Does the person who books an Airbnb have to check in?

Michael Ngabu

Can you book an Airbnb on behalf of someone else, and must you be present when the guest checks in? These questions can be confusing, especially if you are unfamiliar with Airbnb policies.

The answer to these questions is yes and no, depending on the circumstance.

In some cases, Airbnb allows users to book accommodation for other guests without requiring them to be present during check-in.

However, in other cases, Airbnb hosts have strict no third-party bookings, meaning only the booking party can use the premises.

Below is a detailed guide on the Airbnb booking policy, including when someone can book for another person and the check-in requirements for booking parties.

Who can book Airbnb on behalf of someone else?

According to Airbnb’s booking policy, it is possible to book Airbnb for someone else. However, this is only possible when booking business trips for colleagues.

Below is a step-by-step look at how this process works:

  • First, your company must join Airbnb for Work.
  • Then, invite employees to join the company account through the Airbnb for Work dashboard.
  • You can then assign yourself (and any other employee) as a travel manager or trip planner. Employees with these two designations are the only ones who can book a reservation for other colleagues.

Apart from Airbnb for Work, travel agents may also be allowed to make bookings for their clients.

According to Inside Travel Report, certain travel companies have integrated Airbnb booking systems, where clients can book accommodation directly from their platforms.

How to transfer your Airbnb reservation to another person

When booking an Airbnb for someone else, you’ll handle the initial stages of the process – the reservation request, introduction with the host, and the payment.

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Booking for someone else on Airbnb
When booking for someone else on Airbnb, you must transfer the responsibility to the guest after making payments.

Once the host accepts the reservation, you can invite the guest to the message thread (with you and the host). The guest will then receive the trip’s details, thus passing on the responsibility of the trip to them.

Sometimes, the person you are making a reservation for might not have an Airbnb profile. In this case, once you make the reservation, Airbnb will email the guest instructions on creating an Airbnb profile and accepting the reservation request.

Can you book an Airbnb for family or friends?

Unfortunately, Airbnb policies do not allow for personal bookings on behalf of another guest. The reason is that the host relies on the user’s profile, review, and ID verification to screen guests before accepting a reservation.

Therefore, it can make things tricky when the person who books is not the one who’ll use the premises. Nonetheless, Airbnb has some pretty relaxed booking rules, as you deal directly with the host, not the company.

Therefore, even if third-party personal booking is not permitted, some hosts might allow you to book for someone else, provided you communicate and agree with them.

However, other hosts have a strict “no third-party booking” rule and will likely cancel the reservation.

Can your parents book an Airbnb for you?

We’ve already seen that personal third-party bookings are not permitted. So, what happens when you need to make a reservation, but you are underage (so technically, you can’t create an Airbnb profile)?

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So, can your parents book an Airbnb for you?

Again, this goes back to the earlier situation of family and friends. Since Airbnb does not permit such bookings, your parents must make an independent arrangement with a host open to the idea.

However, finding a host willing to accept the responsibility of hosting a minor on their premises can be difficult.

Can a guest check into Airbnb without the person who booked?

Airbnb guest check-in
Most hosts expect the booking party to be present at check-in. Image: Unsplash/Helena Lopes

The booking party does not have to be present when the guest checks in if a reservation is made with Airbnb for Work.

However, with personal booking, the host expects the booking party to be present during check-in.

Nonetheless, the host may allow guests to check in without the booking party in special circumstances. For example, if you have made prior independent arrangements.

Hosts might also be willing to let guests check-in before the booking party if they are travelling separately and they (the booking party) are late.

However, you must inform the host beforehand; otherwise, they can cancel the reservation and report the booking party to Airbnb.

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