Airbnb iCal Announcement and Next Steps - December 2019

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Airbnb made an announcement that states they will no longer display certain guest information reservation details via their iCal feed starting on December 1, 2019.  This change was made as part of Airbnb’s ongoing efforts to minimize exposure of guest information.

Properties using the Airbnb iCal connection type will be affected by this change.  Properties leveraging the API connection type will not be affected by this change.

Overview

Reservations from Airbnb iCal will no longer contain any guest specific information, including your guest’s name. Per Airbnb, the iCal calendar sync description for reservations will display only the last 4 digits of the guest phone number, along with a link to the reservation details page. The guest’s name and contact information will be removed from the event titles, and the calendar sync will export listing calendar information for future dates only.

The following information will be provided for each reservation exported via iCal moving forward:

  • Summary: Will appear as “Reserved”
  • Description: Will include a “Reservation URL” section with the link to the reservation details page and a “Phone Number (Last 4 Digits)” section with the last 4 digits of the guest’s phone number

Frequently Asked Questions

The API connection won’t be impacted - what does that mean?

For most markets, Airbnb provides an alternate connection type (API) that is similar to how other OTA’s transmit Availability, Rates, and Reservations.  In most cases, the API connection type is recommended instead of the iCal connection, as the API is the fastest, most reliable and secure connection type available.  

What are my options going forward?

Simply stated, most properties have two options to consider:  

  1. Migrate to the faster, more reliable and secure API connection (recommended where Available on Airbnb)
    • Please check the next section "What if I would like to migrate to the API connection" if you choose this option
  2. Stay on the iCal connection that will not display the guest information on the reservation
What if I would like to migrate to the API connection?

Step 1: Please review the Airbnb API - Minimum Requirements and FAQ

Step 2: Follow the steps in the Connecting Airbnb API to myfrontdesk article.

If you have any questions, reach out to our support team at support@cloudbeds.com

What if I choose to remain on the iCal connection?  

Beginning December 1, 2019, any new reservations received from Airbnb via the iCal connection will not contain the guest name, phone number, or any other Personally Identifiable Information.  Reservations received via the iCal connection will still block off the calendar dates as expected, and the calendar availability will be updated across all of your channels as normal.  However, since the guest information will no longer be included in the reservation details, the reservation will show with anonymized values as placeholders that can be updated manually when you make contact with the guest or look that information up by accessing the Airbnb extranet.

Due to this limitation, properties that continue to utilize the iCal connection may wish to implement a workflow in which the reservation staff accesses the Airbnb extranet to obtain the Guest Name, Phone, Email, etc. and manually populate that information into the Cloudbeds system as demonstrated below:

  1. Airbnb Reservation is Received in Cloudbeds.  
    • Includes Reservation ID but does not include Guest Name, Phone, etc.
  2. Reservation Staff accesses Airbnb Extranet 
  3. Reservation Staff references Reservation ID from Cloudbeds and locates reservation in Airbnb 
  4. Reservation Staff copies guest details (name, phone, etc) 
  5. Reservation Staff needs to edit the Cloudbeds reservation to pastes guest details
What if I have additional questions?

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at support@cloudbeds.com

Have more questions? Contact Support

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