Punctual guests

Lexactitude est la politesse des rois

How many of your guests do provide time of arrival? How many of them do actually arrive on time?

I recently see an increase of guests, who take their plans very seriously. They do notify about time of arrival and if there are any changes, they do notify us. Though we can't demand exact time of arrival due to "airport location", it made my life easier and coordinating with staff smooth as silk. I also believe that the first person who benefits from it, is the guest himself.

I wonder what guests are thinking of, when they travel more than 18 hours on plane to foreign country and yet they do not answer my multiple messages about their arrival time.

Our check in time is till 11pm only as mentioned in the listing. But we accept people at 3am, 5am...I wonder if any of the hosts here denied an entry due to the reason of late arrival.

How to improve the guests punctuality on Booking? Please, share your experience, suggestions and thoughts.

Aaltje B.

punctuality That's a hard one.

There will always be people who don't read their incoming messages, mostly due to not enough service where they are, arriving in a country with big hills.

Reward your people with extras if they reply.

: " surprise reward for great communication" hahaha

Honestly, it also depends what country people come from - how familiar are they with mobile devices, how familiar are they with communication overall..

Business people are excellent communicators, but that's their job.

Travelling from far far away and older people often have more problems.

Technology is not always solving our problems when it comes to optimum communication.

For the remaining guests fitting in the non-communicating category... we have to hope and pray we don't get too many of them.

I have no idea how to solve the problem of that small group. I guess, it's part of our job. You get excellent and poor communicators.

Or advertise for excellent communicators only, haha.


"There will always be people who don't read their incoming messages"
They read, but they don't answer. We should solve this problem somehow


"Reward your people with extras if they reply."

Haha, send them 10 bucks through PayPal for replying :))

Business people... No. Singers and Hollywood stars were the best in communication with my humble experience. And house wives! Classic :)


The best way is to challenge them to answer. For example: please, reply to this message that we know you are really coming and there is someone to meet you

Christian Ortiz

Hi! Yes, a brief, fun message might improve the reply %. Also a courtesy call helps.

The operation staff is usually fine with "landing to the airport" times, since they are already aware of possible delays depending of the time of the day.

And yes, more and more travelers are looking forward to provide all of the possible details (special occasion, arrival time, perhaps an upgrade interest) if approached through their preferred method of contact.


Sarah Heard

From my point of view - with an apartment, the guests absolutely have to tell me when they will arrive - or I potentially won´t be there to welcome them.

I have found it an issue in the past so now I am really clear in my communication to them that they need to tell me an arrival time so that I can go to the apartment to meet them (because I don´t live in the town). In addition I have found it useful asking for a flight number - that way I can check the flight progress, often if someone is delayed on a flight they wouldn´t have any means of communication to tell you. With the flight number it is very quick to check what´s going on.

One more thing that I have started to do, if people request a very late check-in (which I deny - we can only accept arrivals up to 10pm) - I suggest a hotel near the airport which is the same price as our apartment more or less and tell them how lovely the drive through the countryside will be the next morning :-)

michael beeston

Hi everyone................A tricky one.............for me check in is 2 pm BUT if the guests are arriving late or early, almost ALL the time they ring me or communicate through BBC, I have never really had a major problem with check ins..............and I live only 10 minutes away from the apartment so can change plans in an instant.....and remember (for us) we ONLY have couples or single business people so not a major problem for me but I fully understand the problem, especially if the guests DO NOT COMMUNICATE !!!

Also if I cant do the meet and greet, Rita is there to help and does the meet and greet herself. ( she speaks 4 languages )so if the guests are French/Dutch or German she normally goes and says Hello..BUT I always ask the guests for their arrival time when they book, and ask if there is a change PLEASE contact me. (it works ALMOST ALL the time)........SARAH good comments, I live close by so not a major problem.

M Adamopoulou

Punctuality is it important???
Of course it is but....there is always a but..

I live down stairs so if guests are a bit late I don't really mind but I am worried if they have problems in finding us since our street is unnamed and some guests are not very familiar in finding their way using GPS maps. Some of my guests coming from Europe are driving for more then 16 hours to get to us so I am very flexible with checking in. If they are late more than an hour I give them a call asking them very politely if they need any further instructions. My checki in hours are between 14.00 -12. I really don't mind if they come even later, both me and my husband sleep very late so there's no problem. My main issue is when guests don't reply to my messages. Maybe they think that the messages are from booking.com and not from the hosts. It's actually what a guest told me when I asked him why he didn't reply to my messages. I think Katerinka has a point... we should give guests a reason to reply and that's what I am going to do from now on.
Thanks Katerinka for posting...


I had a very nice guest arrive late last night. She had not replied to my message asking for a time of arrival, but was adamant when I politely asked, that she had given her expected time of arrival when she made the booking. I completely believe her, but I have scoured the email booking confirmation from booking.com, my online calendar where all the booking info is automatically posted and now, her booking on the extranet, and nowhere is her eta recorded. Am I looking in all the wrong places? Surely it should be somewhere immediately obvious? Any ideas?

michael beeston

Hello INFO........................The check in time is not always there, so I ALWAYS write to the guests to say hello and ask them "what approximate time do they arrive" and to telephone/text me when they are 30/50 minutes away..........................95% of the time they come back with an approx time and always telephone before arriving. It seems to work well. ..Hope that helps........ Michael

M Adamopoulou

Michael that works for me too.
Thanks for sharing....
Have a great day...

Brendan Kerchoff

Oh I agree, this area needs some attention most desperately.

On many occasions I have guests who'd confirm there arrival time, but arrive about 3 or so hours after the initial time mentioned. Doesn't happen to often but we have the odd one or two


I always send a text message the day before asking what time guests expect to arrive...if by the next morning I have had no response I re-iterate the message through the BDC messaging. Even if guests have provided a time I ask if they are still on course for that time arrival. If their rooms are already ready I also add their rooms will be ready by 12pm hoping to prompt an earlier arrival!

I say ' We look forward to welcoming you tomorrow, do you know what time you may arrive please as I have some errands to run and need to be here to welcome you...' this kind of creates a bit of (false) urgency and guests are more likely to reply if they think you won't be there otherwise.

Our latest check in is 7pm...and this is quite often overlooked by guests who let me know they'll arrive say 9-10pm...I message back saying that being a small family run guesthouse our latest check-in is 7pm but am happy to welcome them so long as it's no later....again gently saying you dance to my tune and I'm not leaving it to you to rock up when you please!

I have had a couple of bookings in the past that have put 11-12(midnight) arrival at which point I contact BDC and tell them the booking is outside our 7pm policy and have never had an issue with BDC contacting the guests and then cancelling the booking with no come back to me.

It is hard as I was once advised by a couple they'd be here about 2pm...so sat around all afternoon waiting....eventually they arrived at about 7.30pm and I gently asked what kept them...'Oh' they said...'we did get to town at 2pm and have had a lovely afternoon exploring the town' !!! Ho hum, what can you say....?

Keep smiling :-)

M Adamopoulou

That’s what most guests say when they are late!!! They are on holidays and they seem to get carried away...

M Adamopoulou

Hi! Sonstbbs thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I like your message and I will keep it. I have sent two messages to my guests arriving next month and have no answer...I’ll try yours maybe I’ll have better luck...

Take care...