Rogue guest circumventing system

Rogue guest circumventing system



I received an instant booking for a stay in July. There were two reviews from other hosts and the most recent in April 2024 was absolutely scathing including numerous non-compliance of rules and damage. I cancelled the booking using the automated online process and cancellation was confirmed within ten seconds of me submitting the request. The $50 penalty was waived and the nights were immediately unblocked. I have since received another booking from that guest's friend for the same nights. I know it's her friend because she conveyed as much in our message thread including screenshots of her Instagram page. So I decided to chat with a support agent in case the automated process decided to rule against me. Airbnb are saying even though one of the guests is the same guest whose booking was rightfully cancelled, on this occasion I will suffer the $50 penalty plus the nights will remain blocked on grounds the booking is from a different account. This is ludicrous. Any advice please? Thanks

11 Replies 11

Update: They have confirmed the right approach would indeed be to make cancellation penalty-free but the system does not allow them to achieve this outcome. I have asked them to escalate the matter since ALL systems in the world can be manually overridden where circumstances are warranted.

Level 10
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Hi @Adam1846

I'm surprised that these guests booked again, considering that you sent a clear message that you'd rather not host them. You should consider the possibility that if they do stay over, they may leave a retaliatory review because of your initial rejection. One unfortunately doesn't know whether the friend is determined to get a chance to review you, or determined to prove that they are better guests than you think ...

Hehe. Thanks @Shelley159 . The guest who received the bad review did not submit a review for that host. When I asked her why she did not since it would be perfect opportunity to counteract it (she claims the host's review was lies), she simply said she had no reason to leave a review because she didn't think anything was wrong! So in her mind you only leave reviews if there's something to complain about! She also said it's the first time ever she had received negative review and has taken at least two Airbnb trips per year for the last five years. So why are there only just two reviews on her profile? I am extremely angry that I get a $50 fine plus loss of income because those seven nights will now remain blocked. It's bonkers and so not conducive to hosts trying to do the right thing.

Update part 2 - Good news. Airbnb have now cancelled the booking with no penalty to me. This was after I insisted I liaise with a supervisor who promptly phoned me and decided to make this case an exception given that the second booking was from a guest with no reviews as it was a brand new account. This experience highlighted to me the risk of instant bookings. I would love ability to tweak booking status day by day via the calendar. That way if same guests try to book a third time, I would have opportunity to review and decline without penalty. He said he would forward a request to consider it as a future mod to the system. He did confirm that instant booking does produce best search ranking results. cc @Marta1405 @Shelley159 


The answer I use that Airbnb has told me is not against the rules actually encouraged.

All Guests staying must be named and a verified Airbnb account.  All Guests must show a legal ID ( don't say drivers license I got slapped for that haha) that matches reservation   name at check in.  I just view I never ask for a copy.

Level 2
Newtown, Australia

Hi Adam,

I have set my bookings that all my guests have to have 5 star rating, if they don't they cant book instantly. They have to be accepted by me after I have checked their reviews or  had a message chat with them. Can you do that? If I am not comfortable I can decline the booking request with zero penalty.

Cheers Jane

Thanks @Jane3076 . I found a setting within Instant Book settings for "Good track record" defined as "completed a stay without incident or bad reviews." but I can't see where you can specify star ratings, it's just an on-off switch. Am I looking in the right place? Many thanks, Adam

Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

There is no setting you can use  for guests who book that guarantees guests have a five star rating @Marie8425 all that setting guarantees is they are recommended by other hosts - they still can be marked down for individual criteria.


I  think a slight mix up.   I   don't  know either  how to get a 5 star guest...      Very  rarely  does someone with a low rating request from    me  but I   think thee rules help  eliminate them even trying.    I  have  taken   first  timers but again  setting   ground rules  and my respect of my    rules      haven't really   had issues with  newbies.  Guests  won't respect  my  rules unless  I   respect     my  rules..

@Helen3 Thanks for response.  So Airbnb equate a guest recommended by a host to "completed a stay without incident or bad reviews.". I wonder what happens if a guest is recommended by some hosts and not others.


I just set  up   instant   book  so   not  sure iif it totally  works  but  I have  iit  set   for like two   days     notice..      That   gives me  time   needed  to   go   over my  ground rules   say  hello,    iis  there    anything   special  that would   be  a plus.

It also  gives the  Guest  time to  ask   me  questions.