Accept or Decline

Level 9
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Accept or Decline

Many times we get a request with as little interaction as "Hello" in Chinese. The photo is of a puppet and they ask for 1 guest to stay.
I respond asking if they can confirm that its only 1 guest. kindly ask them to change the photo to a real one, and a name in English so that we can talk.
I get no response and yet airbnb requires me to accept or decline or the calendar dates will be blocked. If I decline I am penalized, and the choices of reasons why we decline is now limited to a couple of unreasonable choices. The reason to decline under "Other" which allowed us to explain why we decline, is now gone from the choices. Nobody wants to decline a booking. Thats why we list with you but punishing us because a possible guest refuses to answer is unfair and discriminatory.

We have a guest that requested 2 people but actually wants 4. I will have to decline as I cannot send a special offer for 4 people in a room that is suitable, as the bug in the software only allows me to select the room, change the dates but will default to the original 2 guest request.


Hosting for 9 years Superhost for most of that time and have grown each year.
6 Replies 6

It has been quite a few years since this was posted, still an issue today for us.


A guest wants to book some date (that is already full).  For example they want to book July 25th, they can't since it is already booked.


So they create a booking request for August 1st, in the comment field they say "I really want July 25th to celebrate my dog's birthday, can I book that date?"


AirBNB then forces us to request for decline.


I don't want to accept, the date is not available and we do not accept dogs.


I do not want to decline and get an penalty from Airbnb?


What is the correct way to deal with this situation?

Level 10
Copenhagen, Denmark

Hi @Robert1142 

Are you sure it isn’t an inquiry that they are sending you. That’s when they use the “contact host link”. If it is just ‘an inquiry’ all you have to do is reply asap. Just completely ignore the decline button. 
Also when you get “an inquiry” you will get the opportunity to either pre-approve or decline. Just ignore those and reply. If you receive an actual request where they have already entered credit card details etc. you will be able to either accept or decline. 
They look almost the same but when receiving ‘an inquiry’ all you have to do is reply with a message and you won’t get punished as with the request where you need to either accept or decline.

Ah, from a computer interface I see it says 'Inquiry'.   

It says the details of the booking dates, the inquiry comment and three options on buttons:

Special Offer

A reply was sent back to them quickly, so at this point nothing else should be required.

So you have to look carefully, but the inquiry is safe to 'ignore' those action buttons.


Level 2
London, United Kingdom

I have had similar problems - when required to accept, decline or pre approve I don't want do any of these if awaiting a response to a message between the guest and myself. (For instance if I'm answering a question they've posed, or asking them to complete ID verification or change the profile pic to one of themselves - rather than their dog!) Two things I am unclear about - 1) is the worst thing I can do to leave it pending and neither accept or decline? Does that affect my super host status? 2) I have stipulated that verified ID required to book and yet it get requests from unverified persons which it seems AirBnB expect me to preapprove/accept? Any way that I can deal with this other than decline all the time?

Any advice gratefully received. 

Level 10
Santa Clara, CA

Is it better to decline or let it expire? Have you tried calling AirBnB and asking what to do if no response is received? I guess they can contact directly the guest through the phone, or they can cancel it penalty free if no response is received. 


It has happened to us with some requests or IB. Even with filters, some guests manage to book without a picture. We noticed most of the times when no response is received is because of a language barrier. We try to send short messages now but we cannot host someone that we cannot understand. I think canceling will be more beneficial for both host and guest in this case. 


Level 9
Chiang Mai, Thailand


I have contacted the guest twice, I will let it expire and not accept or decline as its the guests lack of a response that is the reason.

I am getting more and more unhappy with the total focus on guests and less and less for hosts as the new cancelation policy shows. I worry that new hosts will also feel intimidated by the airbnb threat to close the calender and feeling under pressure to accept regardless. If replying to a guest and not having a responce, we can let it expire without a penalty, then they should say so.


The language problem is partly taken care of with the "Translate this to English" in the message section but I think the Chinese version of airbnb web site is lacking in its clarity or more likely its the "Dont Read" mentality thats the problem.

Hosting for 9 years Superhost for most of that time and have grown each year.

Explore Resource Center articles

Making your home ready for guests
Tips from Airbnb plus hosts: How to add thoughtful touches
Supporting guests during their stay