Navigating Guest Requests: How to Handle Changes to Airbnb Bookings

Oct 11, 2023 | Airbnb Host Guide

Hosting on Airbnb often comes with the need to adapt to guest requests and occasional changes to bookings. Whether guests want to modify their reservation dates, add or remove guests, or make other adjustments, it’s essential to handle these requests professionally and in line with your hosting policies. In this blog, we’ll explore how to effectively deal with Airbnb guests when they want to make changes to their bookings.

Set Clear Booking Policies from the Start

Establishing transparent booking policies is a fundamental step for effective vacation rental management. These policies should encompass key areas such as cancellations, refunds, and any associated fees for changes. By having these policies clearly defined and communicated to guests from the outset, you set expectations and prevent misunderstandings. This not only ensures that guests understand the terms and conditions of their booking but also provides you with a foundation for addressing guest requests and inquiries. With these policies in place, you’re better equipped to manage bookings, maintain a smooth rental process, and offer a consistent and reliable experience for your guests.

Communication is Key

When a guest requests changes to their reservation, open and prompt communication is your best ally. Respond to their inquiry as soon as possible to address their request promptly. Airbnb’s messaging platform makes it easy to keep all communication within the platform for record-keeping.

Understand the Request

Understanding a guest’s request is a fundamental step in providing excellent service as an Airbnb host. When a request or inquiry comes in, take a moment to thoroughly grasp what the guest is asking for. Are they hoping to alter their check-in or check-out dates, increase the number of guests, or have specific questions about the property? The more precisely you understand their needs, the more effectively you can respond. This comprehensive understanding enables you to address their request accurately, ensuring a smoother and more positive experience for both you and the guest. Whether it’s accommodating changes or providing detailed information, being attentive to the specifics of each request is a hallmark of excellent hospitality.

Check Your Availability

Review your booking calendar to ensure that the requested changes are feasible. If the new dates or modifications are available and acceptable to you, this makes the process much smoother.

Review Your Hosting Policies

Reviewing your hosting policies, particularly the cancellation policy, is essential when dealing with requested changes to a booking. Understanding how these changes might affect the guest’s refund and any related fees is crucial. It’s important to be well-prepared to explain these details to the guest clearly and concisely. A host’s ability to provide transparent information about the financial implications of the requested changes not only ensures a smoother guest experience but also helps manage expectations and reduce the likelihood of disputes. Effective communication in these situations is key to maintaining a positive and professional host-guest relationship.

Use Airbnb’s Resolution Center

If the guest’s requested changes involve financial adjustments, such as additional charges or refunds, consider using Airbnb’s Resolution Center. This tool allows you to propose and document changes to the booking’s price, which both you and the guest must agree upon.

Keep It Professional

Maintaining professionalism in your communication with guests is paramount, even when you find yourself needing to decline a request. It’s crucial to approach such situations with courtesy and understanding, expressing your reasons clearly and calmly. By doing so, you not only preserve a positive image of your hosting business but also show respect to your potential guests. Professionalism demonstrates your commitment to excellent customer service and a considerate approach to guest needs, even when you can’t fulfill their specific request. This approach can leave a lasting positive impression, making it more likely for them to consider your property for future stays or recommend it to others. So, whether you’re declining a booking due to unavailability or other reasons, remember that professionalism in your communication can go a long way in fostering goodwill and maintaining a positive reputation in the world of short-term rentals.

Offer Alternatives

If you can’t accommodate the guest’s request exactly as they’ve proposed, offer alternatives. For example, if their preferred dates are unavailable, suggest nearby dates or similar properties in your portfolio if available.

Document Everything

Documenting everything within Airbnb’s platform is crucial for hosts. It ensures that any changes, agreements, or communication related to bookings are well-documented and easily accessible. This documentation includes alterations to booking dates, pricing, or policies. While it might seem like an administrative task, it’s a vital step in dispute resolution. Should any conflicts or misunderstandings arise between you and your guests, having a clear and comprehensive record within Airbnb’s system can provide valuable evidence to support your case. It adds transparency to your interactions and helps protect your interests as a host. By keeping everything documented on the platform, you’re better prepared to handle any unexpected situations and maintain a positive hosting experience for both you and your guests.

Review and Confirm Changes

Once both you and the guest have agreed on the changes, confirm them through Airbnb’s platform. This ensures that both parties are aware of and have consented to the modifications.

Update Your Calendar and Details:

Updating your calendar and property details is a vital task for any Airbnb host. Whether you’re making changes to your availability, check-in procedures, or other crucial information, keeping everything accurate and up-to-date is essential. When your calendar reflects your property’s true availability, you prevent double bookings and maintain guests’ trust. Additionally, ensuring that your check-in instructions are current guarantees a seamless arrival process for your guests. It’s all about delivering a reliable and consistent experience, which not only helps you avoid issues but also leads to positive reviews. Staying on top of these updates is a straightforward yet fundamental aspect of being a responsible and successful host on Airbnb.

Follow Up

Following up with guests after implementing changes is crucial to ensure their satisfaction and a smooth stay. This proactive approach demonstrates your commitment to providing an excellent experience. Reach out to guests to check if the adjustments have met their expectations and inquire if there are any further improvements needed. It’s an opportunity to address any remaining concerns swiftly and make their stay as enjoyable as possible. Effective communication and guest-focused service contribute to positive reviews, repeat bookings, and a strong reputation in the short-term rental market. It’s a simple yet highly effective practice to ensure your guests leave with a smile and return in the future.


Dealing with guest requests for booking changes is a common part of hosting on Airbnb. By approaching these requests with clear policies, prompt and professional communication, and a willingness to find solutions that benefit both you and the guest, you can navigate these situations successfully while maintaining positive guest relations. Remember, effective communication and flexibility are key to providing an exceptional guest experience on Airbnb.


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