Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

My listing is for two "not suitable for infants' and "pet friendly? NO."  AirBNB now states anyone under the age of two doesn't count and with the removal of the "pet-friendly," filter I am getting one request/booking after another that is not within my rules or instant booking guidelines. 

 

Last week I had a booking request for SEVEN as I said my listing is for TWO. The booking request was two adults and five under the age of 2. As far as SEVEN humans in a listing for two... My Waste Management standard bin will not accommodate that. Luckily they withdrew the request since I asked a lot of questions. 

 

But, in addition to the infant requests, I have had multiple requests for pets since the "pet-friendly" filter was removed and the selection option for "number of pets" was added.  

 

In my last pet request, I suggested they call Airbnb directly to help locate a "pet-friendly" accommodation.  but I'm just wondering does anyone have  a standard message they use in these circumstances?  I would love some examples. 

26 Replies 26
Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

What continues to astound me is that families are the ones who benefitted from AirBnb, because hotels are generally not family friendly. and yet they are increasingly becoming entitled, rather than grateful. 
For us it was a life saver when travelling with 3 kids, and i was always so careful and tidy, and I am still the one to do "Final Check" once the kids (now teens) are bundled safely in the car, and I walk through and look for lost items and any mess. Too many people just don't do this, are they unorganised? or don't realise it's a thing? 

All of this applies to pet parents too. I'd love to see ABB get a little more instructive and encourage guests to be grateful. Isn't #gratitude a concept born in California? I guess it's only something you do for instagram. 🙄  Instead it seems that WE hosts, with the million dollar properties and our reputation on the line, must bend the knee to everyone else. There's got to be a better middle ground. 

Patricia1375
Level 4
Nederland, CO

@Jillian115Where did you read children under the age of 2 don't count?  We live in Boulder Colorado and we are on a well.  The state & county most definitely count infants and children under the age of two.  In many cases, the water needs for a toddler are greater than adults.  Based on our well/water/septic capacity, we are only allowed 8 people. 

 

I require a (rental agreement) contract be signed by our guests the same day as they make a reservation.  It is a  required by our home owners insurance which also counts children under the age of two.  It asks the guest to list the names and birth dates of each person who will be staying at our cabin.  It also has a pet addendum which asks the same.  We state in our listing that one dog is welcome with prior approval with no additional charge.  As many have stated, guests don't read the details of our listing, but they have to sign the rental agreement. We make no exceptions.  Airbnb can't override those limitations, or I will loose my license to do Airbnb, and could face thousands of dollars in fines.  Thank you in advance for any additional information you can direct to me.

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

@Patricia1375 It's in the booking process.  I pasted yours below. Technically they can book 8 adults or children and up to 5 under the age of two, That's a total of 13. It says they can bring 5 pets but if they have more than 2 they should let you know. Your booking page states "This place has a maximum of 8 guests, not including infants. If you're bringing more than 2 pets, please let your host know."  Although it seems like we don’t have a choice here ABB also has a policy that hosts can refuse or charge more. the only way guests can see it is to go to the help center. So this will continue to be an issue IMO since it appears to the person booking that 5 infants (under the age of two) will not count towards the total.  Mark posted the help center link previously https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/433/traveling-with-children

 

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Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

Here is the current language so it seems that yes, you can count an infant as a guest.

 

Let the Host know who’s coming—including infants and children—when making a trip request. While infants (children under 2 years old) don’t often incur any extra costs, some Hosts count children as guests, which can add an additional guest fee to the reservation.

 

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/433/traveling-with-children

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

@Mark116 This is very interesting. Thank you! It would be helpful if they linked to that in the booking process rather than highlighting that up to 5 children under 2 did not count towards the total. This is exactly what I need. I'm going to write a standard message that includes this article for guests that book with infants and let them know they need to find another accommodation. 

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Jillian115  Yes, if I were a guest, I would consider this comes right up to the line of false advertising.  Why does Airbnb give the impression you can bring 5 infants free of charge while at the same time acknowledging that hosts can count infants as part of the guest number and charge extra for them.  It is Airbnb in this case that creates the confusion and the false understanding about infants.

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

@Mark116 @Elaine701 @Laura2592 Yes, technically your listing is for 9. That's 4 adults and up to 5 infants. 

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Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Jillian115 yes. Infants are always on the list as possible guests even if your house rules say otherwise. That's why communication to state why they can't stay is essential. 

 

More often I get people trying to bring their 10, 12 and 8 year old as Infants to avoid extra fees or capacity limits. 

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

@Laura2592 Also if you google the age of infants it's: "children anywhere from birth to 1 year old." but Airbnb defines it as children under 2. There is a huge difference between hosting an infant and a toddler. Toddlers can get into all sorts of trouble very quickly and I'm not comfortable being liable.

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia


@Jillian115 wrote:

@Laura2592 Also if you google the age of infants it's: "children anywhere from birth to 1 year old." but Airbnb defines it as children under 2. There is a huge difference between hosting an infant and a toddler. Toddlers can get into all sorts of trouble very quickly and I'm not comfortable being liable.


100%. And an infant will sleep in a portacot (which i will not provide, i've no interest in washing up biological waste from a baby, been there, done that) but a 2yo is likely to be out of that stage. Even if they all share a bed (and i've relented on this many times) they still use water, soap, towels like everyone else, AND little kids have a knack for putting their sticky little hands on everything, they cause plenty of mess. ABB really needs to listen to hosts and drop "infant" down to 12months. I'd happily let it slide if the kid is a few months older, but last week we had a guest book 2 kids 1 infant, and the "infant" was @5years old!  (oh, and we have "not suitable for children" selected but it didn't stop the booking request)

 

Emilia42
Level 10
Orono, ME

@Jillian115 I am curious as to how these people are communicating in their booking requests? Do the people with dogs say something like "BTW, we will be traveling with our dog. The system would not let me add the dog to our guest count, how weird!" ??

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Emilia42 info on pets often comes after the fact. I am a pet friendly host and don't charge a fee (yet). But even so, I ask that guests disclose pets up front when booking. About 30% of them time they mention it well after. 

Emilia42
Level 10
Orono, ME

@Laura2592 Luckily, it has never happened to me, but I know it is common and it worries me because pets are my big no, no, no, never. The saving grace with instant booking here is that if a guest tells you after the fact, you have the option to cancel the booking no questions asked. If you don't use instant book it could be a huge hassle to convince CS to let you cancel and no guarantee. 

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

@Emilia42 The last two did not refer to the limitations of the booking system.  One was we would like to bring our well-behaved pit bulls after I approved the booking the other was We have a lovely well behaved dog that other Airbnb hosts have all welcomed would it be okay if we brought it along. 

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Jillian115  haha, everyone has a "well behaved" dog it seems!  Until they come to a farm, and see our cats, the cattle, possums, kangaroos and bunnies....... I have in my listing info:
"Please be aware that on the farm we have livestock, and there are plenty of wild animals here: birds, hares, possums, foxes and kangaroos, some doggos might find it sensory overload." 

Just to gently let people know their fur baby might not be so "well behaved" once they are tested. I'm glad we don't have sheep anymore, because those are just delicious bouncing lollipops as far as dogs are concerned. 

Emilia42
Level 10
Orono, ME

 

If this happened to me, I would classify these people as honest guests (honest because they are telling you well in advance, as opposed to trying to sneak a dog in or a 'btw' the day before arrival,) but they are clueless and think your rules have little weight because everyone should love their dogs. I would be relieved that it was caught early. I would respond with "As you noticed when you submitted the booking, you were not able to add a pet onto your reservation. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the space. I would be happy to host you without your furry friend. If this impeeds on your vacation plans, you have the chance to cancel. Airbnb gives guests 48 hours after booking to cancel before any fees apply." If a request, I would change to: If this impeeds on your vacation plans, you can withdraw your request. Please do so by X time today. I would hate to see Airbnb charge a deposit on your credit card for a booking that may not work for you."

Jillian115
Level 10
Jamestown, CA

The first guest I told, "it is listed in my house rules." He wanted to know "exactly where it was stated."  That's when I found out that there is no longer a filter but an option to select the number of pets which is greyed out if pets aren't allowed. For the other requests, I explained that if the counter is greyed out it means pets are not allowed and asked them to contact CS directly to help them find a pet-friendly location. I wouldn't classify them as dishonest either but it does tend to become confrontational. That's bad for both guests and hosts. These new policies are creating a lot of anger on both ends, it's becoming exhausting. My three most common issues are Pets, Infants, and Profile pictures. No pets, not suitable for infants and you must have a profile picture that shows your face.  

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Jillian115 @Laura2592  Did they change the rule on infants again? I know Airbnb touts the hosts listings as 'free' for infants, but I thought that hosts could still write in the rules that infants were counted as part of the guest total?  

 

I don't even know what to say about their insane new pet policies of making it seem like you can bring 2 animals to the listing w/out notifying the host and an automatic prompt to remind guests that if they say their pets are service animals, they can bring them to almost any listing w/no notice. 

Laura2592
Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Jillian115 I do not allow infants due to safety issues. But ABB still permits people with infants to book. We have had a few snuck in over time. Guests think they don't have to say anything. Not true. 

 

Typically I emphasize the safety concerns if a guest discloses a baby prior. If not they get a poor score on house rules (and often cleaning.) I added a pictogram about capacity to my listing and that has cut down on the number of requests I get that don't meet capacity counts. Guests do not read, so putting something in with your images may help. 

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia


@Laura2592 wrote:

I added a pictogram about capacity to my listing and that has cut down on the number of requests I get that don't meet capacity counts. Guests do not read, so putting something in with your images may help. 


I saw that, it was very clever!

Might have to do similar. 

 

 

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