Airbnb API FAQ

In this article you can find the most frequently asked questions regarding Airbnb API connection.

If you don't see the answer you're looking for here or in our resources, reach out to our support team.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Airbnb API and iCal connection?

iCal stands for Internet Calendaring and Scheduling Core Object Specification (iCalendar) and API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface. Find below the main differences:

  1. The iCal connections includes:
    • Real time data feeds that allow you to synchronize calendars between each other;
    • It is not a technology that is exclusive to hospitality applications, nor was it developed specifically for this purpose.
    • Main risks of the iCal connection:
    • High chances of overbooking;
    • It offers an easy way of pulling events (blocked dates or actual bookings) from another system, but the block does not happen instantly as there is no ‘push’ of the event;
    • Remote calendars are only updated whenever the OTA ‘pulls’ a new update, and this could happen as rarely as once a day. Thus, there is an ample risk for overbookings to occur;
    • Prices (rates) are not updated in iCal connections.
  2. The API connection includes:
    • Real-time connections;
    • Instant updates between the systems- reduces the window of time during which a double booking could occur.
    • Flow several types of data, meaning that, more features are supported;
    • Reduces risk of overbookings;
    • Full sync between Cloudbeds PMS and Airbnb listings. We will automatically update your rates, availability, restrictions (MinLos, MaxLos etc.), cancelations and modifications;
    • The sync provides an instant connection to your Airbnb listing(s);
    • Support of sync for room types with multiple units;
    • Support for Discounts, Pricing Rules, Availability Rules, and Taxes/Fees.
How can I disable the old Airbnb iCal connection?

If you have Airbnb iCal connection active - you need to disable it.

  1. Access the Distribution page
  2. Find Airbnb (iCal)
  3. Delete all the links added there
  4. Go back to the channel and remove the checkmark
How many photos can we upload to Airbnb?

You can upload as many photos as you like.

Which channel features are supported?

Airbnb (API) supports the following features:

  • Closed Days
  • Closed to Arrival
  • Closed to Departure
  • Minimum length of stay
  • Maximum length of stay
  • Guest Messaging
  • Cancelations
  • Modifications

Airbnb (API) does not support the following features:

  • Advanced Channel Rates
  • Credit Cards
  • Booking Cutoffs
  • Last-Minute Booking
  • Per Person Pricing
  • Single use rates
How can I check the accuracy of rates and availability sent to Airbnb?

Now when your rates and availability in Airbnb are controlled by Cloudbeds, make sure that the rates and availability are correct on the channel.

To preview Airbnb listing, its prices and availability (as your guest will see it), follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to Airbnb Extranet and go to Listings
  2. Open the listing that you want to check and click Preview listing
  1. On new page you will see a header Preview mode
  1. Select the dates of stay and number of guests

Check the rates and availability accuracy, they should match base rates and availability on Cloudbeds PMS for the selected room type (listing)

Which listing types (other than 'house') do not support multi-inventory?

The answer is provided by the Airbnb team:

"Room Type Inventory Policies:

Room Type inventory allows hosts to have multiple availabilities for the same listing on the same day. Hosts can group multiple rooms into a single “representative” set and use daily availability counts to manage the availability on the listing.

This feature should be implemented only when there is more than 1 room available per day for the listing, and when these rooms share similar attributes such that they can be considered true substitutes; the rooms should have the same amenities, bed configurations, size, decor, and address.

Note that listings with property type House are not eligible to be listed as Room Type Inventory"

How far in the future can Cloudbeds PMS update rates and availability for Airbnb?

Cloudbeds PMS will send the rates and availability for the next 3 years to Airbnb, but Airbnb only shows 365 days.

Will Cloudbeds or Airbnb override Instant Book settings, especially on the guest requirements section?
  • What is the Airbnb Instant Book?

Instant Book is a tool in the Airbnb platform that allows guests to instantly book a property for available dates, without the owner or host's review.

  • Instant Booking and Cloudbeds connection

When your listing is connected via the Airbnb API, Cloudbeds will automatically turn on the instant booking on Airbnb, and it will not be possible to disable it unless you disconnect the channel from Cloudbeds PMS.

  • Reservations received with the Instant Book feature

Administrators will receive a reservation on Airbnb and they can decide if they want to approve the reservation immediately or add a temporary block instead on the channel's calendar, while the customer pays and confirms the reservation.

However, if the temporary block option is chosen, the blocked dates it will not be shown on Airbnb or Cloudbeds, since Cloudbeds overrides the block on the Airbnb calendar. In this case, you can manually create the same reservation block on Cloudbeds as well, and then send a full refresh to the channel, so it reflects on the Airbnb side.

  • Guest requirements section / guest trip information - Will not be overridden

Since the Instant Booking feature will be turned on automatically, you can still edit the guest requirements under Booking Settings when editing your listings on the Airbnb extranet:

Slack | Jessica Irvin | Cloudbeds | 43 new items

Choose which options are required for confirmed guests

  • Profile Photo
  • Government-issued ID
  • Recommendation from other hosts
  • Pre -Booking message (enter a message the guest must read and reply to before confirming the reservation)
Slack | Jessica Irvin | Cloudbeds | 43 new items
Why the daily rates are different from the calendar in the reservation payout?

Although each daily rate may not be the same in your calendar, Airbnb takes the total reservation amount and divide it by the number of nights, displaying that as the daily rate.

For example, in this reservation for 7 days, the daily rates in the calendar were:

  • Friday $29
  • Saturday $23.20
  • Sunday $23.20
  • Monday $18
  • Tuesday $18
  • Wednesday $18
  • Thursday $18

Total: $147.40

Airbnb divided the total by the number of nights, displayed it differently ($21.00/night) to make it more appealing to the guest, and the total is rounded up to $148.00, as follows:

Why can't I see weekly/monthly discounts for my dorm rooms in Airbnb extranet?

When you configure a discount for dorm rooms in Cloudbeds PMS mapping, you will not see these discounts reflected in Airbnb extranet settings. It does not mean that the discount is not being applied.

On Cloudbeds side, the pricing with the discount is already calculated and sent to the channel based on the length of stay and dates.

When weekly/monthly discounts for dorm rooms are created, the channel already receives the rates with the discounts applied according to the length of stay, number of guests and check-in/check-out dates.

If you check a reservation that was done within the weekly or monthly discount rule, you will notice that the final rate already includes discount compared to your calendar rates.

Why the room price shown on Airbnb website is different from Cloudbeds PMS?

There can be different reasons why the room price is different between the two systems. The most common issues:

  • There are taxes and fees that are not configured in one of the systems. Taxes and fees should be configured the same way in Cloudbeds and on OTAs side, to ensure the total for reservations from that channel is displayed at the correct amount.
  • There are discounts and pricing rules set up on Airbnb such us Length of Stay discounts, Cancelation Policy discounts (Refundable vs Non-Refundable), Last Minute discounts, etc.
  • Flat fees will not be included in the rate breakdown. Therefore, they should be added as inclusive. 
Why can't I email Airbnb guests?

Airbnb does not send any guest emails for reservations due to Airbnb policies. Instead, they recommend using Airbnb messaging tools and phone numbers. Check the following Airbnb Help article to find all you need to know about contacting guests in Airbnb: An update for hosts who use the email alias feature.

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