About 16 months ago I had a couple from Great Britain who booked for a week and simply never arrived. I was new to hosting back then, so I simply kept the room is good order, making it ready for arrival each day, thinking that perhaps they would show up a bit later, but as the days turned into a week there was no sign of the couple. The reservation ended, the couple had never come to the house, yet I had been paid. Two more weeks past, there was no communication and no review.
Fast forward to today in October 2020. Another couple, this time from Texas, booked for five days. On day three, no sign of them and no communication. I have seen people suggest we contact guests in these situations to ask their intentions and if they are okay. But, and I might sound harsh here, is that really my responsibility? I have done everything I have needed to do to get the room ready and make the house ready for their arrival. Is it my job to be their caretaker, find out where they are, and check on their status? There was actually a similar case, which I read about a few months back, where somebody did this on the second or third day, and the guest sent a sob story asking for a refund even though two days had already gone by and it was against the host's refund policy.
I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has ever had a guest pay for a week (or longer) and then simply never show up.
@Anthony608 , money for jam?
I suppose you generally contact them just before arrival and discuss check-in etc.?
Surely if communication is in place, someone's sudden change of plans isn't your business, and a cancellation policy is there for that reason.
"I have seen people suggest we contact guests in these situations to ask their intentions and if they are okay. But, and I might sound harsh here, is that really my responsibility?"
NO, it isn't.
A guest has booked Your place for a limited number of nights. This guest may use all of these nights, only 2 out of 5 nights or they may not arrive at all. All that is fine.
But what if the guest had a caraccicent? Well, what can You do 200 miles away from that accident? The local ambulance will take care of that. Or maybe a couple got into an argument on their way to Your place, make a U-turn and drive back home, who knows, I don't and this really isn't my business.
I always finalise arrangements with guests who are staying with me so I know their arrival time etc.
i think it’s courteous to check in with a guest who doesn’t arrive. After all it costs you nothing just a minute or two of your time @Anthony608
@Helen3- I use self check-in with any time after 3PM open to the guest to arrive. I send three messages prior. The first at the time of booking with an overview of the house rules, the second two to three days prior with the door code, and the third at the same time as the door code with a statement about enhanced cleaning and advising of the two shared spaces in the bathroom and kitchen.
Only about 20% of the guests ever reply to these messages and, of those, only 5% have ever provided an arrival time. And, I can honesty say, of that 5% only 1% has ever send messages updating me on their status if they will be late or giving an exact time of arrival. For this reason, I don't ever message guests asking where they are.
The only issue with not contacting a would-be guest (before they're due) is if they've somehow booked the wrong dates. Very awkward when they turn up for the dates they thought they'd booked.
Like @Helen3, I always make sure I finalise check-in details prior to arrival.
@Gordon0- I have only had that happen twice in nearly two hundred guests with people arriving on the wrong day. And both of them were dinklebats. One, I found out later, was probably a homeless girl on drugs, and the other was this new aged hippy couple that I don't think even knew what planet they were on. In fact, I recall those two talking about how they didn't believe in red lights and would drive through them; the guy had actually had his car impounded because he had missed court dates about this subject and owed thousands of dollars in unpaid red light camera tickets.
Anyway, both them (the couple had showed up 1AM the night before and the homeless girl a full day early) I made pay emergency extra day fees before I even let them in the house. No one since then (its been about eight months) has showed up on the wrong day.
we had 2 nights booking and the couple didn't provide us their check-in time so I had to contact them on the day of arrival (we don't have a self-check-in option). She responded immediately and said they mistakenly booked the wrong month and she didn't realize it until I contacted her.
No, it's definitely not the host's responsibility, but I do communicate with guests as to their arrival time because as a home-share host with no self-check-in, I wouldn't want to be waiting around the house for hours when I could be going shopping or attending to something else.
Also my house is hard to find and I usually pick my guests up at the bus station (almost no guests drive here- two in over 3 years), so I need to have a ETA and be aware if their flight was delayed or the bus was. All my guests have been good about this. One whose flight was delayed for several hours, another whose flight was cancelled so she was a day late, and another whose flight was overbooked, messaged me about it as soon as they knew.
Indeed, I recently sent a no-show/no-explanation multiple messages over 3 days, because I did not want to feel trapped in the house for the whole of his 3 day reservation, lest he should eventually arrive unannounced.
@Anthony608 I don't have the option of "independent arrival", to my great regret, it is forbidden to hang the mini-safe on our building.
Therefore, of course, I ask the guest for the arrival time and I am in touch with him, because I can't stand and wait for him all day from 15-21 hours.
Also, if the guest has medical problems, I need to know about it as early as possible, because the guest can then send a doctor's certificate in support of Airbnb and he will get my money back. Therefore, it is better to be aware of the situation immediately and ask him to make a cancellation so that the dates are open and someone else can rent a room.
I always make sure my guests reply to my welcome message to avoid 1 am phone calls looking for a door code, mid day interruptions to find parking, being blamed for wrong bed set up, pretending they did not know they could not smoke etc. My welcome message starts with
Your stay is coming up. ***YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED***
Having said that, it is not your responsibility to chase after the guest. It would change nothing. If they have Covid and request a cancellation after the fact, there is nothing you can do. If you reach out too much, they might start nagging for a refund and you will end either doing it or being the bad guy.