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So Why is Airbnb Not Letting Me Book (2024)? Common Reasons Explained

Booking an Airbnb rental for your vacation is usually a pretty straightforward process. You log into your Airbnb account, find the property you like best, and send a reservation request to the host. As long as your requested dates are available and you make payment, you are on your way to your Airbnb getaway.

Sometimes, however, Airbnb blocks a potential booking. This can be frustrating, and you may not even get an explanation for why you are unable to book your desired Airbnb rental.

Why is Airbnb Not Letting Me Book?

Airbnb may block your booking if a host’s calendar isn’t updated and your dates interfere with another booking. Airbnb has also started blocking bookings from users whose profiles raise red flags for high-risk behavior.

The first reason Airbnb may not let a guest book is if the requested dates are no longer available. This lapse in availability can occur for a couple of different reasons:

  • The host’s calendar didn’t sync properly
  • Another reservation overlaps the requested dates
  • The host blocks the dates requested
  • The host’s availability settings like preparation time or minimum night stay prevent the booking

Sometimes, your reservation request is declined, but the calendar still shows that the property is available on your dates. This could happen if the host’s calendar is incorrectly synced or if the host is looking for reservations for a different length of stay over those specific dates.

If any of these situations occur, it is best to contact the host directly. A host can check to ensure there isn’t a schedule conflict or even change their availability settings to accommodate your reservation request.

Unfortunately, sometimes your request cannot be accommodated by the host. What if you cannot find another property in time for a trip you have already booked? This happens all too often, and if you haven’t taken steps to protect your travel plans by purchasing travel insurance, you may end up losing a lot of money. 

Click here to get a five-minute quote for travel insurance for your upcoming trip.

The second reason why Airbnb may not allow you to book a reservation is because of an issue with your Airbnb account. Airbnb began to flag accounts and bookings that met specific criteria that indicated a high-risk rental. This new process of flagging accounts attempts to cut down on parties being hosted at Airbnb rentals. The red flag criteria include:

  • The guest is under 25 years old
  • The guest has few or no reviews, or negative reviews
  • The guest is booking an Airbnb in their town or close proximity to where they live
  • The reservation is for an entire place that accommodates a large number of guests
  • The booking is made short-notice
  • The length of stay is for only one or two days

Airbnb data showed that reservations booked under any of these circumstances historically led to a disproportionate number of parties.

If a guest meets any of the above criteria, they may have issues booking the rental. Even if the guest has no intention of throwing a party or violating Airbnb guidelines, they still will not be allowed to complete the booking.

Why Doesn’t Airbnb Let Me Book an Entire Place?

Airbnb blocks particular renters under the age of 25 who try to rent an entire place too close to their home location, on short notice, or for only one night. This is because these factors raise red flags for potential party throwers. 

While most Airbnb users are honest and adhere to Airbnb and host guidelines, some Airbnb users were taking advantage of renting other people’s properties. Over the last few years, Airbnb saw a sharp increase in house parties being thrown at rentals. 

Throwing a party at an Airbnb violates Airbnb’s new policy that was implemented due to Covid-19. Even before Covid-19, however, many hosts had a “no parties” rule in their guidelines. Parties often result in property damage, police activity, and bad publicity for Airbnb. In an attempt to dissuade those looking to throw parties, Airbnb limited who can book an entire place. 

If a person under 25 years old attempts to book an entire place close to where they live, they will be denied the booking. Guests under 25 years old, however, are still able to book entire homes in other locations. They can also book hotel rooms or private rooms within a house.

If a guest under 25 has at least three positive reviews on their profile, they may still be able to book the property. It really depends on the technology that Airbnb is using to flag accounts. Other factors that may affect booking capabilities are: a guest is booking a same-day stay, a rental that can accommodate many people, or a holiday.

Airbnb Suggests Booking Is Unsafe?

Airbnb uses the “unsafe” error message to describe the potential risk that the guest may be throwing a party. This is not used to describe the host or the property.

This error message looks like this: 

“Airbnb prevents reservations for entirely homes when a pattern of factors (like location or reservation time) suggests the booking may be unsafe. This restriction is not related to the coronavirus. Please try a private room or hotel room instead.”

Many hosts were worried that this message was a reflection of their behavior or rental quality; however, this isn’t the case. 

Airbnb offers limited protection to hosts and their property. In addition, there usually isn’t a security deposit collected like at a hotel. Unless an Airbnb host purchases their own rental insurance policy, they face a significant risk if a guest throws a party. 

Rental owners could end up having to pay for any property damage or may even be liable if someone is breaking the law or injured on their property. Airbnb has implemented these guidelines to protect both its hosts. 

To learn more about insurance for your Airbnb rental, check out our review of the five best insurance options for hosts!

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Final Thoughts

It can be frustrating to experience issues when trying to book an Airbnb rental for your vacation. Sometimes the problem is easily solved by contacting the host and clearing up a calendar misunderstanding. 

Sometimes, however, circumstances out of your control will prevent you from booking an Airbnb. Airbnb protects their hosts and their host’s properties by denying rentals to any users whose profile information and reservation request may suggest they are trying to throw a party.

Issues with renting an Airbnb can easily happen to anyone, even if you have good intentions. To avoid losing money and trip disruptions, it is always a good choice to purchase travel insurance for your trip. Get a 5-minute quote from World Nomad’s travel insurance to protect your next trip.

Related Questions

Is there a minimum stay for Airbnb?

Airbnb does not set a minimum length of stay requirement. This decision is up to the property hosts. Hosts may require a minimum stay on their rentals, especially in busy seasons or on holiday weekends.

Can I lie about my age on Airbnb?

Airbnb requires that a renter must be at least 18 years old to book a reservation. Additional restrictions may apply to any renters under the age of 25. Although it may be possible to lie about your age on Airbnb, many renters require identity verification to rent their property. It is always best, to be honest on your Airbnb profile.

Can my parents rent an Airbnb for me?

Having a parent book an Airbnb for minors when the parent isn’t planning on being present is against Airbnb Terms of Service. It is best to contact the host, explain the situation, and see if they would agree to rent their property to minors.

Ryan Drew- Contributor
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Ryan Drew- Contributor

I'm an Airbnb Superhost sharing my Airbnb journey and tips that I've learned along the way.

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