Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

Level 2
19,547 Views

I have a guest that booked 9/8-22 who now wants to come just for 9/11-21.  

 

I have a strict cancellation policy.  

 

AirBnB is asking me to accept or decline this date change request.  

 

Are there any pitfalls around this request that I should be aware of?  I have learned that we should not accept a cancellation request from a guest as it can hurt our metrics, etc. but what about in the case of someone just wanting to shorten their stay?

 

ALSO, when someone requests that we cancel, I learned that we as hosts have 24 hours to decline and if we do not decline within that 24 hour period, the reservation is automatically cancelled.  Would this be the same for a request to have a reservation shortened--where we must actively decline it within 24 hours or guest automatically gets their stay shortened and expense lessened?

 

Thanks for any guidance you can provide!  

 

 

28 Replies

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico
Level 2

Hola Stephanie!

 

This is a great question!  I had to do a little research!

 

First, lets revisit the different cancellation policies Airbnb offers:

 

When you create your Airbnb listing you select one of three standardcancellation policies: Flexible: Fullrefund 1 day prior to arrival, except fees. Moderate: Full refund 5 days prior to arrival, except fees. Strict: 50% refund up to 1 week prior to arrival, except fees.

 

Because you have chosen a strict policy, and the guests still has 12 days (more than 1 week) from thier original reservation date, they still have an opportunity to cancel their reservation all together, less 50% and fees.

 

Short answer, I would go ahead and approve the adjustment request and unblock the other dates ASAP.  This should not affect your stats, plus it's a great segway to a good review.

 

On the other hand, you can dig a little deeper and ask why the reservation change, see if you can save the full reservation.  If not, inform them what will happen if they decide to cancel.

 

Learning from my hospitality background, it's always best to ask questions before cancelling a reservation.  There's no harm in asking and you can save a booking.  The worst thay can do is not respond.

 

Otherwise, you can decline thier request and keep the original dates, and you might get a disgruntaled guest for a few nights, and, unfortunately, possibly a negative review.

 

If you like, ask them why they are adjusting their dates and post why. Maybe I can help further.

 

We've had similar situations and always seemed to work things out where both guest and hosts come out happy.

 

Hope that's helpful.

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

Level 2

Thank you Marlon and Izzie..

 

Their shortened stay request is due to her daughter in law expecting her grandchild and arrangements around that.  

 

I would normally be happy to accommodate their request for a shortened stay.  I am having a problem with this in that I had reduced my rates for her based on an original 17 night stay, then she wanted to cut it to 14 nights, which I agreed to at the same lowered rates, and now she has it down to 10...

 

 

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Washington, DC
Level 9

Hey Stephanie,

 

It's Izzie with @Marlon-and-Izzie0.

 

That's great news!  Provided they are telling the truth, and you can never really determine that - with any guest, you still have control.

 

I had a guest that originally booked for several days, and even requested a discount.  I was happy to comply and then she requested a date change, which was fine.  Unfortunately, she decided to cancel, I exercise the Strict Policy, so she ended up losing 50% of the original reservation total fees.  I sent her a message, which is a template in my "Saved Messages," and offered her a small discount for a future booking should she decide to consider booking with us again in the future.  Grant it, this is very unlikely, HOWEVER, we technically didn't loose money on a cancelled booking (we maybe even gained a little profit for no booking at all) but we also saved potential future business via her word of mouth.  Although not all cancelled guests who loose money will see it the same way, I like to think of the later.

 

So, in your situation, this is what I would do:

 

If you haven't already, decline their request, but first send them an message notifying them that you are doing so.  The reason you are doing this is because you would like to provide them an alternative offer.  Explain to them what you explained in your last post.  Let them know that if they wish to shorten their stay, they will not get the same discount as was originally offered.  If they are reasonable, they will understand.

 

If you like, you can include that, if they are unhappy with your offer, you will work with them to find a resolution that will still benefit both guest and host.  Also remind them that if they decide to cancel all togehter, that they will not receive a full refund, however, you will offer to assist them find another Airbnb host in your area that maybe more accommadting and within their budget.  

 

Often times, guests won't hold you to that offer, but this shows them that, although you are not backing down on your cancellation policy, or original price, you are willing to work with them.

 

I have some templates you are free to use if you like, adjust them to fit your needs.  Message me if you would like them.

 

Hope this is helpful!

 

Happy Hosting!

Izzie, Co-Host

LOV Puerto Rico

 

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Minneapolis, MN
Level 2

Ozzie, if the offer stands I’d love to see your templates for such dialogues. You seem very well versed in these situations!

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Minneapolis, MN
Level 2

and I see auto correct changed Izzie to Ozzie !

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Gianyar, Indonesia
Level 2

(Those templates sound really useful Izzie. May I have copies too? (Jen in Adelaide Australia).

 

 

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

Level 2

Izzie, 

 

I am having a similar situation. Do you think it could be possible to have access to your templates? I am sure they could really help me to be more prepared for future situations. 

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Greensboro, NC
Level 1

Izzie,

 

I have a guest who booked the entire summer after 1 Day she wanted to cancel because she found somewhere else for free. I have strict policy and denied her. Now she wants to stay for the 28 days she paid for and sent a cancellation which i accepted. An few hrs later she changed it again for another day because she realized it was going to cost her another $200 so I have to accept the cancellation again and now lose this money too?  Do you have a template that would allow for me to decline? 

 

Thanks for your help. 

Lorraine

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Troms, Norway
Level 10

@Stephanie336

This has nothing to do with cancellation or cancellation policies - it is simply a request for amending the dates.  Accepting, the booking will be amended and the calendar updated accordingly.  

There are pitfalls to such requests, but these are usually last minute ones asking to postpone their stay, and when accepted they would cancel and be within the limit for a full refund.

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

@Stephanie336 And you might also remember to mention that fact in the review. Whatever reason, you have a right to inform other hosts, who will be grateful for it.

// "The only person you can trust is yourself"

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico
Level 2

Agreed!

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Hamilton, Canada
Level 10

I'm with you, Marzena. Requesting a change in a reservation - with the applicable refund - should be noted on a Host review. 

 

This is a business. If the change will probably result in replacement business, or a welcome break, or no problemo, so be it. And more often than not, the guest is quite grateful for the accommodation. But it can also morph into an expectation. Other prospective guests and other hosts should be made aware of your policies in these areas. And you're less likely to habitual date changers.

 

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

Graciously accepting his request will free your calendar and make for good will.

Except for "losing" the one last day's rent, there is no downside.

And with 3 weeks to go, there is a high chance it will book.

Re: Guest Requests To Shorten Stay

Level 2

I am having a problem with this in that I had reduced my rates for her based on an original 17 night stay, then she wanted to cut it to 14 nights, which I agreed to at the same lowered rates, and now she has it down to 10...

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