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Blocked dates not appearing on your calendar is a common issue in the Airbnb hosting community. This issue is typically caused by the reservation preferences. These preferences have a setting known as rolling booking windows that tends to be the root of this problem. However, there’s hope! Airbnb released a feature to make these settings more host-friendly. Keep reading to learn more and gain better clarity of these settings.
Why is My Airbnb Calendar Not Showing Blocked Dates?
If you’re experiencing issues with blocked dates, first confirm you are blocking them properly. Next, double-check your settings. By chance, are rolling booking windows on? If this setting is on and you are attempting to block dates that are unavailable make sure you are using the persistent block feature. Also, keep a close eye on your calendar! Certain settings may cause your calendar availability to change daily. Below is an in-depth explanation of everything mentioned. Keep reading for more details!
Let’s discuss the proper way to block dates. Blocking dates as a host allows you to change your calendar availability status to unavailable. You may want to do this because it’s the holiday season and family is visiting, or perhaps you simply want to take a break from hosting. Whatever the case, all hosts should understand how blocked dates work. On your calendar dates can be blocked manually, but do keep in mind, reservation preferences may affect them. To manually block dates, follow the steps below.
How to Manually Block Dates on Your Calendar (via Computer):
- Go to www.airbnb.com and log in to your Airbnb account.
2. Once logged into your profile, click Switch to Hosting in the upper right-hand corner and select the Calendar tab at the top.
3. All of your listings will be shown on the left side of the screen. Select the proper listing to view the calendar.
4. Choose the month you are looking for by scrolling through the calendar (forward and backward), or through the monthly dropdown.
5. Next, click on the appropriate date or click and drag your mouse to select a variety of dates on the calendar.
6. Under the Availability section in the right pane, you will see the Blocked option. Select the radio button next to it, and click Save.
Note: Each date status within the calendar has its own color scheme. If the date is white, it is Available. And Unavailable dates are gray when they are automatically blocked by the reservation preferences. However, when manually blocked, they will be gray with a slash through them.
I keep mentioning the reservation preferences. What are they? These preferences have a variety of settings that can affect your calendar and how it works. Oftentimes, these preferences will be set a certain way that may cause issues. A common problem that can be caused by these settings is blocked dates not appearing on your calendar. This is a known issue amongst the hosting community, and it’s often caused by a misunderstanding of rolling booking windows. What are rolling booking windows?
Airbnb offers a feature called rolling booking windows. It is offered for a total of 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. The purpose of this setting is to not allow bookings out past the selected lot of time. For example, if you updated the settings today and they are set as Booking window: 3 months into the future,this means that your property will not be available for bookings surpassing 90 days out from today’s date. However, it is important to note that as each day passes, a new date in the future will become available for bookings.
What does this mean? This means that even though you set the booking window for three months into the future today, tomorrow the window will change to three months from tomorrow. This feature is called rolling booking windows because it will continue to roll the days out. To be clear, today it is 90 days from the date you are reading this article, and tomorrow, it will be 90 days from tomorrow’s date. When using this feature, hosts must pay extremely close attention to their calendars. Step-by-step instructions on how to access this feature can be found below.
How to Access Rolling Booking Windows (via Computer):
- Following the steps above, log into your Airbnb account and navigate to your Host Listings.
2. Once you see your listings on the left, choose the appropriate listing and select the Pricing and availability tab within the listing.
3. Scroll down to Availability window. The Edit button will be on the right-hand side. Click that to choose your desired window and select Save.
4. Once saved, your bookings should only be available up until the selected time frame.
I mentioned that the rolling booking windows setting tends to be the cause of blocked dates not appearing on your calendar. How is this? Well, blocked dates not appearing on your calendar really means that those dates are no longer blocked. So what we’re actually trying to figure out is, why have your blocked dates become unblocked?
It’s extremely important to know when using the rolling booking windows setting, that once your calendar reaches that final day in the selected cycle, any time after that automatically becomes available for bookings. So, if you chose to only allow guests to book 90 days in advance and you manually blocked days 91 to 95 for a business trip, this setting will automatically override your manual input. This means days 91 to 95 are now open for bookings.
Needless to say, this has been a major issue and has caused a lot of confusion within the hosting community. Before this new feature was released, Airbnb consistently received complaints of glitches as people thought their site was broken. Additionally, the majority came up with a fail-safe option after this issue resulted in canceled bookings.
This fail-safe consists of upping the price of the listing astronomically for the nights that are meant to be blocked off, in addition to adding a note to the calendar (before manually blocking it). This way if it became unblocked, guests were unlikely to book it due to pricing. And later when you see it on your calendar, the reminder to re-block it would be in your notes.
Meanwhile, some hosts simply chose to stop using the rolling booking windows setting altogether to avoid any confusion. Airbnb knew they had to come up with a better, more user-friendly option for their hosts and that’s exactly what they did.
In 2020 Airbnb released a new feature called the persistent block feature. It’s a solution that allows hosts to block dates beyond their set rolling window. When this feature is used, the rolling booking window setting no longer overrides the blocked dates after the selected rolling time frame. How does it work?
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How to Set Up the Persistent Block Feature (via Computer):
Please note, this feature is to specifically be used in tandem with the rolling window setting.
- Following previous steps, access your Airbnb Account and navigate to your Host Calendar.
- Once in your calendar, select the date(s) you want to edit. Note, this date should be outside of the time frame that is currently available. It may be good to choose a date that you have previously tried to block manually but it keeps becoming unblocked.
- Next, you’ll see that the selected date is showing as Unavailable in your calendar, until the last day of the rolling booking window. In your Calendar Settings, it will state Unavailable (until DATE) along with Based on your #-month booking window underneath it. Note, this is when your rolling window will open up and make the date available for booking, whether it’s been manually blocked or not. Remember, the rolling window setting trumps manually blocked input.
- If you want the date to stay blocked when the rolling window is closed, choose the Blocked option and select Save. This will keep the date blocked even after the rolling window reaches it.
- If plans change and the selected date no longer needs to be blocked, you can simply change it back to Unavailable.
When getting into Airbnb hosting, the bulk of us didn’t worry about the calendar settings and how they worked. However, new issues arise daily and we begin to evolve just as much as Airbnb. The more we use the platform, the more we understand it.
We know our fail-safes and our dos and don’ts. And now, we understand why our calendars weren’t showing our blocked dates. Or more so, why our blocked dates were becoming unblocked. Thankfully, another problem has been solved. Always check your settings and double-check those blocked dates! Make sure they stay blocked!