How to Handle Grumpy Airbnb Guests

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Much like creepy guests, grumpy Airbnb guests can be quite unpleasant and difficult to deal with. Guests can be grumpy for a variety of reasons, and sometimes it is out of the host’s control.

A host posted in our Facebook Group and said she had the “pleasure” of dealing with a grumpy guest. She said that in an attempt to make small talk upon the arrival of her guest, she made a simple comment about the amount of luggage they had packed. Coming off an average 5-star rating, it can be assumed the host was simply making small talk and nothing else.

It seems this guest didn’t take these remarks all that well and retorted ‘Is that a problem?’. Then they proceeded to ignore the host for the rest of their stay, even when she tried to say hello! Consequently, she asked fellow hosts on our AirHost Academy Facebook Group for advice on how to handle the grumpy guest.


Stay Out of Their Way

If you make a comment or engage in an interaction that is taken the wrong way, apologize and stay out of their way. This will help you avoid any further trouble and will allow the guest a cooling-off period.

Those who started in the hospitality industry will know exactly what this means, especially when dealing with business guests. The majority of business guests like to be left alone and you can sense this from the moment they arrive at the hotel. The same applies to Airbnb guests – business or leisure. More often than not, when a guest would like to be left alone, you can sense it from the way they act, their facial expressions, or how little they respond. 

If you can sense this, save yourself some trouble and awkward situations. Simply do what is required as a host, leave the guest to themselves, and let them know if they need anything to let you know. Otherwise, go about your own business and let them go about theirs. Of course, it is much easier to avoid these situations if you rent out an entire apartment or house. All you have to do is welcome the guest and hand them the keys, or have a process for self-check-in. If you will be sharing the space during their stay, you need to figure out how to manage that situation and act accordingly.

Check the Guest Reviews

If you can sense some negative vibes, some hosts recommend checking your guest’s reviews. In this case, upon checking the reviews, the host discovered that she isn’t the first one to be on the receiving end of a grumpy attitude. Despite the guest having a 5-star rating, it goes to show that star ratings don’t capture all aspects of a guest or host. Reading a full review can give you more clarity on the nature of the guest. Perhaps it was just a bad day, or the guest faced some delays while traveling. Whatever the case may be, take each guest and each case as it comes.

Contact Airbnb

One host mentioned that if the guest is in an incredibly bad mood and as a result, makes you feel uncomfortable, you could contact Airbnb to get them rehoused. This is a very extreme measure but it could be an option for those cases where you just can’t put up with the guest anymore. It should only be considered as a last resort, and not before.

Grumpy Airbnb Guests: What Should You Do?

At the end of the day, Airbnb is a business. Like any business, there will be people with a negative attitude, so it is important to make a plan for how you will deal with guests such as this. Maybe you won’t let their negative attitude get in the way of another guest, or maybe you will decide to leave the guest be. A guest can be grumpy at any time for any reason, so it would be unwise to push the boundaries if you sense that they just want to be left alone. 

Take every guest as they come and every situation as it happens. This is the best advice for handling grumpy Airbnb guests. Yes, no one wants to encounter a difficult or negative guest, but it happens. Hence, you, as a host, must be up to the challenge to deal with such situations. At your first interaction with the guest, be sure to have a smile on your face and a positive outlook. Greet the guest as you normally would and see how they react. If they match your upbeat manner and mirror your smile, that’s great! If not, then you will have to play it by ear, but be careful not to push your luck. However, if their grumpiness is too much to handle, contact Airbnb to take further action.  

We hope that these suggestions will help you in these tricky and uncomfortable situations. Let us know if you have any further recommendations on how to deal with grumpy guests in the comments below.

About the Author Jake Leavy

Jake Leavy has worked in the content industry for 8+ years. Travel writing has been his main focus, however, he also has luxury hotel management experience under his belt. He has traveled to over 50 countries and loves immersing himself into different cultures. Jake combines his passion for travel and hospitality experience to offer hosts tips and tricks to improve their business.