When Guests pay a deposit, they are making a commitment to stay in their chosen digs. If the Host is unable to respond within 24hrs then it suggests to the Guest that the Host may not be able to accept the booking.
If there is no response within 24hrs the booking is automatically cancelled so that the Guest can search again. This is especially important when requests are made close to the required 'check-in' date.
Notifications of the booking request are sent to the Host at the time of booking and at 2hrs and 1hr before expiry.
It can be a very stressful thing to work away from home for long periods of time and we aim to reduce that stress by making the accommodation booking process fast, reliable and easy.
Some Hosts would like longer to respond but from conversations with both Hosts and Guests, the consensus is that making a Guest wait longer than 24hrs to know whether or not their booking has been accepted would be unfair.
We are constantly improving the site, based on the feedback we receive from our users and 'out-of-office' style settings and SMS notifications are possible new features in the future. This should help the Hosts who are away from their email for longer periods of time.