evening (past review time).

Reviewing him, yes or no is your choice :wink: .