Report 3rd Party Booking Requests
First, thank you for this forum. Greatly appreciated.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH A 3RD PARTY REQUEST
A user with a photo but no profile description recently requested a long-term (91 day) stay at my property "for my boss and his family." Slow realization of the risks inherent in this situation caused me great angst. With pressure to Accept or Decline promptly, I felt placed in an awkward position of attempting to obtain personal information on the actual guest and "family," worried I would be judged as "discriminatory" but ... if open-ended questions don't work... Ultimately I declined as I just didn't feel comfortable with the guest without more information. Did I just lose $22k booking from a legitimate situation with a busy executive assistant who just doesn't understand the AirBnb trust is based on forthcoming profiles and the mutual review process? With help from other hosts in the Community Forum, I learned my angst was well placed--indeed the practice of third-party booking is not permitted by AirBnb, and there's a long list of good reasons why.
So, how to curtail this activity, with the following goals:
(a) assist LEGITIMATE users booking for corporate execs to properly register as a Business Travel Manager, and
(b) relieve host fear that declining/canceling a booking for 3rd party will reflect poorly upon them
1. Add "3rd Party Booking not Permitted" to "Reasons for Declining." This selection could automatically generate a gracious invitation from AirBnb to register the 3rd party user with the accompanying credit and/or sign up for the Business Travel Manager program; if neither happened within a certain number of days, then another follow-up list could be generated for AirBnb to review user activity to de-activate if appropriate.
2. Add "Requesting to book for 3rd Party" to the short list of options for FLAGGING a User Profile
This problem is more prevalent than I initially guessed. My listing has barely been up a few months and I have had two requests that are suspicious. Many threads exist where experienced hosts help panicked newbies through this, but an automated process would cut down a lot of angst and stress. The titles are diverse ("help - guest different than user!" or "how to cancel 3rd party guest!" sometimes spelled out "Third Party," or "what to do if guest not same as reservation," or "is my guest subletting?"...
Some hosts noted they have accommodated say a nontech-savvy parent being booked by their child, not a big deal. In cases where there is ample and confidence-building disclosure, perhaps we are willing to take a risk, but the name of guest should be included in the reservation so that the Host Guarantee and Host Coverage are still active for that stay (if this is true?)
Please consider a simple notification to all hosts that reiterates AirBnb policy and informs us that there is now a selection in the DECLINE function to effortlessly avoid and report 3rd Party Booking requests.