Charging for Early Check-In?

Charging for Early Check-In?

I recently changed the description of my listing to state that I would charge $25 to guests who want to check-in early or check-out late. 


Probably 60% of my guests either ask to check-in early or to drop their bags off so they can explore the city. It is actually a nuisance to deal with because it disrupts the cleaning process. I really did so in hopes that it would deter people from asking to check-in early, but if they really wanted to at least there would be some incentive for me to expedite the cleaning. 


Do you think this is a good idea, or do you think guest would think I am trying to nickel and dime them?



49 Replies 49
Level 10
La Quinta, CA

@Kalin-And-Marquis0   First of all, 174 reviews from a single listing...impressive!  You have a very generous check in time, 3-11PM and a noon check out time that is later than most hotels.  Yes the guests will think they are being nickled and dimed whenever you add a fee for something they think they need.  Haven't you ever left your luggage at a hotel after check out or dropped off your luggage before check in?  Did you pay for that?  If you really cannot accommodate the luggage in the space, perhaps you can research a luggage drop off service in your area and make a referral?


Since you have created a very good listing with great reviews, I wonder if you can take a step back and consider a few changes that will take the pressure off.  Rather than a separate fee, just up your rate a few dollars and perhaps increase the cleaning fee a little bit.   Overall you will increase revenue but not price yourself out of the market.  I also suggest that you add a prep day after every reservation or at the very least do not take same day reservations.  This will take pressure off you and the rate increase will make up for it overall.   Just a thought

@Linda108 Thank you for the compliments and the advice. The problem with dropping the bags off is sometimes we have a guest who hasnt checked out yet, while a new guest wants to drop their bags off early. We don't have a place to store those bags, so I guess I could look into some alternate way to do so.


I defintely don't like being nickel and dimed myself, so I would not want my guests to feel that way.  I have that generous check in and out policy because I try to be convenient for the guests. I do all of my own cleaning since I work from home and it helps me save.  I will defintely take your advice into consideration. 

You don't have space to store luggage?  I let early/late guests put their luggage in a corner of my living room.  If I didn't have that space, I'd find somewhere like a closet, laundry room, corner of the kitchen, etc.  It's such a small thing but allowing early/late check-in/out at no cost goes a long way in creating good vibes and a 5 star review.  

@Michael956 No I do not have the space. I live in a 1100sq ft condo inside the city and there is very minimal closet space. There is no place to store their luggage, and I really dont want to be responsible for their luggage before they check in. Even not allowing it, I still do get mostly 5 star reviews. I try to accomodate guests as much as possible, but the early check-in thing just doesnt work well. My guests check out at 12pm and new guests arrive at 3pm. That leaves only a 3 hour window for cleaning. 

@Kalin-And-Marquis0  Got it.  I have 12 p.m. check out and 3 p.m. check in, too,  and I know how exhausting and stressful it is to get everything ready in those 3 hours (and I rent 3 rooms in my house on Airbnb and when all 3 rooms check out the same day--which fortunately doesn't happen often--it's a nightmare, and I do it all by myself).   Although I allow early check-ins--sometimes as early as 9 a.m. if their flight arrives early--I don't like it as it adds to the stress.   I make it clear to them that they came come early, but not to expect to be able to enter their bedroom until 3 p.m.  

@Michael2364  With my experience more than half of the guests who asked for early checkin are not ideal guests. Even if you let them early check in, they  don’t appreciate that.

I agree! Also I have a ring doorbell camera and half the time they don’t even arrive early! I rush to get it cleaned a ready for them and they don’t even arrive early! I think they just want the option. If I charge a small fee they will usually say “no that’s ok, we don’t need it”. 

@Michael956 wrote:

 I let early/late guests put their luggage in a corner of my living room.  If I didn't have that space, I'd find somewhere like a closet, laundry room, corner of the kitchen, etc.  It's such a small thing 

I dont agree at all that it's a small thing.

Storing luggage is a responsibility - you are responsible if anything happens to their luggage.

You also must be there when they come back to get it, or leave them the keys during that time.

Some properties just don't have the space.

What if the luggage is still there when next guest arrives?

I had a guest who "just wanted to bring in and store luggage" at 8 am in the morning - when other guests WERE STILL THERE.

It all depends on your space and your set up, but again we are not hotels and thank goodness can still set some of our own rules.  If you need middle of the night check in and luggage concierge service make sure your airbnb host offers these things it is not a given.

Regarding luggage drop off, I never allow it. Never, ever. And that is because every time the guests did that, they actually used the bathroom, showered and/or changed clothes, sat down and mapped out directions to their event, turned on the TV to hear the the local news. or made phone calls. That is "checking-in" to me! Once they step inside the space, they didn't leave for an hour or two and I never wanted to sound like a jerk and kick them out. I could just imagine a review that says "Host kicked out of of the space that we rented! Not fair! Do NOT stay here!"  So I just had to suck it up and let them be there. So now I just have a hard no to luggage drop-off. 


Now if I know my space will be ready for them early, I simply suggest they just check in early. It puts both of us at the same mental space and expecations.

@Sharon1421  ABSOLUTELY same.
Guests get permission to come in drop off luggage and then it's Oh I just have to go to the bathroom, get changed, unpack my beach clothes, etc. all while cleaners still trying to finish.

Other thing that happened, guest dropped off luggage early and left some plastic shopping bags.  Cleaners thought they were trash bags (similar to what we use).

Guest accused cleaners of stealing her shopping.  Bad all around.

Now we make it very clear, luggage drop off is no "little thing".  We only accept on prior agreement and only accept large bags no small bags, laptops, purses, or shopping bags.

Taking a prep day is very bad advice. You can be loosing as much as 20% revenue from all those empty days. The proper financial advice has always been to find an efficient process to not need a prep day. Try it out and you will see the big difference in income you get.

And you will also create additional wear and tear to your unit if you are booked more than 75% of the time.  Adjust your pricing.

fully agree, lets all get assertive, communicate well.
What hotel lets you check in in the morning and check out in the afternoon?
Um.. None!
Get assertive, communicate and set your limits.
In high season for me a guest inevitably get the message 3x:

Check out is 10 am with luggage!  No exceptions in high season if you want to stay later please book an extra night! 

You have to tell them:

- before they book (ib message or quick reply special offer/preapprove message)
- when they book (direct communication)
- at check in (personal contact)
- day before check out (automated message)

Blocking a night between stays to accomodate luggage storage, for superhosts booked 99% of their calendar, is not an option.

Upping the fee for a few dollars, does not at all compensate the potential liability of taking responsability for a guests personal belongings outside of the reservation time.

What if the guest accuses you of stealing her backpack with her expensive makeup and jewellry in it?  What if a guest mistakenly leaves a bag in the cab an then accuses you of stealing it ?

We hold luggage selectively and occasionally when we are sure of a trouble-free guest and with many disclaimers.