Why can't this guest use Instant Booking? Please Advice

Just received booking request for w/e after next, and wondering why these guests didn’t seem to be able to instantly book our place. They have 3 reviews with an overall 4 1/5 star rating, cleanliness 4 1/2 stars and communication also 4 1/2 stars. Does this mean they haven’t been recommended by the other hosts? Should I think twice about accepting? Worryingly the lady’s name is Chance :wink:

1 Like

By the way, we have enabled the requirement for guests to have received a recommendation from another host in order to instantly book our place, that’s why I’m wondering.

I received a booking requests with instant book on the other day. I was a bit confused, so I double checked to make sure those days were open on my calendar, and that the rate for the request wasn’t a discounted rate (not sure if guests can negotiate their rate that way?). Everything looked fine after triple checking, and I approved the request. It’s not until February, so I guess we will see.

I’m probably not experienced enough to be offering advice, but the least I can say is to double check everything to make sure those dates weren’t blocked off for some reason.

Also, I personally wouldn’t mind a guest with a 4.5 rating, but I know each host has their own standards.

1 Like

Just saw this. I look forward to seeing other’s responses so I can have some clarity on the same thing.

1 Like

Two of the reviews seem to be from professional hosts with multiple properties, “All Ok.”, and “seemed like nice guests”, the 3rd says" Nice and quiet couple who respected my house rules". Not much to go on unfortunately. Is there any other reason than “thumbs down” ? They seem to be travelling around Europe at the moment, do different countries have different rules?

Sorry, I listed the reviews in reverse order, the first one mentioned house rules. The other two are very current, this month. I thought the first host may have been disappointed with their cleanliness and communication, but decided to focus on the positives. I agree, it’s a pity hosts aren’t more explicit in their reviews, but have to admit I myself tend to NOT write a review rather than go on about the mess in the kitchen or the broken lampshade.

Did they ask a question? Was there anything unusual about their inquiry? i have often had inquiries from folks who could have instant booked, but for whatever reason chosen not to.

1 Like

Interesting thought, hadn’t occurred to me. No, they just said they were looking for a lovely place to stay… maybe that was the question? :wink:

That is a question. They wanted to see what kind of message you sent them. Did you sound friendly, did you respond at all, did you ask them their interests to help them determine if your home would be close to the things they wanted to do… this is pretty standard fare actually. It is a leap of faith to stay in an AirBNB, and personal connections can help potential guests make the jump.


Yes, you’re right of course, it’s nice to get a feel for the person on the other side of the Airbnb “fence”. If it was a booking INQUIRY I wouldn’t hesitate to engage at all, but this was a booking request, so it seems they’ve already decided they would like to stay at our place.

But they could cancel if you didn’t respond or seemed unpleasant. You indicated that they had stayed in an old-style AirBNB and then two corporate types. Perhaps they want a sense of whether or not you are the latter? Or they simply don’t know what Instant Booking is.

I don’t really understand why this is bothering you. People are people and as such, fairly unpredictable and random.

1 Like

Very true again! It just hasn’t happened before.
Ever since we’ve had instant book people either went with that or sent an inquiry if they had questions, or were new to Airbnb. I will most likely accept anyway, but think it’s interesting enough to find out at what stage and why Airbnb would stop someone using IB. I have contacted them about it and will report back. Thanks for the feedback.

This is turning out to be a bit of a worry. After a whole serious of DMs via AirbnbHelp on Twitter I have been told that my Instant Booking has been turned off (as an explanation why guests didn’t use it), but when I checked my listing details nothing has changed and IB is very definitely on, just as it has been for the last 12 months. What is going on now???

I’ve had a number of guests who didn’t use instant book, they sent a request. I didn’t analyze why, I just looked at their profiles and then accepted.


Of course that is the most likely explanation, and I was over-analyzing.

I would still like to know what the cut-off point would be, as cabinhost said: is it an average of thumbs down, an average minimum star rating, or even just one thumbs down, at which guests would not qualify for IB if recommended by hosts is enabled. I have asked the question, but no answers yet.

By the way Airbnb help eventually apologized and agreed that our listing had Instant Book turned on all along.

It happens to me sometimes. I think some people don’t really understand instant booking, or want some kind of reassurance that there is someone who will answer OR maybe they contact more than one host and then go with the person who is most responsive? (Not even sure this is possible from a guest point of view).
Anyway when people say: “I was wondering if your place is available” or “I would love to stay in your flat” I guess they are new to Airbnb and think they must message in order to book.
Who knows?

1 Like

Thank you for your comments!
Although It turns out I was right to be a little concerned about this particular request to book, as Airbnb Support have just told me the reason these guests were unable to use Instant Book was one of the previous hosts did not indicate recommend or do not recommend. We can only speculate why they didn’t answer the question, but it looks like that’s all it takes for guests to loose the Instant Book option.
We’ll see how our guests turn out in reality next weekend, but already they have not replied to two messages about check-in details.

That’s good to know. I’ve only given 2 thumbs down out of 300+ and they were in the last 2 months. One fellow didn’t communicate his check in time and showed up two hours early. When I saw he deducted stars in three categories including check in I was glad I had given him the thumbs down. Just now I went to see if he has any reviews after mine and he doesn’t. He was on a cross country road trip so maybe I ended his Airbnb days. He had 5 reviews before mine. All his reviews of hosts were 1- 5 words.

Just thought I’d give an update on my last post. Chance turned out to be a very nice chap, and he and his friends left our place neat and tidy. I have recommended him to future hosts.

1 Like

This is very likely. It’s what I do when I’m looking at places and can’t quite decide which one to go for. I remember one particular occasion when the decision was made extremely easy by the contrasting responses I got!

1 Like