Why don't guests read my self check-in guide?


We don’t stand a chance for folks to actually read & absorb what we have in writing. I think that is why I have found I must provide information multiple times.

I wonder if there is an age “thing” occurring.

I didn’t grow up texting & emailing. Communication was primarily spoken word.

I wonder if the generation that has grown up not talking (texting one another while they sit at the restaurant at the same table) absorbs the written information better?

Or maybe when someone is planning a trip with the kids needing something, the phone ringing, someone texting, Airbnb messaging chiming, packing, cleaning, organizing, planning, getting the car serviced, etc. just getting there is the goal?

I don’t think so. We recently had an elderly gentleman who ignored all my attempts to contact him to answer a few questions. I sent 2 emails, texts, and voice mail on his cellphone. I mainly wanted to find out what time he was arriving. He showed up unannounced and explained that he didn’t read my messages because he assumed they were just confirmations.

Your experience may indicate there is an age thing going on.

I had an older guy do the same to me (two hours before check in window opens) and tell me he doesn’t have a smart phone so can’t check his messages on the road. Ok but my check in time is on your reservation on the computer you used to find me.

With some people I suspect it’s just an excuse. Quite able to navigate the internet when it suits them and unable to do so when it doesn’t.


See! I’m just as guilty! I was skimming quickly and saw “age” and “texting” and thought you were saying the opposite.


Hidden phrase. Genius! I wish Airbnb would do that with our house rules!

You can go into your house rules (the version on Air) and put it there, if you are not sending your guests to an online house manual.

My hidden phrase leads into a fun bit of local color, so it’s an ice breaker. Also, some guests creatively re-hide the hidden phrase in a reply sentence of their own. These are the wordsmiths that I know I will love.

1 Like

But presumably you could only hide a word in your rules for fun. I would want Airbnb to only release the listing details or WiFi password on receiving the codeword. So many problems could be spared if guests would read!

Oh I see, you would like an automated process? We can dream …

Nothing wrong with a bit of fantasy. Perfectly behaved Stepford guests please!

We have a new hotel in town that boasts that it hardly employs any staff at all. Certainly not at the reception desk. Everything is self check-in by mobile phone app. No personal interaction whatsoever.

This hotel opened only a few months ago, and there were great articles about this New Concept in lots of glossy hotel magazines. They heaped praise over praise on the young owners of this hotel.

I expect this hotel to go out of business, sooner rather than later.


I would be scared to stay in that hotel, no staff to maintain behaviour of other guests. Could be a magnet for anti social types or sex pests!

We do self check in exclusively.

I send a message through ABB the night before check-in with instructions and the guest’s unique door code. I have a saved message, but I adjust it for each guest to add that personal touch.

70-something check-ins since November 2017… not a problem or complaint about check-in yet, and the banner on my dashboard says “recent high marks for arrival and communication” all the time.

I think @CatskillsGrrl hits the nail on the head. I’ve noticed as an ABB traveler that many hosts don’t have the same standards of communication we maintain… I recently stayed at a place where the hosts “check in guide” told me to look for her car to know the correct place. Of course, her car wasn’t there. Although I did read the instructions thoroughly I had to wander around the townhome complex on foot looking at darkened addresses on front doors hoping I wouldn’t get shot.

True. And this is no different at a self check-in Airbnb, of course.

1 Like

Not so much if the host lives there, though

I email a “renters guide” to my guests. Additionally. I leave a laminated copy by the front door. It has solved all communication needs.

That’s too many for my taste.

Interestingly the multi-million dollar house I rented in Costa Rica’s rules list looked like this:



(yes, that’s blank space).

These kinds of rules, if in the listing, would probably keep me from booking that place. It would have to be something special. If I didn’t see them until I got to the rental I’d probably read them and not get too bent about it. I’m naturally an outstanding guest so not worried.

1 Like

I use smartbnb sends out messages a few days before they check-in. Very convenient. You set it up and it goes out automatically. Just some important points. They won’t read if it’s too long. Then I send out a message next day after they check-in to ask if everything is OK. Then the night before message them check-out instructions and reminder. All automatically by smartbnb. Saved me a lot of work. Monthly fees are OK. not like some other website charges $30 per month per listing to do it.

1 Like

No, I don’t expect the guests to read everything, but I just got an inquiry and, after pre-approving, the question “Is it furnished?”

After that I remove pre-approval and block, LOL. (ok, maybe not that harsh but wtf.)