Well after about a week of battling with the system and trying to figure out how to turn off instant book (no button appeared anywhere on my interface) and a bunch of phonecalls to Airbnb, I've finally received this email...
My name is Michael with the Airbnb Trip Experience Team, and I wanted to reach out to you today regarding your reservations due to Instant Booking.
When you sign up for Airbnb and activate your listing, guests will be able to book your space without needing to request approval. This feature can’t be turned off, but you have the option to require all guests to meet additional requirements before they’re able to instantly book your space. This gives you more control over who can stay in your listing.
Here are a few ways to control who gets to book instantly:
1. Set your reservation preferences
You can use reservation preferences to control when and for how long guests can book your space. You can also block days before and between reservations to give you time to prepare. Read more about how to set your reservation preferences here:https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1210/
2. Set guest requirements.
All guests will have to provide Airbnb with certain information to book. You can also decide whether you’d like all your guests to meet additional requirements. Read more about guest requirements here: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1170/
3. Set House Rules.
In addition to meeting guest requirements, you can set House Rules that guests must agree to before booking. You’ll be able to cancel penalty-free if a guest breaks your House Rules. Read more about setting House Rules here:https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/472/
I hope this helps! Please don't hesitate to let me know if there's anything else I can help you with.
I find this completely unacceptable and as a result will be withdrawing from this platform altogether. I want to speak to the guests and vet them first before I decide who I let into my apartments, and a bunch of settings and ticks Airbnb have added (agree house rules, verify ID) does not help whatsoever.
It has also caused me an inconvinience TWICE as the Airbnb calendar doesn't sync very well with my other calendar, as a result the apartment was double booked, and when I cancelled the reservations I was charged penalties (something the "case managers" are still looking into).
Has anyone else had this experience?
Has anybody else
Wow, no I haven't as I can still select the option to not allow guests to book instantly:
Who can book instantly
Choose who can book available days on the spot.
Guests who meet Airbnb’s requirements
Guests who meet Airbnb’s requirements and are recommended by other hosts
No one. Guests who meet Airbnb’s requirements must wait for your response.
Don't you have this option?
I am having problems with bookings though as for the past few weeks people have only been able to send me booking enquiries/pre-approvals and not booking requests. I wonder if this has something to do with me not having instant book enabled.
@Samuel and @Hayley This same topic has been discussed in several other threads here in the CC. A few hosts such as yourself, Samuel, have received similar communications from AirBnB; others have not. Apparently, this is a limited (for now) "experiment" being conducted (without notice) on a limited number of new listings. We haven't heard from any hosts of older listings that it was happening to them. I suspect that if AirBnB is happy with the way the experiment goes, they'll soon make the same change to older listings. At which time, I also suspect that a lot of hosts will shut down their listings. I will.
Ergh, why would they make this mandatory! How stupid.
It's like they are trying to make people use their platform exclusively. Greedy.
I won't be able to manage bookings this way as whether or not I accept a booking depends on a few factors. Sometimes I can accept back-to-back bookings and sometimes I can't. I would have to set my parameters to leave a day between bookings and this would mean I would lose out on some reservations that I would otherwise be able to accept! How frustrating!
On another topic - for some reason people can't send me booking requests anymore, only booking enquiries. Any ideas what may be happening?
If airbnb makes Instant Book mandatory, I will shut mine down, too.
I want to able to find out a bit about the people who will be staying on the same property as my family.
But, more importantly, I am not able to check guests in every day of the week. Fridays are usually out, and depending on commitments, other days might not be possible as well. If I "block off" Fridays, guests who want to check in before and stay until after a Friday won't be able to book my place because the Fridays are blocked off even though the apartmens are available.
Also, I have 2 listings and have to be careful to coordinate comings and goings to ensure that I have enough time to clean up the apartments and get them ready for guests, in addition to the other commitments in my life = 2 part time jobs and a life.
This is causing quite a stir in my community. I lead a local meetup group of Airbnb hosts. Our next meeting will be devoted to this, and I'm considering working up a petition against mandatory Instant Book. It's DEATH for anyone who relies on syncing calendars and/or who uses other platforms.
WOW!!! Samuel how unethical! I just tried to look at your listing but couldn’t see are anything - have this forced you to remove your listing?
I'm so sorry, this is very poor of Airbnb! I myself have one listing on Instant Booking but it was my choice and I would hate to be made to put my other listing on Instant Booking, I would definitely have to deactivate that listing if it came down to that as it is not suited to IB.
I'm in shock to be honest! And to be used as one of their experiments without notifying you is appalling - I wonder what would have happened if someone booked your place and you were unable to accommodate their request, I wonder if Airbnb would have waved their cancellation penalties in such an instance for putting you in that position.
I have heard of a number of Airbnb’s little experiments but some such as this are unacceptable for a number of reasons/ personal commitments which might restrict a host’s availability.
You could write a formal letter of complaint, it is a discrimination of sort, they are a platform open to the general public which you are, they offer both Instant Booking and Request to Book options but are forcing you to choose IB.
I wish you all the best,
Outrageous. It will lead to double bookings and more cancellations as a result. Can't blame you for withdrawing. I don't want IB either. I understand one reason for Air wanting IB is that hosts can't discriminate against race etc, Air is in the news presently because of increased difficulty in booking due to possible racism. Believe thay are being sued as a result, and maybe this is the outcome.
@Sandra I'd hesitated to bring up the possible link to racial discrimination but I'm both fairly certain that it takes place, and almost as sure that it might be a factor in AirBnB looking into imposing IB for everyone. I still don't believe that's the only appropriate or necessary response to racially-influenced bookings. However, it might happen to be the easiest and most assured way to stop the practice. If so, unfortunate and a sad commentary. But, if that's the best way to stop discriminatory practices, then I guess we'll be happy to live with it. If the resulting bookings (all racial issues aside) prove problematic for us, we might have to abandon AirBnB. I hope that isn't the case.
I don't know, it's just something I read in the news recently. My main issue with IB is that I have a minimum of 2 nights on weekends UNLESS there is an existing gap, ie someone checking out on Sat from a longer booking will leave the Sat free. If I allow two nights only, I will disable those single nights which float up during the year. If I accept one night on weekends I will be flooded with Sat night bookings. Can't win that one and I do love a full calendar.
We will have to wait and see what happens with IB but I would really love to do without it. I don't want to invite cancellations.
Incorrect - the reason AirBnB want it is because it increases their revenue through impulse buys - particularly if a guest is looking at a number of different sites. It's just greedy and uncessessary and will come back to bite AirBnB through a shift to other platforms that allow you to exchange info/emails with guests before booking.
I have had this too. Just phoned Airbnb uk and they told me it's a new policy.
Means i wont be using the service until the rules change back.
Even the the guy on the phone sounded a bit weary from all the complaint calls he knows he'll be receiving.
Problem in general is that airbnb WAS a site for hosts and guests, now it is a site for airbnb only, needs of hosts and guests are consecuently ignored. There have occured many changes on the site, disappearing calendar, annoing popups on the mobile site making it almost impossible to use the site without signing in, an app that virtually wants to access every part of the mobile phone without any need for the function of renting rooms at all..., removing options to contact airbnb directly, blocking dates for unapproved bookings, just to name a few. Now I read about this. Next step will be that they fix the prices for you - and the time you go to sleep, the hairdress and the color of the shirt you wear when forced to receive unwanted guests.
Success made them blind for their original purpose: to serve people who want to share their homes and people who want to stay at a private place and taking some money for this good services.
Sometimes a drop is as fast as the rise. I think, airbnb should think about that. Getting too arrogant and megalomaniac could esyly kill them, which would be really a shame because the original idea behind it is just great.