Customising availability of Instant Book

Customising availability of Instant Book

I would love to see the calendar options enhanced to show, instead of just "Blocked" and "Available", also a new status "Request" meaning that availability is to be determined by the host upon enquiry.


This change would benefit both guests and hosts: it would bring more hosts onto Instant Book as the main barrier to do so would be eliminated (not being able to control who books when). And it would benefit guests by ensuring their Instant Book is not a gamble on availability.


I host a few properties on airbnb and recently have switched on the Instant Book feature as this is sometimes a default selection when potential guests are seaching (depends on dates and maybe the device you're searching on) and I don't want my listings to be invisible by default.


This is great for getting last minute bookings, but not so great when trying to fill a calendar further ahead. For example a 2-day instant book can instantly mess up your calendar potential for getting longer bookings. 


There are workarounds and measures that can be taken, such as updating the "Pre-booking message" and/or house rules to state a restriction on Instant Bookings, but this is not ideal.


There are probably other such ideas in the pipeline, and I would welcome anyone's support or input into this proposal.


Thank you





Level 5

hi Lizzie, could you comment on what "Archived" means here and what if any follow-up there might be. I would like to see such discussion continued, if this is being consolidated elsewhere please do post a link. Or if the subject is being closedit would be great to have a reason.





Level 2

Thank you, Alex for asking the question about archived messages. I too would like to understand what this means and where I can go to see the archives. I tried a suggestion of going under messages and clicking on archives. Didn't see it. 


Level 5

Airbnb has introduced a facility to add restrictions to specific periods (availability settings under calendar)

This can be used to manage the issue of advance instant bookings. It is not perfect, but it's a workable solution.

Level 3

Hi Alex can't find this settings on app, maybe they will appear later on. Thanks manfredo

Level 5

Yes this is a more strategic function, not really for daily use on-the-fly, so may only be available on the desktop browser. It's a great feature though.


I noticed also that Airbnb are collecting detailed feedback whenever you turn off Instant Book, which is a good sign they are listening to hosts, and will be able improve things further.


Level 6

The Instant Book system favours the guests and the Airbnb policy machine...  If we could limit Instant Book for even 3 montha ahead, that would be immensly helpful.

I had to decline a booking made for New Year 2018(!) The family must've been incredibly prompt to make their booking 1 year in advance.  I was away at the time, and then had to decline the booking as the system will not let me block off dates as unavailable until those same dates are available for guests to book!

This cost my Superhost status, despite a 98% satisfaction rate.

I cannot get any response from Airbnb - it's an impossible task.

We just had to cancel an instant booking made for Christmas Day (it's 1st May) - it cost us our Superhost rating for a whole year (depsite 100% ratings for everything since we began this venture eight months ago) and the three days of the cancelled booking are now unavailable as per Air BnB policy, even though we could meet people in those two post Christmas days. Total cost - superhost satus for 12 months, three days of potential booking at prime time. No fine since it's our first "offence". It seems extraordinarily punitive . We state quite clearly we live over an hour away from the property and our capacity to meet people has limits, but instant booking doesn't require guests to read everything in the listing, or to be considerate. We could turn off Instant Booking and may have done so if we had been thinking 8 months ahead, but to do that then penalises us for the 95% time Instant Booking works fine. We need to have more control of when it is and isn't available. The suggestion of on and off periods and a request option are very good suggestions. Right now I'm so angry I'm going to investigate other hosting platforms. 

Level 6

I know exactly how you feel!!!  I eventually found help via the Twitter portal to @Airbnbhelp - I would strongly recommend trying to reach assistance there.  I managed to secure my Superhost Status and very kindly, have all the dates I would like blocked off from Instant Booking up to 2020.



Update- I rang Air BnB as per your suggestion Fiona (thank you!), and explained the situation. To my surprise, the call was answered swiftly and the issue delat with in a very friendly, supportive manner. Issue = resolved, at least insofar as the penalties were waived. The overarching issue of the need for IB to be a lot more flexible remains. The ABB person acknowledged that flexible functionality doesn't exist at present and said my feedback will be passed along. Hoefully somebody is listening and hosts will be able to use it as it could be so that everyone is happy.

Level 10

I would like to:

1. Add instant book selectively at the time of adding prices to the calendar

2. Be able to set seasonal rates without affecting the calendar limit (eg set xmas prices more than 6 months ahead, so it is already there when the calendar opens.


It is a juggle to have a limited calendar (3 months, or 6 months) but have to jump on immediately new dates open to adjust pricing. If I adjust pricing beforehand, it automatically opens the dates.


Other platforms offer many more options for pricing, exceptions, cancellations etc.