Navigate forward to access suggested results

    Navigating the booking process

    Learn how to handle booking requests, communicate efficiently, and more.
    By Airbnb on Feb 9, 2021
    3 min read
    Updated Jun 9, 2021

    Highlights

    • Choose how you want guests to book your space—either using Instant Book or manual booking requests

    • Scheduled messages help you automate communications with guests

    • Discover more in our complete guide to setting up a successful listing

    As a Host, understanding the booking process is key.

    With a stronger grasp on guest communication channels, booking options, and reservation statuses, you can improve your communication and help create a better overall experience for your guests.

    Receiving booking inquiries

    While some guests are eager to secure a place as quickly as possible, others prefer to inquire about an earlier check-in or discounted rate, get specifics about your location, or ask questions about your amenities before they book.

    Guests can send you an initial booking inquiry using the Contact Host link displayed on all listings. You can respond with one of the following:

    • An informative answer that addresses any questions and concerns guests have
    • A pre-approval, which allows guests to book your space without any additional action from you, as long as they book within 24 hours
    • A special offer, also known as a custom price, that's different from what’s listed on your calendar
    • A decline notification if you can’t accommodate the guest, as long as you’re aware of our nondiscrimination policy and the implications of declining bookings

    Even if you use Instant Book, guests may send you a booking inquiry first to make sure they have enough info to make a reservation. 

    Learn more about booking inquiries

    Using Instant Book

    Instant Book allows guests to instantly book your space for available dates, which means you don't need to review and accept each booking request individually. Once a guest books your space using Instant Book, you’ll receive a notification. Instant Book is the default booking option for all listings when you list your space.

    Requiring manual booking requests

    Some Hosts, especially those with unique spaces or inconsistent schedules, choose not to use Instant Book and require manual booking requests. Once your guests submit a manual booking request, you have 24 hours to respond.

    Understanding reservation statuses

    Your guests’ reservation status will vary throughout the booking process, and can appear as:

    • Pending/Awaiting verification, if your guests are waiting for you to confirm or deny their request—or if they need to complete identity verification
    • Confirmed, once you accept a reservation
    • Awaiting payment, if you’ve accepted a reservation request but payment hasn’t processed yet
    • Declined, if you can’t accommodate these guests
    • Expired, if you don’t respond to a reservation request within 24 hours
    • Canceled, if you or your guests cancel a confirmed reservation, or if your guests cancel a pending reservation request

    Once a reservation has been confirmed, the status will change to:

    • Upcoming, one week before your guests are scheduled to check in
    • Awaiting review, after your guests have completed their trip and you’re waiting for their feedback

    Learn more about reservation statuses

    Communicating with guests

    Your guests will likely need some more details once they’ve booked your space, including directions to your property, checkout instructions, or tips to navigate your neighborhood.

    Our messaging tools and Arrival Guide help you provide guests with the information they need, when they need it. "I’ve scheduled five messages: post-booking, pre-arrival, after arrival, checkout instructions, and after exit,” says Host Larry of Saint George, Canada. “The scheduled messaging tool is totally customizable.”

    By communicating early and often throughout the booking process, you can help set expectations and create a better stay for your guests.

    Learn how to create scheduled messages

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Highlights

    • Choose how you want guests to book your space—either using Instant Book or manual booking requests

    • Scheduled messages help you automate communications with guests

    • Discover more in our complete guide to setting up a successful listing
    Airbnb
    Feb 9, 2021
    Was this helpful?