Number of Guests Booking: Suggestion for Airbnb

Level 10
Edmonton, Canada

Number of Guests Booking: Suggestion for Airbnb

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I have seen a common issue posted on the Community Center which happens with several hosts on Airbnb and that is with the number of guests people book for and the number of guests who show up at the door.  This is often a result of 1) a guest trying to "sneak" in extra guests because the host charges extra per person over "X" amount or 2) some guests feel that children should or are not considered people/guests.


Airbnb states that, ""You need to disclose the total number of guests accurately when making reservation requests, including infants and children (Travelling with children)." Now most people would not even know where to find this and it is not on the booking page when you choose the number of guests.  


Airbnb needs to change the way guests book when it comes to inputing the number of guests.  By guests showing up at a host's listing with more people than the host is expecting puts the guest and the host in a difficult position.  It is essentially starting the Airbnb experience out as a negative experience.  Any number of things could happen including 1) the host turning the guest away or only allowing the number of guests in that were booked or 2) putting the burden onto the host by now having to charge for extra guests.  This is not good for the Airbnb brand and you can bet the host will not be getting a favourable review even though the situation was not their fault.


I would like to see Airbnb add a box for the number of children that will be staying just like the airlines and hotels have on their sites.  This would also help out for those hosts who have not checked off "Family Friendly" as the search would not even show their listing if the children box is filled out.


What are your thoughts and experiences of extra guests showing up at your doorstep?  Should this be something that Airbnb should implement or leave it as it is?  


Please share your thoughts below AND complete this quick 2 question survey: (Results of the poll are here:


Here are a couple of examples of what Airbnb could include:








156 Replies 156
Level 2
Fort McMurray, Canada

I know it was a post from 2016, but do we have an option to activate a field in the booking form for entering the total nuber of guests staying in the property! so that it can trigger the applicable extra person charges!

Level 1
Gainesville, FL

This is a big issue for too.  I also have issues with people booking say a weekend and one night they want to have friends over and add 2 guests foir one night.  I have no way to properly charge for those 2 guests.  We would have to add for taxes and surcharge.

No meu caso, as pessoas dizem que não sabiam que o valor do anuncio era por pessoa (sendo que já coloquei um aviso na descrição de tantos casos que tive). Eles simplesmente reservam para 1 hospede achando que o valor é para o quarto e não por pessoa (mesmo se o valor fosse pelo quarto eu precisaria saber quantas pessoas são para deixar arrumadas as camas). Dai mando mensagem dizendo que o valor é por pessoa e acabam cancelando a reserva. Muitas vezes menos de 5 dias do check-in. Como minha politica é moderada, poderia não reembolsar o valor total, mas as pessoas ficam bravas, como se fosse minha culpa. Mas quem não alterou a quantidade de hospedes e não leu o anuncio? Mas acabo fazendo o reembolso para não me prejudicar... O Airb poderia colocar um aviso, antes dos hospedes confirmarem a reserva tipo - "Tem certeza que são X hospedes?" ou "Lembrou de colocar a quantidade de hospedes correta?" ou "Valor do anuncio por pessoa, altere a quantidade de hospedes" (nesse caso para os que cobram a mais por pessoa). Ajudaria muito, pois está sendo um desgaste muito grande.

Level 1
Gainesville, FL

We are new hosts and have a nice home with a pool, hot tub and outdoor kitchen.  It seems we get requests for 1 or 2 guest.  Then I get a message about 8 people coming, we sleep up to 8.  When you advise that they need to put in for 8 guests, the negotiating starts.  Of course, once that happens you start worrying about your rating.  I feel there needs to be a better way to confirm guests.  I have a camera on my front door so I can see how many come in but nowhere else.  

Level 10
Honolulu, HI



I have a fantastic idea for you that has been working at my 5 other Airbnb listings that I am the Co-Host in HAWAII and outside of Hawaii. I’m in charge of all check ins and Check Outs too. And we have outside security cameras too.  Make sure your listing reads that you have a security camera as it’s required by Airbnb to inform the guests. 


 1.  In your house rules area ,  clearly stipulate that this home of yours can only occupy 8 ppl total. And that ALL booking requests must indicate the exact number of guests.  When I get an instant booking ,  I ask the person who booked the house to submit the names of all guests. It’s in OUR HOUSE RULES.  So they are required to do so .  And Airbnb supports me every single time .  My opinion is that if a guest doesn’t want to submit the names ,  then maybe they are hiding something else . And that IB will be cancelled by Airbnb ASAP! 


2. Then add that your price is for 1-8 people. 

Your price is set on your calendar. Make that clear.   Sometimes I will send a special offer to someone who wants to arrive within 24 hours if they ask for a special rate to get their booking . SOMETIMES :))


3.  Then stipulate in your House Rules that if you discover that there are more than eight people staying there via this security footage, the booking will immediately be cancelled, Airbnb will be contacted, and no refund issued.  Also add  that Airbnb will support you 100% ! 


4.  You must also state whether or not you will allow visitors , but no additional overnight visitors will be tolerated or you will charge $____ for each extra overnight visitor. 


5. Airbnb has now added an extra selection on the resolution center for host to charge for extra guest  if it is discovered that more are staying then what was recorded in their booking. 


 We are all tired of travelers sneaking people in . I’ve written my rules to make sure that they know I will not tolerate this as the cohost and neither will the homeowner who hired me. Every host has been very pleased on how I have handled each large booking. 


 You just have to set the boundaries in your listing .  FYI - Even hotels don’t allow more then 4 ppl in a standard room. AND... they have security cameras everywhere too. 😉


 Let me know if this has been helpful for you. 


If you feel that me or another host have helped you, feel free to click on the "thumbs up" button at the end of any post. Thank you so much.

Aloha, Momi

Great way to contact Airbnb or via Twitter at AirbnbHelp / Facebook

Level 1
Gainesville, FL

Thank you and I finally had a chance to make those cahnges.

Level 2
Austin, TX

This happens to me so much , now I have to greet potential bookers with, "More than one person showing up to stay at the property will result in an immediate cancellation without a refund"


This is getting out of hand and Airbnb needs to do something about it. 

Level 2
Tampa, FL

Oh Lord please let this addition be added to the site. More than once we have had guests show up with MULTIPLE children that were not included in the reservation!

Hi guys. New host here and confused by the whole extra guest thing. So far only one host has showed up at my door with an extra guest. I mentioned how the reservation only said 6 and she pretended not to hear me/understand me so I let it go. Ironically, she is the ONLY guest so far who gave me 4 stars for overall experience. Everyone else has given us 5 stars. Go figure!

My questions on this topic are as follows:

1. I have a $25 extra guest fee posted but I noticed that when an extra guest is added (while testing it myself) the price went up by about $175 extra! How could this be? Shouldn't it have increased by just an extra $25 for the additional guest? I can see how this will discourage folks from being honest and sneaking in extra guests. I also get the gests who message me and say "We think we'll have an extra guest but he/she isn't sure yet. Will that be OK if they decide to come later?". Hummm, I am now starting to understand that!

2. The AB&B help section states that a host can turn away a guest who shows up with extra people. Is this commonly enforced by hosts?

3. The AB&B help section also states that they are not responsible for claims submitted for damages caused by an extra guest. Is this true? Anyone experienced this thus far?

After that one guest,  we changed our house rules to say no extra, unregistered guest allowed but sounds like that won't do us much good having read your stories :(.

Thanks for any feedback. 

Level 2
Oklahoma City, OK


The extra guest fee is not a one time fee. It is a per night fee. So if you had an extre guest for 7 nights, it would be an extra fee of $175. 

Wear and tear on your listing from too many occupants, can be expensive over time and increases your turnaround time. If you have an active listing this can cause time issues and burnout.


Level 1
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Hi, I've booked place for 3 adults and one 2 years old. I had to change the reservation because one adult cannot come. The problem is that host just removed one guest and now they are charging me for 3 adults and when I what to change reservation (adult to kid) I don't see such a option.

Level 10
London, United Kingdom



I would add that we have had it happen 3 times - and always an honest mistake - rather than someone sneaking people in. A bit impossible in our place! We always double check if we get a request for 1 person just in case. The platform should make the guest choose the number of people rather than setting the default as 1 person.

Level 1
Davao City, Philippines

Hi everyone!

I have a guest who booked for a 16 nights stay with one guest. We agreed on a special rate per night as he will shoulder the electric bill in his entire stay. He didn't mention about the family of his girlfriend and that they would stay there. I only got shocked when I found out more than 4 guests what is allowed by the property management of the condominium. At first I accepted his reason that it was his girlfriend's birthday and her family had to stay for a night. However, as the nights passed I found out again that there were still some people there except to the two of them. So I told him that I was disappointed with this and he got very mad and even told me he would give a review thar he's not recommending it to anyone. Not only that, he even told me he would talk to his legal team and come back to us. Really just unbelievable experience, this is my first time to encounter this kind of guest.

Yes we have had this problem more than once. Kids are so messy, and there is so much cleaning after, I want to put a cleaning fee for kids.  Today what normally should have been about and hour and a half spent cleaning turned into 4 hours!  That, to me, is outrageous!  Kids eat all over the house, smear the glass, take out things, etc.  The parents should be more responsible.

The lady who checked in put down 5 guests as that is all we recommend but 9 showed up.  Four being kids. 

Air could easily fix this issue by adding the boxes you suggested and I hope they do.

Thank you, Kim

Level 2
Occidental, CA

I would like one more column for a total number of guests to book.  I have a maximum of 2 guests because there is 1 bedroom and a queen bed.  Before I accept booking, I respond, making sure they understand this. Even with doing this people have complained. I have a sofa which is where they put their sneak in guests.  I now lock all extra towels, sheets, and blankets away.

Sonoma County, CA is now cracking down and enforcing codes through the recently voted in higher TOT tax.  The money goes into enforcement and sends letters and information to any property within 300' of your Air BnB. This sets up the neighbors to complain if there's more than X people, cars, a radio, noise (even only voices) between 10PM and 7AM.  It also includes rules for BBQ, fire pits, and more. Now as a host, I have to be 24/7 within a close distance to property and respond within 1/2 hr based on the complain. 3 complaints and you may be in jeprody as AirBnB. I don't know how to get guests to understand how crititcal these new rules are. AirBnB is now collecting the taxes for unincorporated Sonoma County which then makes it easy for the county to check your zoning, your TOT certificate, you have to get a building permit now, and last of all take a host exam and pay a fee to become a certified host.

@Dave0 and deb


Now that is something very common here. I usually tell them in an email after they booked and paid that the number stipulated in the booking is the number that I will allow inside my home. And I make sure I mention that I have no obligation to accept surprises at the door when check in is done. I think is just a matter of saying--if you bring an extra person, it won't be possible to accommodate them in the premises, they must see a place outside. I have done it and it worked.

Level 1
Sint-Gillis-Waas, Belgium

Reading the comments I see a few issues


1) Wear and Tear / Broken things - things get broken, they should be paid. There is a host insurance in place for this, no? Saw something about this when a host's place was trashed. Of course it is difficult to track this if you only figure damage out after a few weeks.


2) If you have more cleaning to do because of kids, the cleaning fee should be higher based on the number of guests, not the nightly rate. And maybe in the guests evaluations, it should add a rating for "cleanliness" and how they leave the place. We travel a lot with kids and we always clean the place after we leave it. Except for the extra bed sheets/towel that needs to be washed, no sign kids travelled with us (and yes, we travel with toddlers).


When I rent a place, I expect to rent and use the whole place. Not just one bed. Maybe an idea to lock doors to the extra bed rooms (they can choose the room upon arrival) if you don't want other beds used?

Thanks so much @Dave-and-Deb0 for posting. We have tricky regulations where someone bringing undisclosed children could put us over occupancy and threaten our licensing, so this is a very serious issue for hosts and we need AirBNB cooperation.  No one wants the headline "8 crammed into one AirBNB room die in fire" to get attention for how this threatens guest safety, and we sometimes need to protect guests from themselves.


I love the suggestions already made.


One tip for hosts: we price our homes for max occupancy, and don't even monkey with "per person" rates. Its a strategy to consider; I don't like systems that reward liars, and by setting a single rate it evens out.


I really love the suggestion of an "over occupancy" charge and a "late checkout" charge--both are related as they significantly add cleaning time and interfere with the next guest's stay. These should be "take the host's word for it" charges, as we've had a terrible time with resolution center staff -- what do we do, take a picture of the guest with a clock in the background? Forward cleaning staff texts saying "guests are still here- I can't get in" with the time stamp?


Our big problem is that with overstaying guests (usually occupancy liars as well) in the peak season, one guest can destroy the time window for cleaning for the next guest, putting hosts in a position where the home isn't clean enough for the next guest, or you need to compensate the next guest because staff needs 2 more hours to get the home clean and ready. There should also be a policy of not allowing overstayers/occupancy liars to leave a review, when that issue has come up.  Already, one bad guest generates 2 less-than stellar reviews, because the bad guest is mad that they were caught with extra guests and no leaving on time, and the innocent guest is peeved that the home wasn't clean/ready on time.

Level 10
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

@Dave-and-Deb0 Also appreciated your accommodation description and house rules.  Thank you.

Level 10
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

I'm new and 2x of my instant bookings tried just this.  Having taken alot of time over reading the Airbnb information before and during listing, I had no idea that a prospective guest would:

1.  attempt to negotiate AFTER booking

2. disregard the house rules

3.  knowingly apply this strategy


One person tried to have 2x children under the age of 12, somehow accommodated in a queen bedroom which can only accommodate two even though the property is not appropriate for children under the age of 12.  I politely refused this and offered another listing.


The second person booked for one but wanted the house to accommodate 7x when it expressly says it accommodates a MAXIMUM 6x.  Assuming there wasn't an issue with this particular situation in canceling the instant booking I offered another option while continuing to message one another.  In this case I got stuck with a 'cancelation' even though there was only 10 minutes between the instant booking and the cancelation and the person had purposefully instant booked for one as a way of getting around the booking bot.


The deal is a certain amount of money for a certain number of guests.  The instant book facility has merit but when people lie when they make the instant booking, this is going to create tension, frustration and anger.


People appear to be interpreting instant booking as a strategy to negotiate better terms for themselves regardless of the House Rules and any other conditions.

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