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Trust Your Gut: Reasons to Decline Airbnb Requests When You’re Uncomfortable

The common reasons for declining Airbnb requests, the proper ways to decline, mistakes to avoid, and valuable insights from the community. Learn how to navigate this challenging aspect of hosting with confidence and professionalism.


By Karolyn Hutson

Published on June 15, 2023

While it’s always exciting to welcome new guests, there are instances where you might find it necessary to decline a booking request. This could be due to several reasons, ranging from scheduling conflicts to discomfort with the guest. In this article, we’ll delve into the common reasons for declining Airbnb requests, the proper ways to decline, mistakes to avoid, and valuable insights from the community.

Common Reasons for Declining

Incomplete Guest Profile

The importance of a complete Airbnb guest profile
The importance of a complete Airbnb guest profile

An incomplete guest profile can also be a valid reason for declining a booking request. This could include a lack of reviews, profile photos, or references. As a host, these elements provide a sense of security and trust in the guest. If missing, it could raise concerns about the potential guest’s credibility.

Violation of House Rules

Another significant reason for declining a booking request is when potential guests ignore or violate house rules. This could include inappropriate requests or safety concerns. As a host, it’s essential to uphold your house rules to maintain the integrity of your property and ensure a pleasant experience for all guests.

Uncomfortable with the Guest

Sometimes, a host might feel uncomfortable with a guest due to instinct, bad vibes, or past experiences. This is subjective and varies from host to host. However, trusting your gut feeling is important when welcoming strangers into your home.

Calendar and Availability Conflicts

Managing Airbnb scheduling conflicts can reduce number of Airbnb declines
Managing Airbnb scheduling conflicts can reduce number of Airbnb declines

One of the most common reasons for declining an Airbnb request is scheduling conflicts. This could result from a calendar update, unavailability during the requested period, or a double booking. Dates mismatch or minimum stay requirements can also lead to declining a booking request. As a host, it’s important to clearly state your availability and requirements to avoid any misunderstandings and ensure a smooth booking process.

Proper Ways to Decline


When declining a booking request, it’s important to maintain professionalism. This includes providing a polite response, using a generic decline response, and managing your reputation. Remember, every interaction with a potential guest reflects your professionalism as a host.

Being Helpful

Even when declining a request, being helpful can leave a positive impression. This could involve suggesting alternatives or guiding the guest to suitable accommodations. It’s all about ensuring the guest has a positive experience, even if they don’t end up staying at your property.

Reiterating Rules

When declining a request, it’s a good practice to refer back to your listing and reiterate your house rules. This promotes honest communication and educates guests about your expectations.


Declining a request should be a simple process. This involves using the decline button, providing a minimal explanation, and utilizing customer service if necessary. The key is to make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

Mistakes to Avoid

Personal Comments

When declining a booking request, avoid making personal comments. This includes discrimination, rudeness, or unprofessional behavior. Remember, every interaction should be respectful and professional.


Inconsistency in enforcing rules or treating guests can lead to negative reviews and a damaged reputation. It’s important to be fair and consistent in your hosting practices.

Changing Listing Information

Changing listing information after a booking request can mislead guests and jeopardize your reputation. It’s important, to be honest and transparent about your property and what you offer.

Community Insights

Forum Discussions

Airbnb hosts forums and community discussions that can provide valuable insights into declining booking requests. These platforms allow hosts to share experiences and advice, helping you navigate tricky situations and make informed decisions.

Real Experiences

Case studies, personal anecdotes, and lessons learned from real experiences can be incredibly valuable. They provide practical insights and can help you anticipate and handle similar situations in your hosting journey.

Practical Tips

Proactive communication, setting clear expectations, and handling difficult situations effectively are all practical tips that can enhance your hosting experience. They help decline booking requests when necessary and contribute to overall guest satisfaction and positive reviews.

Wrapping Up

Declining an Airbnb request can be a challenging part of being a host. However, you can navigate this process with confidence and professionalism by understanding the common reasons for declining, knowing the proper ways to decline, avoiding common mistakes, and leveraging community insights.

Written by

With over six years of short-term rental hosting experience, Karolyn has helped hundreds of guests have an enjoyable experience. I love writing and am passionate about real estate, hospitality, and photography. Karolyn holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and enjoys sharing her experiences to help others.