Early Arrivals & Late Departures on Airbnb – How to Minimize Disruption and Keep Guests Happy

If you haven’t had to deal with unexpected early arrivals or late departures from your Airbnb guests, consider yourself lucky.  Often, due to no fault of their own, Airbnb guests could find themselves in these situations.

Maybe they were expecting to meet with friends before checking in but found themselves stood up.  So instead of wandering around town lugging their suit cases around, they call you to check in early.  But you’re not done cleaning the place yet.  What do you do?

Or maybe they were expecting to check out but their flight was delayed and now have a extra time to kill. They’d rather stay than show up 6 hours early to the airport. But you need to clean and get the space ready for the next guest.  What do you do?

As you can see, early arrivals or late departures can be stressful for both the guest and host.  Follow these tips to make sure you are prepared for these situations.

early arrivals late departures

Minimize Unnecessary Early Arrivals

It’s tough enough to deal with the unexpected early arrivals so don’t volunteer to take on unnecessary early arrivals.

Do not offer early arrivals directly on your listing.  This is the surest way to create insanity for yourself as a host.  Just imagine dealing with check-in requests that range from 12-4pm on any given day.

Coordinating and keeping track will be painful even for just one or two listings, a nightmare with more.

So in your listing, be specific and direct with your check-in language, something along the lines of: “Check in is anytime after 4pm.”

There is no ambiguity there.  Of course, if you’re doing physical check-ins, you may want to put an time range (e.g. 4pm-9pm) so you don’t risk frequently having to do late night check-ins.

Better yet, be among the growing number of happy hosts utilizing smart locks and keypad locks for remote check-ins.  So whether the guest arrive at 4pm or 4am, as long as they’re not an early arrival, they can let themselves in on their own.

We recommend that hosts use the lowest technology locks that gets the job done before considering high tech gadgets–keypad locks with fewer moving parts are less likely to break down, requires less frequent battery replacement, and often less explanation than their “smart” counterparts (esp if with less tech savvy guests).

Handle the Luggage for Both Early Arrivals and Late Departures

Your guests will have luggage.  And if they’ve traveled far to stay with you, chances are good they’ll have plenty of it.

Whether they’re arriving early or leaving late, your guests will show you immediate gratitude if you can unburden them of their luggage, even for a few hours.

It’s bad enough that they don’t have a place to check in to  yet or have no place to go after checking out.  Add to that loads of heavy luggage they have to take with them?

But it doesn’t have to be that way! As a host, you can have an easy fix–provide a way for them to stash their luggage while they wait.

How? Keep a large storage bin outside the house.  In the backyard.  On the patio.  Somewhere safe and accessible.  But make sure to use a combination padlock for added security. This simple solution will earn you grateful and happy guests.

Have Recommendations for Your Guests

Now that you’ve lighten their load by storing their luggage, go the extra mile by having fun recommendations for your guests to kill time while they wait.

Recommend things to do, foods to eat, places to see, things to do, where to get some work done, etc…

By doing so, you’re either making a great first impression with an early arrival or a great last impression with a late departure.


What are your hosting tips for dealing with early arrivals or late departures?

Become a Smarter Airbnb Host

Join our email group with over 35K hosts to get the latest Airbnb tips, news, giveaways, and exclusive LearnAirbnb offers.

About The Author

9 Comments

  1. Francisco
    October 12, 2017
  2. Clara B
    October 12, 2017
    • Kelly M
      October 12, 2017
  3. Richard
    October 12, 2017
  4. Teresa
    October 13, 2017
  5. Janet Swink
    October 13, 2017
  6. Roxie
    October 13, 2017
  7. Ashley
    October 16, 2017

Add Comment