We live in Auckland, NZ and we have many guests arriving into the country at very early hours (from 04:30 - 08:00am) from Nth America & Europe. Most of these travellers have flown non-stop and are, understandably tired after their long flights, so I am often asked about the possibility of early check-in.
My check out time is 10:00am and checkin time is 2:00pm
In the 3 years that we have been Airbnb hosts we have happily accommodated early checkins (where we can) so long as guests don't arrive before 08:30 / 9:00am.
Currently, there is no way to set and charge an early checkin fee which I think Airbnb have sadly overlooked. When we travel, we often ask about early checkins at hotels and do expect to pay a surcharge.
We recently had a problem with an Indian couple who asked for early checkin and while I was showing the husband around the bedroom and bathroom, the wife started to help herself to the cereal contains that I have in the small lounge/kitchenette area. Husband then joins her and says that they both want breakfast and where is the toast bread?! I said that breakfast is served one hour before descending into Auckland and did they not have breakfast on the plane. "No, we chose not to. We decided to have breakfast here". I told them that I had agreed to an early checkin but that an early checkin did NOT include breakfast. Meanhile, Mrs is almost finished her cereal and Mr tells me that it's only a small request. Gritting my teeth I went and got the bread. Then I was told that they like to drink lots of warm milk and the small container of milk that I left in the fridge for tea/coffee would be enough. As they had a rental car I suggested that they might like to go and buy the extra milk they need as I only provided one litre of milk per day. But, sure as eggs, the next morning at breakfast they claim they have run out and need more for their 'breakfast'.
It didn't help that this couple were quite demanding and clearly expected 7* service from my humble abode, however, my main gripe is the expectations surrounding early checkin.
Has anyone else contacted Airbnb requesting an update to their pricing options?
It wasn't even worthwhile having a discussion about an extra charge (one they had arrived) for breakfast as I could see where that potential discssion would end, but what have other Airbnb hosts done in the past with this kind of scenario?
As a footnote, this same Indian couple wrote a scathing review of a fellow Kiwi in Queenstown - he told me that although his website clearly states no breakfast provided, this couple demanded and argued the point with him!
I'm pleased to say that this couple was the only bad experience I have had with Airbnb so far, thank goodness.
I'm not sure if it's available across the board, but I have the ability to " charge for extra amenities". At least I did last month, now that I'm saying that I'm not even sure if it's still there. But in any case, you can either charge for an extra amenity (early check-in) OR you can alter the booking to add an extra charge. Say that you agree in advance to allow an early check in, which could mean blocking the calendar the night before meaning you lose revenue - you could agree with the requesting guest that early check-in is at half-day rate, and let's say you agree to charge them an extra $100 to ensure the apartment is available for them to check in at 7am. Then go into their booking, chose "change or cancel" and DON"T HIT CANCEL BY MISTAKE ha! Go into the field where you see the dollar amount, and make a change to the new rate (so in this example, adding $100). Once you hit "submit" then the request goes to the guest and they either accept or not. Once they accept the new charge is set as the confirmed amount. If they don't accept, you can tell them - don't forget to accept the alteration to the booking so that we can confirm your early check-in.
Anyhow, that's what I'd suggest, and how rude that couple was. I don't like them on your behalf :)
In Ireland you get a lot of early checkin requests for people coming from America. I mostly say no. I used to do it but in effect they are getting an extra day free. I just say the room is full the night before they can drop their bag but thats it. I used to give them an early checkin. I never got this mentioned in a review and I gave it up. I doubt its worth looking for an extra fee but you could put it in your listing. Some people do. My checkin is 7 pm. With 10 am it is harder to say no to early arrival.
On breakfast I had one person behave as you found. He kept emailing me saying the place he was staying was awful. I couldnt check him in the night before so as I felt so sorry for him I said he could come early and have a shower. He then asked for breakfast and said was it included. I gave him a bowl of cereal. He left saying he would give me a great review and never wrote one. A bowl of cereal costs very little but he was cheeky in the way he asked. I think forget about the breakfast and just dont put in your listing that you provide breakfast. Leave as you do enough for a light breakfast and if people ask for more just say no.
I had a similar problem with an Indian man. I do a self service breakfast of cereal and bread. He arrived and asked me what time was breakfast and said he would have eggs and porridge except Thursday and Saturday. Stupidly as he was older I accomodated him and gave him his breakfast cooked every day. On leaving he wrote me a lovely review but put in the private comments breakfast could be more varied. I people see airbnb in the title and expect bnb services like a cooked breakfast. Its better to clarify this up front.
Its better to stick to your guns and say no this is what I do and this is what I dont do.
Yes my checkin is indeed at 7 pm officially. Noone ever reads the time. except some rare German and Dutch people (not all) and they just tell me they are coming at x time and turn up within an hour to two hours of that time. As I mostly work from home I facilitate them if I can with a mid to late afternoon checkin. . I am in or very close to the city and many people fly in in the evening some very late at night. I put 7 pm down as an insurance in case I was in the office that day and could not make an earlier checkin time. It is useful to be able to point to my 7 pm checkin when people tell me they will be arriving to the airport at 7 am and will come straight over.... I can then say but I will organise for someone to take your bag. You can drop it and go off for the day.
I dont know how you would do this if you didnt work from home. People pay no attention to your schedule or the time you have given as arrival. I am used to this and have a fair estimation on a realistic time they will turn up at but its great when you get the four hours late one (usually Irish) who says - my phone was out of charge and I had to meet my mother in the city and then drop her home. I stopped doing late flight arrivals over the 2 am in the morning (having told me 10 or 11 pm) arrivals with no communication to say lost or flight delayed.
Similarly I say 10 am checkout but actually give people until 11 am. Most leave by then. I did get the odd one who hasn't left on time. I should have flagged this in their reviews.
. @Maryam Al FakheerMaryam Al Fakheer
@Margaret It's true. People not take any notice of the check-in or out times, or just ignore it.
But... my next question is.... do you charge your guests for the check-in day, even the day is technically over?
If you work, you use the feature that blocks of the night before and after a stay so you can prep the room. I also almost always work from home but there are some occasions that I have to go to the office.
We think our first guest did a very late check-out (5 pm instead of 11 am). It was surprising to learn Airbnb has no required check-out validation process. We request a direct message upon check-out but didn't receive any. They also didn't follow other house rules about towels and stripping the bed sheets but actually made the beds and even super cleaned up (strange but good trade off)! We were out of town at a wedding several states away so luckily it wasn't an issue. They should have asked though especially since we accomodated their request about arriving over 2 hours early (then not mentioning in their review).
I just got a request from a guest asking for an 8 am check-in when my check-in time is 3 pm. In Montreal, we have a lot of international flights leaving in the evening, so I do allow guests to park their bags in my condo (I have two in the building) so that I can get in and clean for the next guests and they don't have to book an extra day.
I'm a little annoyed with this guest. She is telling me that she has an 80 yo father and since it's an overnight flight, it would help him greatly. In other words, she's laying on a bit of a guilt trip. Am I really going to be heartless and let her elderly father wait to gain access to the room?
The thing is, I pay for the extra night if I need to either go or stay at times that really fall outside the usual check-in hours. I'm heading to Iceland in a few weeks and arrive at 6 am. I've booked for the day before because I know how tired I'm going to be.
This woman is taking a red-eye from the west coast. With an 80 yo father. She didn't think to plan? I responded by telling her I would get back to her in a day or so...she arrives next weekend. The fact is that I have 6 unbooked days right before she arrives, but as I drop my prices for last minute bookings, I'm loathe to shave one day off--I reckon I have a better chance of getting a booking at all with more consecutive days free.
How do people respond to these guilt inducing requests? I'm fairly certain this woman is savvy enough to check my calendar--she's obviously used Air before, many times, if her profile is anything to go by.
Any wise words?
Thanks for your posting.
I actually work for a large international airline and for the last 25yrs have been quite accustomed to early and late flight departures and the need for travellers to fit in with these times. I have had to get a little thick skinned when it comes to people laying on the guilt trip - be it elderly people, infants, medical cases..,..
Much as we would all like to help others, there is a big need for 'self help' as well and if this guest really is considering the needs of an elderly person they would book an extra nights accommodation. If I was you I would respond by saying that I would happily offer another nights accommodation at a discounted rate of (say 15% - 30% discount) for the extra hours. It is then a matter of take it or leave it because a hotel wouldn't be offering complimentary hours and they have a team of housekeepers. At Airbnb it is usually just US to clean and prepare!
Don't feel guilty.
BUT, I wish Airbnb would address this early/late checkin/out issue and provide an optional pricing for this. Frustrating.
So from a practical perspective, does she change or alter her stay in the Airbnb system? It's up to her to do it, right?
I ask because I did have a guest add a day once and I swear the added income only came out to a third of the cost of that day (around $35 for a $99 nightly price!). I have no idea if a weekly rate or some other strange discount kicked in, but I remember thinking that I would have been better off taking cash (which the guest offered). I did decrease my weekly discount after that.
Sorry, that's off topic...but it was such an odd experience, I thought I would bring it up.
Thanks for the advice about what to say. I think I will do exactly that. I will let you know what happens.
This is what I wrote. I kinda fudged a bit about a local company, but given the possibility of getting a so-so review (I'm a superhost), I thought I would use a bit of arm-twisting of my own. However, the truth is that there are a lot of these companies nearby and I have been booked, although it's only happened twice in about 18 months.
Hi X, to facilitate an early check-in would you consider a discounted rate for March 4th? I could give you the day for $50 Cdn dollars and that way you could walk right early in the morning. I'm suggesting this because I could actually get a booking through a local IT company in the neighbourhood that often books at the last minute with me. (They often have events on Thursday and Friday evenings and rather than drive home, their employees book my place and stay overnight.) The chances are that they will book at the regular rate, usually by Tuesday afternoon, and then your check-in would need to be at 3 pm, given their check-out time and the time needed for a turnaround. Please let me know what you would like to do. Thanks.
It will be interesting to see how she responds.
I probably would have said something like this:
... Friday/Saturday nights are our busiest nights of the week and we rely on guests to checkout on time so that rooms become available for the next guests. Therefore, we cannot offer complimentary late check out/early checkin times when it means that we are turning down other bookings.
We do understand how important it will be for you to provide a relaxed, unstressed travel experience for **** (elderly person) and on this occasion would be prepared to offer you a late check out/early checkin for a special price of $ .....
That way, you are showing some empathy but at the same time reaffirming that you are not prepared to turn down business.
I have found that accommodating this type of guest leads to more misseary than it’s worth. I look for true Airbnb people. The originals. Not cheap skates looking to save a buck. It’s worked for me. I’ve made a lot of friends, kept my reviews near perfect and had little heartache.