Chapter 14

Airbnb Instant Book

Airbnb instant books are reservations that a guest can make directly. Guests do not need to inquire or ask the host beforehand. Guests simply choose their travel dates, agree to house rules and press the booking button for their payment to go through.

When homeowners listing on Airbnb have instant book enabled, guests are able to find rentals that allow instant booking through the search filters “instant book”. This allows travelers to quickly find rentals that are available to book right away. Many visitors find this convenient as they do not have to wait for approval from the host, especially during same-day bookings.

Many hosts lower their prices when they have an empty calendar in order to attract last-minute bookings. Homeowners using Airbnb need to make sure they have entered the desired dates correctly for the instant booking option. This way, guests can filter out the listings which need an inquiry beforehand.

Disclaimer: Lodgify is an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner. This guide, including any claims or statements within, is solely from Lodgify and is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Airbnb in any way.

If you’re a Lodgify customer and want to connect via API with Airbnb, please get in touch with our customer support team. For more information: Connect Lodgify to Airbnb

Airbnb Same Day Booking

As Airbnb instant book means that the guest can book directly, it also means that hosts can receive a same day booking. Similar to hotels, a traveler can book accommodation on the same day, provided that the homeowner has Airbnb instant book enabled on their listing.

Airbnb hosts can specify a time of day when the instant booking is no longer applicable. For example, a host can input a cut-off time of 5:00 pm. Guests will no longer be able to book the rental after this time. Similarly, the property will not come up under their search filters of instant book. This works as an advantage for the hosts, as they have enough time before the cut-off time to prepare the rental and have it ready in case of any same-day bookings.

For hosts who want to avoid same day bookings can still use instant book. Homeowners can set an advance notice to their rental from 1 day to up to a whole week. This way, hosts are notified when a guest has booked directly and have enough time to get their rental ready.

Airbnb Instant Book Requirements

There are no major requirements for hosts to have an instant book. The only fundamental factor is to allow guests to book straight away, and depending on preference, allow same-day bookings or be notified up to a week before. It’s important as a host to reach out to the guest straight away, that is, as soon as they have booked. Hosts need to provide guests with any information related to the rental, such as how the check-in procedure goes, if they need to open a lockbox or if there is a code for the wifi door lock to enter the property, etc.

Airbnb Instant Book Cancellation

Hosts are able to cancel instant book reservations without any penalties or fees. This is can be down to several reasons:

  • Hosts do not feel comfortable with having the guests stay due to their previous reviews, such as no review or negative reviews
  • Hosts feel that guests will break their house rules or not respect their property, e.g. have a huge party
  • Guest has not responded to the host after booking

Homeowners can also cancel the booking during the guests’ stay.

In order to cancel, hosts must log in to their account and go to “Your Reservations.” Once they have found the reservation they want to cancel, they press “Change or Cancel” and can go forward with canceling it. Hosts are then asked to select a reason for canceling, hosts can choose “I’m uncomfortable with the reservation or the guest has broken my house rules.”

There are limitations when it comes to canceling Airbnb instant book policy. Homeowners are only able to cancel three times a year. If they go over this limit, they must get in touch with Airbnb community support to avoid any further penalties.

If hosts cancel repeatedly, they may need to turn off the instant book feature.

How to Turn Off the Instant Book

In order to disable the Airbnb instant book feature, hosts must sign in to their accounts and select “Your listings.” From there, they must click on “Manage listing” and then “Booking settings. To turn the feature off, hosts must select “All guests must send reservation requests.” Likewise, to turn it on, click on “Guests who meet all your requirements can book without requesting approval.”

Pros and Cons of Airbnb Instant Book

There are both pros and cons to the Airbnb instant book feature.


  • Helps owners become Superhosts
  • Vacation rental has higher search results
  • An increase in reservations
  • More revenue generated


  • Rental has to be ready every day
  • Can lead to multiple cancelations (both from hosts and guests)
  • No sufficient time to screen guests
  • Can encourage one-night stays

Conclusion: Airbnb Instant Book or Not

The decision of having an instant book solely depends on the host and their preference. For hosts who like to attract last-minute bookers, live in the rental already or want to make more profit, the instant book feature is appealing.

Whereas hosts who like to screen their guests prior to their departure, have enough time to get the property ready and want to avoid any risks, they may prefer to stick with the normal inquiries.