I appreciate that Airbnb is trying to step up protection of hosts, but the number of legitimate reservations getting blocked is getting unreasonable and causing lots of lost income, and hosts need control to override these blocks. Here are some examples (ones I know about...I'm sure there are plenty more where I don't), just in the past week where guests have been blocked from booking due to being at risk of partying:
1. Guest had a reservation cancelled on her after she arrived at property (with another host), tried to book same day with me for a 1 month+ stay, got blocked.
2. Guest was currently staying with me, didn't accept the change request in time, couldn't request a new reservation to stay 2 more weeks with me.
3. Guest who has stayed with me twice before, easygoing business traveler, getting blocked on a same-day booking for a guesthouse she has stayed in twice before with me without any issues.
Hosts need to have the ability to override in situations that they deem okay. At the VERY LEAST support needs to be able to make judgements to allow the booking, or override based on a host request and reasonable justification for why it's okay. I have had numerous support agents who agree there's no logical reason to block it, but they just can't do anything about it. A few months ago I had a woman needing to evacuate with her elderly parents and 2 dogs due to a fire and was panicking because we couldn't get the reservation to go through. In the end she had a personal friend who was an executive at Airbnb make the booking on her personal account, the fact that even an Airbnb exec couldn't push the booking through for her friend evacuating for a fire because the Airbnb algorithm decides she's a party risk is illogical. At a certain point we need to be able to use our human judgement when the algorithm is going haywire.
@Sara952 I agree completely. The Airbnb algorithm actually seems to be in all around overdrive these days, catching things in its net that don't belong there. Your examples are good evidence of that. There have been others, not related to 'party blocking'.
Hosts are fully capable of deciding when a booking is acceptable. We are, after all, home owning adults capable of independent, critical thought. Not 2 year olds. There should be a way to override the almighty and not-that-sharp algorithm.
PS @Sara952 You can always welcome the returning guests off the platform, if you want.
Thanks for the response and support. This is one of those issues that keeps pushing me towards doing direct bookings, though I haven't quite gotten it set up yet. I have a co-hosting business that manages about $3million+ in bookings per year, and the logistics of how to take payment, disburse payment to homeowners, extra insurance for short-term rentals are things I probably need to hire someone full time to manage and set a lot more systems in place before taking the plunge. I haven't even been able to find a company that will provide the extra insurance the homeowners want to feel protected, most places won't take homes over $1million in value (literally any home in Los Angeles), and even the ones who will take those, won't take the high value homes $5million+, which are the ones that would make the endeavor worthwhile. I prefer to stay on Airbnb, but when they do things like this it seems like they don't want our business.
Most people interested in my place start by trying to book via Airbnb, but if they encounter too many problems, they book either via a different booking agency or book direct.
With repeat guests I would just take direct bookings if they had been good guests previously @Sara952
Are you listing with other platforms which new guests can use if you want to consider their bookings and Airbnb is blocking the guests?