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5 Things You Should Know About Airbnb
Posterd on 16 Sep 2010

Airbnb is a new concept in accommodation that allows individual home and apartment owners to rent out their properties as holiday accommodation to tourists and travelers looking for a homey twist. The site’s tag line, “Travel like a human”, conveys the breadth of the company’s purpose, which is to connect real travelers with real homes-on-the-go.

 

AirBnB2 5 Things You Should Know About Airbnb

 

The concept is absolutely wonderful and, in theory, it should be a great alternative to the stodgy and sometimes just plain icky hotel rooms that one encounters when trying to keep to a travel budget. Airbnb goes one further than most other holiday apartment bookers by adding an element of social media to the site, meaning that proprietors are encouraged to be accessible to their tenants, allowing for like-minded people to connect through housing.

 

I just finished booking my first trip through Airbnb – a weekend away in Paris for my husband and I to celebrate our wedding anniversary. This, I felt, would be an appropo time to invest in a romantic little apartment of our own and live the quaint Parisian life for a few days.

 

What I discovered through the process is that there are some considerations when booking through Airbnb and that the system is far from perfect. I did settle on what appears to be a lovely apartment in Montmartre for a reasonable price, but boy did it take some work to get there.

Here’s what you should know:

 

1) Some Airbnb landlords live on the premises that they rent out. This fact, which is not obvious on first glance, is true of quite a number of the apartments I came across, even when doing a specific search for the “entire house/apartment.” In this instance, the landlord will vacate the apartment for the period that you’re there, or you will have the very unhappy privilege of sharing space with a stranger. Luckily, you can message the apartment owners before booking to find out specifics.

 

2) There are hidden fees. Most of the properties I came across charge hidden fees, and these are in addition to the $31 Airbnb service fee that is a standard tack-on to every booking. The fees range from $20-30 for a post-vacation cleanup fee (shouldn’t that be included in the price??) to a $200-300 refundable damage deposit. Uhhh?

 

3) The calendar sometimes lies. Since some apartment owners list their properties on several booking sites or use the apartment themselves, the Airbnb calendar is not always up-to-date as regards the availability of the property. You’ll want to book well in advance and don’t assume that, just because Airbnb says it’s available, that it actually is.

 

4) You pay through Airbnb. Payment is processed through the Airbnb booking system, either using a credit/debit card or via Paypal. However, as I said, some landlords use multiple booking sites and can’t keep track of their properties. Be sure to carry a receipt of payment from your Airbnb booking with you when you arrive to the apartment to prove that you already paid, or you may be asked to front cash when you get there.

 

5) Linens and towels aren’t always compulsory. What the landlord chooses to outfit the apartment with is up to them, meaning there is no standard for what you will get in the apartment. I saw complaints on several apartments by previous guests who said there were no towels or bed linens awaiting them! Make sure to read the fine print and the user reviews, and don’t book an apartment without confirmation about what’s included.

 5 Things You Should Know About Airbnb
As CEO of Lets Fly Cheaper I live and breath travel, finding the best business class flights for our customers is my mission and in my spare time I also am trying to write helpful articles for our readers.
 5 Things You Should Know About Airbnb
 5 Things You Should Know About Airbnb

58 thoughts on “5 Things You Should Know About Airbnb

  1. Anne Schiller

    Hi,
    As a host often ranked 1 in Seattle I thought I should add comments.
    AirBnB is designed for people to stay in homes when they travel, meet their hosts who give them breakfast, share tips on the neighborhood, and create an entirely different travel experience than you would get booking a hotel room or an apartment. AirBnB does not charge $20 to $30 dollars a booking. A guest is charged a small percentage from as low as 6 percent to 12 percent depending on the length of tour stay. If you choose to book an apartment in a complex or building, yes you may find they don’t supply linens, charge a cleaning fee and have other restrictions. But why pick a place like that when the whole idea of AirBnB
    is to meet a host, have a person who welcomes you into their home,
    supplies a nice free breakfast, offers you lots of tips for touring their local
    area? Do room books quickly? Sure, if the host is good. Read reviews,
    book ahead, and forget about choosing the types of places mentioned in
    the above review. Check out my listing and get a sense of really what
    AirBnB is about. I am sure you will then have a much better sense of
    what it is to stay as an AirBnB guest! http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/23393

    Cheers,
    Anne Schiller

    Reply
  2. Megan Eaves

    Hi Anne, thanks for your honest opinion of the review. I was just posting my own personal experience using Airbnb and have had a very successful stay at an apartment in Paris – you can read the review from that trip here: http://www.letsflycheaper.com/blog/airbnb-paris-review/

    I was not trying to deter people from using Airbnb, quite the contrary. But I do feel it’s worth pointing out that there are hidden fees that are not always obvious on first glance at the site.

    Also, congratulations on being the type of Airbnb host that does not charge a cleaning fee. Many of the properties I looked into while researching my Paris trip do. :)

    Warm regards,
    Megan

    Reply
  3. Danielle

    As a frequent host and guest on airbnb, I feel that parts of your article is one-sided and misleading. Firstly, I’m not sure what you mean by hidden fees; it states clearly on the site that hosts have to pay a small fee (3%) and guests pay one too (6-12%) for each reservation. Anything else, such as cleaning fee, etc, is outlined on each listing. It has been a great experience for me to travel and to stay with locals, who can give great tips on how to best explore an area. Staying with locals is the whole point of airbnb, not that you’ll have an empty apartment to yourself. And as like with any rental, you have to use your wits and make sure to research and ask all the questions to make sure that what you’re expecting lines up with what you’re getting.

    Reply
  4. Bend Bed and Breakfast

    Hi Megan! Like your other commenters, I am a frequent host and guest through Airbnb. I love the service, and as with any, it has its own special caveats which you have provided. It’s appreciated to see a well-written, honest review on the airbnb experience.

    I found your site by searching “airbnb review” and this post appears on the first page of results – thus, I know a lot of travelers will probably come to read your thoughts and even make decisions with it, while not making it down to my comment.

    For this reason, I humbly request that you update your point #2 for your readers.

    First, Airbnb does not charge $31 per booking – we’re such low-priced (yet great!) lodging that this amount is as much as an entire night’s stay in a room when we run specials. Your Paris rental – not surprisingly – must’ve been more lengthy or simply more pricey on a nightly basis than a room or apartment in other cities – thus, the 6-12% of the booking cost charged as a service fee (the percentage is generally lower the longer you’re staying/the more you’re spending) was higher in your case, but a much smaller service fee will be normal for most bookings.

    Second, cleaning fees are definitely supposed to be included in the upfront price. As a host, there is a place to put them in, and when someone inputs desired dates, the total with the cleaning fee is shown. If a host sprang a cleaning fee on you not previously disclosed, they are running bad business and should be reviewed accordingly. As hosts ourselves, we do not charge cleaning fees or cleaning deposits for any of our five available rooms/properties – but if we at some point need to employ cleaning staff and charge accordingly, it’ll definitely be an upfront cost included in the price at the time of booking.

    It’s unclear whether the damage deposit was not mentioned under “House Rules” or just not included in the upfront price. In our “House Rules” for one of our properties, we do request a $50 deposit if a guest wants, for instance, the building’s garage door opener due to the replacement cost if it should be lost. (This is not a frequent occurrence since street parking is freely available in that locale.) But because Airbnb handles all financial aspects and only releases the funds to a host the day after the guest has checked in and reported no problems, there is no current mechanism for deposits and those have to be handled person to person.

    From your description, it sounds like you encountered multiple unscrupulous hosts in your search. This extends to #1 – saying it’s an entire house/apartment when it’s not, #3 – not keeping their calendar updated, #4 – being asked to front cash for the stay (never pay for a stay outside of Airbnb’s online system! This is how scammers operate), and #5 – no towels or linens – just baffling.

    On behalf of all good hosts out there, I apologize for the hosts you encountered in your search. And for the sake of your readers, I ask that you please update point #2. Thank you, and have a great day. :)

    Reply
  5. B,

    Hi Megan,

    Thank you for pointing these things out. As a student, the fees have been more than enough to deter me from booking through airbnb. 12% is just outrageous to me. Unfortunately the site may be better suited for people on a moderate budget who want to save a little money, rather than those of us who truly need rock-bottom prices and accommodations (I’d be happy to pay for floor space, just don’t charge me an extra 12% to sleep on someone’s floor!).

    Reply
  6. apartments for rent jacksonville

    This is the most informative blog that I have ever come across I will definately like to read even more on this subject and I would suggest my friends to bookmark it. Finding a really good apartment or condo is hard and this blog has given me some great tips, thanks again.

    Reply
  7. Satya

    I’m also a frequent guest, in fact, I’m in an airbnb host’s house right now. I use airbnb, vrbo.com, craigslist and homeaway.com as I travel A LOT and love to stay in unusual spaces.

    The good – great experiences in some of the homes with people who LOVE to host people and really beautiful homes with unusual furnishings. meeting new friends and interesting people. getting to stay somewhere other than a boring hotel for the same price or less in beautiful areas.

    The bad – some homes aren’t very clean, sometimes you have to share a bathroom (not always stated), some people are obviously doing it for the money and really don’t want you there, the calendars on the site are rarely correct, it’s not possible to talk to the people without going around airbnb’s rules beforehand so there is some level of risk, many times the room online is not the one you end up in and this can be a frustration. For example, on more than one occasion the room on the site had something especially enticing – like a jacuzzi bathtub or a desk, etc. – and then when I got there that wasn’t the room I was offered. Once actually it was the room of the host that was photographed, not the one they rented.

    The very bad – and this is more about the company than anything – a friend of mine was stalked by an airbnb host online who kept asking her to come stay with him for free in really creepy ways – she brought it to the attention of airbnb in a very professional way and they basically blew her off (I read their email back and was truly shocked). BAD business and honestly, if someone else built the same site right now and cared about it’s customers more, I’d switch over based on that alone.

    So this from someone who has now stayed at over a dozen homes, I’m still enjoying it very much, and I still use other ways too, and occasionally when required a hotel:)

    Reply
  8. Christine

    I’ve just set up as a host on AirBnb and it was interesting to read people’s comments here on the cleaning fee. A one-time cleaning fee made sense to me, because unlike a hotel, I do not provide daily maid service, but rather make sure the room is spotless upon arrival – after that, the room is completely private for my guest, and I don’t even enter. So I don’t want to increase the daily price to reflect cleaning, but at the same time, I need to clean just as much afterwards if a person has stayed only one night as if they stayed a week, so the $25 cleaning fee is applied only once during the stay.

    I think the way it shows up is once the guest enters the number of days they intend to stay, AirBnB quotes them a daily price that includes the cleaning fee divided between that number of days. So a $75/night room with a $25 cleaning fee would show up as $100/night for one night, but $83/night for three nights, $79/night for a week, etc. It seems pretty up-front to me, but I’m interested to hear if, even knowing that, people still have a bad feeling about cleaning fees. I’m pretty anxious to be a good host, so would probably restructure my fees if that were the case.

    Reply
  9. Micheline

    Before renting, be sure to read the Terms of Use especially item 7.7.
    This is fraught with the possibility of abuse.
    Damages according to whose description?????

    Reply
  10. Michael

    I had a horrible experience in Phoenix. Horrible. Room wasn’t heated. The apartment smelled of cat doo doo and urine. The room wasn’t clean. There were people staying in the apartment that were definitely bad news and not the person I rented from. In fact the classy woman in the ad, I believe, did not exist.

    Someone was finding a way to make a few bucks in an apartment complex for rooms they could not rent. So they had some low lifes living there and I really felt I was at risk for you name it – bed bugs, druggies, thieves, murderers. Just saying, there really are NO standards.

    I wrote an honest review and THEY WOULD NOT PUBLISH IT. Think about it. How many negative reviews do you read? None or few. They only allow positive reviews. I wrote and called to complain to no avail.

    You are taking a real risk with these idiots. I am male and would definitely not let my wife book to travel alone to one of these sites. Sorry to burst your romantic bubble.

    Reply
  11. Scott

    I really like the concept of AirBnB and was really looking forward to the experience. Much like the author, I’m in the process of booking an apartment in Paris and have had almost exactly the same experience. The sad news is that my experience is actually worse – I haven’t been able to find a place to stay and I’m leaving in 11 days. This isn’t a case of me waiting until the last minute, but because the original place I booked over a month ago was just cancelled on me this week. Yep, a friendly little email from AirBnB that said sorry, your reservation has been cancelled. I’ve since learned the host had a flood and had to cancel all reservations in September. I guess I’m glad it didn’t happen while I was there, but it has taken me back to square one.

    Starting over is really the crux of the problem. While the idea is for people to post their properties and availability, that’s not how it works. I have contacted 43 hosts and have received a pathetic response rate of 53%. Huh? You want to rent your place, but can’t take the time to actually RENT it. This takes me to my next complaint – the apartments aren’t available. Huh? That’s right, of the sad 53% who do respond, 42% of the places aren’t available. I’ve learned that you can’t just use the Book It option – you must try to contact the host because nearly half the time the place isn’t actually available. I booked a replacement earlier this week after communicating with the host several times and having AirBnB contact her about the security deposit (see Fees below), only to have her cancel it because someone else wanted to book a month.

    Even though I haven’t had the opportunity to stay at an AirBnB place, I can confirm with the author that all 5 of her tips are accurate – at least in Paris. As she indicated, you can help mitigate these concerns by asking about these items first, but cross your fingers that you can actually get someone to respond. I would add the following 5 additional tips:

    1) Fees – You really need to pay attention not only to the ‘extra’ fees, but also to how you pay for them. In several properties I looked at, a separate security deposit was requested in local currency at check in. AirBnB does have a security deposit feature, but it’s not mandatory for hosts to use. This means that you may need to convert from your local currency to another and hopefully back to your local currency. That could mean a loss of several hundred dollars just in exchange fees.
    2) Street View – The address posted in the listing is generic for the area – don’t be fooled by thinking that you’re looking at the actual property.
    3) Time Differences – Contrary to AirBnB’s own claim that most hosts will confirm a reservation within 4 hours, this doesn’t appear to be accurate. I have an 8 hour time difference, so I need to plan to either send my request first thing in the morning or expect a response the next day. In both cases, neither of my booked and then cancelled reservations happened in less than 24 hours.
    4) Reviews – The reviews are helpful, but there are still tons of places that don’t have any. Someone has to be first, so AirBnB tries to mitigate this by showing people are more trustworthy if they have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts. The problem is that you can’t see any of these feeds, so all it means is that someone has an account. Additionally, if a host has several locations, all of their reviews will show, even if they don’t have a review of the place you’re trying to book. This helps speak to the host’s credibility, but not the property – don’t get caught reading a review for a different place.
    5) Search Utility – It’s helpful, but I found that I had to go back and re-add the options I wanted several times. For example, ‘smoking’ is an option you can select – all properties should show up as non-smoking by default. In reality, I found the reverse to be true more often than not. I would find a great place, only to check the Amenities tab to find that it’s actually a smoking place.

    On the positive, after my first listing was cancelled, AirBnB sent me an automated email saying they would give me $100 off my rental if I rebooked another place. I later received a semi-personalized email from AirBnB offering $150 off. When I booked my second place, the credit was only $100. A phone call to AirBnB resolved this without question, but certainly a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

    Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment, but I’m giving AirBnB one last try before booking a hotel.

    Reply
  12. tricia hanson

    We recently booked airbnb for a stay in LA. The place where we were to stay Hollywood Heaven, was less than half the size it was reported to be; the individual didn’t have the place ready when we arrived at that time agreed upon; he then didn’t have the key with him initially, and so took all of about 2 min. to break in through the back patio doors. Then because he was going to get some supplies and had no way to lock the flat, we couldn’t leave our things there. When we arrived later that evening and ready to sleep, we realized that there was hair in the sink from someone shaving, scum in the toilet and bathtub; and hairs from multiple people in the sheets. Because there was no wi-fi available as promised, and our t-Mobile cell phones didn’t get coverage there, we couldn’t contact airbnb.
    We found a hotel, feeling that the flat wasn’t safe both from hygiene or security perspective, and stayed there. Airbnb called then and initially assured us that we would be taken care of and telling us to wait for a day or so while they sorted it out. They used this time to send through our VISA transaction and then told us that we were obligated to pay the amount as indicated by our reservation with a small refund unless he rented it to someone else during our reserved stay. After much contact with them and appealing they ended up giving us about a third of our money back.
    I would never use this service again and couldn’t recommend anyone else do so either.
    While I am glad that some people have had positive experiences with them–it appears to be very unpredictable.

    Reply
  13. Janii Doonberry

    We booked a condo with airbnb and had to cancel more than 3 weeks before our arrival date. The host has refused to refund our money. They required the ENTIRE amount of the stay to be paid upfront.
    Beware of this company. We are having charges reversed through our credit card co.

    Reply
  14. Janii Doonberry

    Avoid Airbnb at all costs. This company is a scam. We booked a unit and then had to cancel almost a month before our trip. They refused to refund 50% of the money we paid (they require 100% payment at booking). They do not pay the host until you move in so they are in control of the money.
    Book with a more reputable company. Always remember to pay all monies with a credit card so you.
    have protection. We are having the charges reversed on the card.

    Reply
  15. Kate Adams

    They don't have a clue as to how to handle the money at all! I have lost over 3000 dollars in bookings due to their direct incompetence! STAY AWAY

    Reply
  16. Pingback: An Airbnb Experience in Paris | Lets Fly Cheaper Blog

  17. Gael

    Hi everyone. I am a host on Airbnb and I think they have a wonderful site. It’s still quite young, with lots of room for improvements, that’s for sure, but you have to admit that they are doing a very good job.

    Because I rent out 2 apartments in Bangkok, I felt quite overwhelming to post my apartments on several sites (others than Airbnb, for more visibility), answering all the booking requests, payments, and coordination for the check-ins. Because (or thanks to) this, I have decided to start a service called 89Rentals.com. It is not listing properties – it is a service for property owners: we build and promote listings on many sites (time consuming, isn’t it), and we also have staff answering (fast) all booking requests for owners – a good way to get your rankings higher on AirBnB…

    Anyway, I don’t mean to advertise my new service but your input would be gladly appreciated. We currently service south-east Asia and oceania. Would this service be of interest for owners in the US/UK?

    Reply
  18. sewe

    I read reviews on everything, from choosing a doctor to picking a place to stay at. So for the people who had bad experiences with the place or the host, I find it hard to believe that no other user would have reviewed the place thus enabling you to make an informed decision beforehand.
    I would never stay at a place that has 0 reviews or at one that even had less than 5 stars for cleanliness. So I think when people have bad experiences maybe its not all airbnb’s fault?

    Reply
  19. Yasmeen

    The Cleaning fees are actually mentioned in the booking along with the Concierge Service. You do not know what you are talking about. Maybe it’s just that you did not read in great detail what the terms and conditions were because it explains it all in four sections of the terms and conditions. Also sorry to Grace, Hopefully Airbnb gives you your money they owe you.

    Reply
  20. Tom K

    I’m a brand-new Airbnb host in St. Paul, MN, ten days away from hosting my first guest, who’s also a first-time member. How do I feel? Excited, yet nervous. Hence, searching for reviews to see what others have experienced.

    First, my thanks to Megan for your original review. Very sensible and fair. However, since your review was posted over 13 months ago, it appears that many improvements have been put in place. Currently available features that appeal to me as a host include the (free) use of an Airbnb-sanctioned photographer to document what my property looks like. Also, $50,000 in damage insurance for hosts, and the fact that Airbnb handles all the payment transactions for me, with clear communication about amounts and extras. Finally, there’s an extensive FAQ available on safety and security, and there appears to be enough support staff on board now to be really responsive to the three issues I’ve posted during my setup period.

    Bottom line, I’m comfortable enough to give this a try as a host. From a guest’s perspective, I’d recommend doing as much research and communication as you can before booking. Look at all the details about a property. Look for properties with Airbnb-verified photos. Ask the host questions via Airbnb. Read reviews if available. (Since I don’t have any reviews yet, I’d expect prospective guests to grill me about my situation to at least make sure I’m legit.)

    In terms of the balance between “adventurous” travel and staying in a corporate box, I tried to put myself in the shoes of the traveler when offering our property for rent. We live in the same building, but not in the rental space, so we’re available but not on top of guests. I can’t imagine staying in a place that’s not clean or without sheets or towels (except maybe at a fishing camp) so of course those are provided. But given the open nature of this social lodging network, I would ask about all these things if I were trying to find a decent host like myself!

    I’m hopeful that in two weeks I won’t be writing one of those sordid tales of a disastrous experience (and that my first guest won’t write one, either). I’ll let you know! http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/250489

    Reply
  21. Lucy Scardino

    We only list on Airbnb – no other site. I update the calendar daily. We have always included sheets and all other bedding, towels, and new soaps, just like a good hotel. A very clean cottage is always presented. We live in the big house and are almost always on site to answer questions or provide service, but we are not intrusive. We leave magazines, maps and brochures about our village and area for guests to use. We have never had a bad review. We take our hosting very seriously and expect our guests to respect our property and report problems and accidents. Airbnb has updated their security and confirmation system, but we have never had a problem with Airbnb or an Airbnb guest. Visitors from as nearby as Savannah, GA and as far as Berlin and Australia have stayed in our guest house during the last year and expressed total satisfaction that everything was as presented on the Airbnb site. All posted photos on the site were taken by an Airbnb photographer. Please come visit our lovely historic area on the May River.

    Reply
  22. Joe

    I had my first experience with AIRBNB last month in NY and it was a terrible one. Ended up staying only one night (after paying for a full week) at the property with my wife and my 2 year old son. In summary, I lost my 2.500 USD payment, the property was in very bad shape (dirty, run down, falling apart), the host made false promises to return the funds I had payed (that’s why I left the property in the first place) and there was nothing AIRBNB did to help or cover the charges. AIRBNB did not even let me review the place after I had cancelled.
    I would strongly suggest anyone looking to rent an apartment with AIRBNB to look somewhere else or to stay at a Hotel (do not expect to have any security based on reviews). Do not expect any guarantees from this company or from the clients using this service to promote their properties.
    Here is a link to the property I stayed at (notice all the good reviews, no wonder, AIRBNB does not let the bad reviews go through although stated otherwise in their policy’s):

    http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/24215

    Reply
  23. Matthew

    I’m looking forward to trying this out too as both a guest and a host. However it would make me feel 1,000,000 times better if the $50,000 damage insurance for hosts included New Zealand, which it doesn’t – it only includes select countries.

    Reply
  24. Karen

    I’m looking for a nice place to stay during our holidays this december in Florida. Hotels are always available however one loses the feeling of being in touch with the locals or miss great tips from them about nice places to go and see, and that is why my husband and I have always loved to stay at b&b’s. Now the idea of doing this through any website such as airbnb doesn’t quite well fit me, since one can never trust the pictures posted on the ads or any information posted by the “hosts”, particularly if you can’t talk to them directly. And this gets even worse when the system is asking you to pay the whole amount of your stay at once way before checking in. I just want to book the place and the system should be more flexible by working as every other lodging system does. This is by booking online or via phone with your name, check-in and out dates, and credit card number, of course with the due cancel policies clearly remarked such as with booking.com. If you could not make it then you have the chance to cancel your reservation up to 2-3 days prior the check in without any fines. Sometimes things are out of our hands, I’m talking as a guest, and we must cancel reservations for whatever reason. We’re all not Americans, so things like not getting your passport on time with your visa to travel or your pets sitter cancelled at last minute and you need to cancel your whole trip …. can happen and we are forced to cancel holidays just like that…
    I would love to use airbnb but not yet until they are more flexible with the payments during booking. Thanks.

    Reply
  25. Roberta Trucco

    i understand you had a bad experience and this can happen even in the best hotels of this world.i actually think that the majority of airbnb hosts , included myself,are very well motivated thx also to the nice review we can do have from guests and before booking a place you can check guest recviews in order to get sure you'll go to the right place…i don't think when a host got more than 10 good reviews heor she has all liars as guests..and you can check mine though…http://it.airbnb.com/users/show/1112966

    Reply
  26. lashon

    “sewe says:
    October 20, 2011 at 6:39 PM
    I read reviews on everything, from choosing a doctor to picking a place to stay at. So for the people who had bad experiences with the place or the host, I find it hard to believe that no other user would have reviewed the place thus enabling you to make an informed decision beforehand.
    I would never stay at a place that has 0 reviews or at one that even had less than 5 stars for cleanliness. So I think when people have bad experiences maybe its not all airbnb’s fault?”

    We recently had a horrible experience with Airbnb as well. The place was very nice and just as it appeared in the picture. The problem was there were bed bugs. As soon as we discovered the bugs we took pictures, killed them, left them on a paper towel for the owner to see, packed up everything at 2:30 in the morning, vacated the premises and notified the owner via text (as not to wake her at 2:30 am). We have been battling with Airbnd and the owner ever since to get a refund of the remaining days we did not stay. We also posted a review detailing our experience but as usualy the negative review was not posted on the site.

    So in response to your post, many people research (as we did) but when the negative posts are posted and all you see are positive reviews you are being misinformed and lead to believe the owner has nothing but positive reviews. So yes, it is entirely Airbnb’s fault.

    Reply
  27. Becky

    Wow, was confused by your post. I’m a newer host and understand that there is a percentage added to the rental — just like the tax that most hotels charge. The site does allow owners to specify security deposits if you accept renters with pets, etc. And, extra charges for additional people. Maybe that requires closer reading than people are accustomed to with hotels?

    It also seems clear on the site that you’re often staying in people’s homes – that’s the whole point, isn’t it? But, there are definitely pros and cons to that. The “pro” is hopefully that you’re getting a great price.

    It just sounds like your situation was so different than my understanding. Is it that it’s done differently in Europe than in the states?

    Thanks,

    Becky
    http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/302866

    Reply
  28. JL Nelson

    I made and cancelled a reservation in Oakland, CA on the same 28 Dec for a 6 Jan arrival day. Well in advance of the in the cancellation policy 5 days ahead of my arrival date. The website stated I would receive a full refund. Somewhere in the fine print I found I responsible for, and received a refund minus $16.00. I won’t use or recommend airbnb again.

    Reply
  29. FB

    Another vote for bad airbnb experience as a renter- with their token blow off customer service and no interest in credibility of listings they wont be around long

    Reply
  30. Renee Korb

    As a host, I have found Airbnb to lack customer service, pay fees timely and provide an adequate web site that informs guests & hosts with useful information. I’ve pulled my listings and went back to Craigs list and VRBO. They have a long way to go before I reconsider using them again.

    Reply
  31. aamir

    I was all charged up about using AirBnB as a guest. After going through all the comments, my decision is ‘NO AirBNB’ for me ever again.

    Thank you all for your inputs.

    Reply
  32. Phuong Schlimmer

    Even the best psychics are human and usually are not infallible, like the rest of us they are definitely not perfect. So why should we expect so much through the person doing the reading for us.

    Reply
  33. Ray

    I found that if you leave an honest review for future travellers, the hosts flame you. My experiences were not great, and i reviewed them honestly- Anne states breakfast with host- I never received breakfast on any of the 3 days-not even coffee- when I stated that in the review, I was asked to revise my post to create good will.
    Another one complained that I showed up with 2 people and paid for one when, although that was true, it was stated in the booking. Why on earth would I ask for 2 beds if only 1 person was in the room.
    I found that none of the places I stayed in were remotely as described.

    Reply
  34. Siren

    Airbnb is one big lie. They took down my review of guests whom broke the rules and were asked to leave my apartment.I am a host and had a horrid experience with 2 guests that smoked in my non smoking unit. They ruined my tiny studio apartment. They were there only 2 days and must have smoked 2 packs each hour. It was so bad that I had to buy a new BED! The owner of the complex was called by the neighbors and I was almost evicted from my place. Thankfully the guests admitted to smoking in the email even though they denied it upon vacating. I went over the house rules with these guests and had them sign them in person!!! After dealing with countless airbnb emails and calls the guests were evicted.
    It has taken me weeks to try and rid my apartment of the smoke smell and it still smells like smoke. I am going to have to paint the entire unit now as i feel that is the only way to get rid of this smell. I am so allergic to smoke and in the state of which i live SMOKING is illegal in public places and most apartments.
    Again airbnb does not do background checks, credit checks or even make the guests or hosts fill out proper paperwork for legal matters.
    They also remove all bad reviews from hosts and guests to hid countless negative comments about their company.
    I will not use airbnb again and have reported them to the better business burro. As a movie tv industry employee they have pissed off the wrong person.

    Reply
  35. Jasmim Y

    As an airbnb host I can tell that Airbnb is highly ineffective in providing hosts with safety and peace of mind.

    I have had 2 incredibly bad, destructive, and horrible altogether guests and even though I informed Airbnb that I wanted them OUT of my house both parties stayed. The last people even were offered a 50% discount (that comes out of my pocket) to stay when I mentioned over and over again that I did not want them in my home. I was FORCED to host them in my house for the longest 5 days of my life. I told airbnb that I wanted the choice not to host people I don’t want in my home. To make matter worse, these people damaged my property and I am working with airbnb to see if I can hold some money to cover.

    Second problem, the security deposit and host warranty. Both a joke. A guest broke a bed, I sent airbnb pictures of me on the bed so you could see how it bent in the middle. Their response, the bed does not look broken on the pictures. I am sorry but just because it is not obvious in a picture it does not mean it is not broken, why can they send someone? They told me to see if I could deal with the guest, the 100 deposit does not even come close to replacing a queen mattress. This is the second mattress guests have broken (the first one a 300 aerobed airbed which the guest burnt with the heater, we informed airbnb and again the 100 deposit did not cover for it so we let it go altogether).

    Do I feel safe and appreciated as a host? No. Do I think the deposit and the warranty are complete jokes? Yes. Are people at airbnb nice and in the communications? Yes, but they are highly ineffective.

    Host at your own risk. I do it because it is my income, but I am quickly learning that hosts are on their own, even though airbnb claims that they are doing all they can to protect us. The chain breaks in the weakest link and in the case of airbnb, the weakest link is the host.

    Reply
    1. Juan

      Hi Jasmin. Your post says it all. Please email me at flores11201 gmail

      I have been talking with several Lawyers on a “class action” suit.
      Class action means the attorney’s get paid after a settlement. Class action’s are brought because the “damages” incurred by each plaintiff
      is less than 10,000. A sum not large enouph to pursue a well financed though small American Corporation such as AirBnB. For example. 10 host’s with a median of “damages” of 7,000 start a case.
      It is $70,000. Once started and publicity spreads. It can rise quickly to 100 plaintifs. Now the agregate damages is $700,000.00
      More than sufficient for the class Action specialist Attorney to recover his legal fee’s iether in a settlement or final judgement.

      Sorry for this horrible experience you had. Hopefully more Host’s and former host’s will stop by soon.

      Reply
  36. Elaine s.

    We’ve used Air Bnb on 7 occassions, in five different countries.

    As a guest, the experience varies – we found you really need to do your homework, ask lots of questions of the host, google info about the neighbourhood (e.g how difficult is it transport-wise to get there?), read the reviews carefully for tiny hints, and also look at other reveiwers’s profiles to see if they match yours (we’re middle aged so for example, lots of postings by 18 years olds saying it’s in a really cool area close to nightclubs for us means it’s probably going to be noisy :-)). It’s not much different to the process we go through on hotel review websites.

    Like hotels, other air bnb guests can be really inconsiderate too – we stayed in a share place (all rooms rented out on Air bnb), where other guests decided it was a good idea at midnight to prepare a meal that lasted for 3 hours, right outside our bedroom door.

    Quality varies too – we’ve stayed in places that matched the description, that were really clean and super comfortable, and others where we’ve had to wash the dishes before we used them, and ended up with the mattress on the floor because it was so old and sagged so much.

    We also had a bad experience with one place where the shower was so grimy and caked with sludge, we had to spend several hours cleaning it before we were able to use it. The floor looked as though it had never been swept. When we approached the host about our cleanliness concerns, he became aggressive, personal and nasty. Air bnb intervened and we got a full refund (despite the cancellation policy being strict) of all unused nights. We weren’t able to post our experience though, despite staying several days.

    We’ve also had a host offer a refund because of domestic violence noise by neighbours, a host who let us make (free) telephone calls because it was included in his phone plan, hosts who’ve let us use food in their fridge/pantry free of charge, hosts who provided free washing powder for the washing machine, hosts who’ve gone out of their way to give us a ride to an airport and from a train station.

    Overall, we’ll keep using the service because we’ve found it generally offers a better (and cheaper), and more private experience than a hostel, and in some instances, than a hotel. We’re just a little more experienced and wiser with it now (we hope!).

    Reply
  37. Tosca

    After reading all of the comments about how both hosts and renters have been treated unprofessionally, I have to agree. My boyfriend and I also have had a mixed experience. We stayed at two places, both of which gave us the use of the whole apartment. The first place, in San Sebastian, Spain, was a very nice experience. The apartment wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough, and our host was both respectful of our privacy yet also generous with her time. The second place (in Stockholm, Sweden) was much nicer, in fact, but the hosts were a little negligent, in my opinion. When we arrived late in the evening, sheets were still drying on the bed. There was no toilet paper in the house. Our host told us that we could blame the previous folks, as they had not replaced it. He was quite polite but clearly in a hurry to leave, so we tried to be respectful and to help him hurry along the check-in. Upon check-out we had agreed to leave our luggage at the apartment and collect it later, before we left for the airport. Since the hosts still had not returned when we left for the day, we decided to take the keys with us in case anything went wrong. It turned out to be a good thing we had, because they texted us quite late in the day to let us know that they couldn’t be at the house as planned. Imagine if we hadn’t kept the keys! Upon our return home we received an e-mail from Airbnb reporting burn marks in the kitchen. We explained that we had not caused them, but Airbnb still paid our deposit to the host on the basis of some extremely sketchy evidence. One of our hosts claimed that she had “before and after photos”. Before and after when? She said that Airbnb should feel free to ask any previous guests if the marks had been there during their stays. She additionally lectured us by e-mail about how a walk-through itemization list works when one rents a car, which if anything contrasts with the check-in procedure that we had. In my opinion, the person who handled our arbitration did not have a clear methodology for evaluating evidence. I don’t know what she based her decision on, but it was not the evidence. I have mixed feelings about the service, but based on the number of unfortunate stories I’ve heard and my own experience, I’d give it a pass.

    Reply
  38. DCdude

    I host people through Airbnb.com and I had bad experience with guests who came through airbnb.com. They provide very bad customer service to hosts as well guests.

    Many guests in Airbnb have an attitude as they own the room or house. This is a fault of Airbnb causing misunderstanding to guests. There are lot of websites like airbnb.com popping up (eg.Onefinestay.com and many others) and they take care of the Hosts and guests better than Airbnb.com.

    So I dont recommend using airbnb as a guest or host.

    Reply
  39. Barbara

    I’m currently hosting my 8th set of guests through Airbnb and, knock on wood, my experience has been really rewarding. All my guests have been excellent. They’ve been clean, neat, quiet and have respected my house and my few rules. It’s been really fun and interesting for me because I’ve met so many different people (a bicycle designer, a professional ice skater, a research scientist, and others) and enjoyed talking with them.

    I take my role as a host very seriously and do my best to make sure everyone has a good stay at my home.

    After reading the problems others have had, both as guests and as hosts,(and thank you all for posting them) I will make sure that everything is spelled out in my listing, and that I do an even better job of screening potential guests.

    Airbnb in my experience has been very truthful about what they do and don’t do – I know they don’t personally screen guests for example, so that’s my job – and they have paid promptly so far. Fortunately I’ve never had to make a claim for damages, or have a guest evicted, so I can’t speak to their customer service in that regard. With so many hosts and guests, and for the very small fees they charge, there are certain to be wide variations in experiences.

    Reply
  40. Spencer Lyles

    I recently had a very similar experience as that described by tricia hanson above. The rental was misrepresented in the listing, e.g. a “4bdrm house” that only had 3 beds – turns out bringing in a 4th bed costs an extra $50 a night, the “A/C” was one window unit in a 3 story house, the 2nd bathroom had a shower with the tub full of mold, the bed linens were dirty, etc . . .

    Me and my friends stuck it out for one night, sleeping on the bedcovers since the sheets were dirty, but it was so bad we decided to rent a hotel room instead, regardless of whether we could get a refund or not. I went through the Airbnb “travel issues” process (this is what they use to describe their policies for filing complaints/getting a refund). I was assured over the phone I would at least be refunded for nights not spent at the house. I sent pictures of the lodgings as requested and ended up with less than a third of what I paid as a refund. Very costly for the 4 of us that were planning to split the rent :( .

    The bottom line is that when things dont work out there is little recourse for the renters and the quality control process is sorely lacking. The same listing is still up, essentially unchanged, and I am unable to leave a review because my stay was “cancelled”.

    As others have mentioned, the concept sounds wonderful but if things go wrong you’re pretty much on your own . . .

    Reply
  41. Gus

    I’ve found more bad reviews of airbnb than good ones (except on their own site of course) not just on the internet either. Though I’ve had some good experiences I’ve had more bad ones and the same goes for the people I know who’ve used it. As a result I no longer use airbnb. It’s an unprofessional “service”.

    Reply
  42. Nomi Schwartz

    I have been a host with airbnb for nearly two years and hosting guests in general for more than four years. As a host, I too have had good and bad experiences. My aim is to provide my guest with a great experience of both my home and my city, Tel-Aviv, Israel. And yes, I do offer a room in my apartment. I’d like to offer a few insights:
    1) Check if the photos are Airbnb verified. This is indicated on the photos themselves and allows you to know that an airbnb photographer has been at the home and taken the pictures and so the images you are seeing are legitimate. I myself have done this twice now, as I made changes and additions to the room and my living room area. I also added some of my own images of cafes/bars in the area so my guests have some idea of what’s on offer near by.
    2) I have been a guest myself and yes the pictures were both right and some others misleading when they weren’t airbnb verified
    3)Guests, you are not staying at a hotel. It’s not for us to have to pick up towels after you. Respect the common areas. I don’t enter a guests room on their stay. It’s there space and I respect that.
    4) Guests, don’t just wait to write in your review that you were unhappy with something in your stay. Talk to your host. Remeber we aren’t professional hoteliers. If you stay somewhere during a change or seasons or you are just cold, ask your host for a blanket or heater but, at least tell them and give them a chance to rectify the problem. This happened to me and I would have gladly provided my guest with a solution or two.
    5) I offer brochures and maps in the room and also let my guest know I am approachable if they have any questions or they are looking for advice. I’m happy to engage with them or if they want space, that too. I have days sometimes where I don’t even see a guest. It really depends on the guest and what kind of experience they are looking for.
    6) I definately find airbnb good for single women travellers and I have alot stay with me. There is a comfort and security that is offered both to me as a host and to the guest.
    7) You need to ask questions before making your reservation and clarify anything you aren’t sure of. I know I am happy to answer any question to make sure a guest is at ease with the process and secure in their booking.
    8) Read the profile of the host if you feel unsure. Also, guests, write a little about yourself and give the host a better idea about you too.

    At the end of the day, it’s about having a great travel experience and meeting new and interesting people from all over the world. It’s fun !!!
    Nomi

    Reply
  43. Rafi

    As a first time AirBnb HOST, I have to tell you all something that isn’t mentioned much on the internet: BEWARE! We experienced damage to our home (nothing serious, but about $1,200 worth of repairs). AirBnb is claiming it is “regular wear and tear” and won’t turn over the security deposit. The GUEST has seen the damage and knows it is his responsibility, but…so far, I’m paying out of pocket. AirBnb makes absolutely arbitrary decisions about the difference between damage and “wear and tear.” Our home was renovated completely 5 months ago (by US, as we are interior designers with many, many projects under our belts) and was in pristine condition when we left it. When we returned, there was water damage to a lacquered cabinet–the finish is buckling off and there are visible spots all over it, so it has be be refinished. AirBnb calls this regular “wear and tear.” You won’t find us listing our house ever again. Their guarantee is a scam. BEWARE!

    Thanks for listening. Glad you all love it so much.

    R

    Reply
  44. May

    Agree what Renee said. last saturday i received a booking from Airbnb. but until today they haven’t release the payment to me yet.

    i have no idea when they will release the payment. and their customer service did not answer the question directly. seem like they trying skip the problem not solve the problem.

    Reply
  45. Becky

    Ah come on… You just have to read a little bit. If you’ve been out there long enough to create a listing and get a booking, you should surely know by now that you get paid the day after your guests arrive. This is very clear.

    I’m a host, but not in any way associated with Airbnb, but these are obviously fake complaints. By a competitor? By someone spamming for links? Not sure.

    Go to airbnb.com, click on host. Right there on the that page your question is answered under How Do I Get Paid.

    Not sure how they could make it much easier for you! Just sayin’!

    Reply
  46. May

    I believe, as in everything else, there are unscrupulous people on both sides of the issue. I also believe that there are some issues that need to be handled a lot better by Airbnb and certain things need to be made clearer and easier for both the host and renter. For example, I understand not returning the Airbnb fee without a legitimate reason to prevent people holding hosts hostage by choosing multiple rentals and cancelling last minute, but the cases that it can be returned are extremely limited at best.
    Death in the guest’s family
    Serious illness of the guest or a guest’s a family member
    Natural disaster in the destination country
    Political unrest in the destination country
    Jury duty or other similar civil obligations

    What if the renter has misrepresented something in their listing and this was discovered beforehand? In my opinion this should also be one of the reasons for getting the fee back. In my case I am post back surgery and need to sleep on a real bed. I cannot sleep on a pullout, futon etc. For this reason I ALWAYS look for a real bed in the description. The most recent place I had booked stated it was a real bed and the pictures showed the bed made up in the master bedroom. I always read every review carefully specifically for mention of the bed and as to whether it is comfortable or not. There wasn’t any mention of the bed so I contacted the host and found that despite stating it was a real bed in actuality it is a futon. Yes, I should have checked before submitting payment, but time was short and my first choice was rented do to waiting to book on my part. I was afraid that I would miss out on my second choice as well so I booked. Now I will not be getting back my $80 fee. I will contact Airbnb but I am not hopeful.

    Reply
  47. Stacey Morrison

    My experience with airbnb
    We arrived to a dirty and mildew/musty smelling townhome that was unsafe and unclean. We did not stay because we were concerned about breathing the mold especially because my youngest has allergies/asthma. The company is telling us they are working to resolve the issue but we are not entitled to a full refund. We did not stay at the townhome. We walked in and saw that it was not safe to stay. We tried to call the owner of the townhome, but his number was not working. We emailed him. We called and emailed airbnb, and the property manager contacted us as well. She informed us that the a/c was leaking and causing the mildew/musty smell. She asked if we still wanted to rent the townhome, and we said no. Even if the a/c was fixed, the mildew/mold would still be in the walls. This has cost us a considerable amount of time and money. We had to scramble that night to find a hotel. We have to stay in the hotel until we locate another townhome. All of my refrigerated items needed to be discarded because the hotel did not have a full size refrigerator. We feel we are entitled to a full refund because the residence was not safe for our family.

    Reply
  48. Francesca

    The message from all the comments can be summarized as: Host at your risk, stay at your risk. A conscientious host/guest can be a wonderful, rewarding experience for both. How do you ensure that? Communicate with each other and do your homework! The hosts are not in the business of professional hotel inns, they are individual amateurs so some will be good, some will be bad. I’m a host and I communicate and screen extensively with the guest beforehand to set expectations and make sure they understand the rules upfront. I’ve had fantastic guests except for one group, and that was recovered through the security deposit. Airbnb is not McDonalds. You are going to get a unique experience – a guest please read the easy FAQ’s beforehand – it is not so-called “fine print” – it is a guide to help you enjoy your stay better. As a host, screen your guests and please deliver as promised. So simple!

    Reply
  49. Jan

    Thanks for your article. Some of the things you say is indeed true. I’m an Airbnb host myself and I’m having my listings on multiple sites. However, to avoid confusion and multiple bookings I’m using the airbnb multicalendar tool and ICAL to keep my booking calendar updated across multiple sites. Readers who are interested in how this works can read more here:

    Reply
  50. Grace

    Your Commentshttps://www.airbnb.com/rooms/440298

    The first time I stayed at a Airbnb property in LA, it was wonderful. The host was nice, the property was first class. So, I thought I will do it again when I visited Lima. I actually stayed in the new Lima Hilton Miraflores for the first 2 nights, after travelling through different places in Peru, my other half booked a property in Miraflores, thinking the best way to learn about a country is by living like the local.

    Boy did we make a mistake? The property was not big, but it has 3 bedrooms, one double room facing the main street and two twin-bedded room at the back. There are only two of us. The rate was US$110 each night. We walked in, it looked fine. Barely 5 minutes later, the owner’s estate friend rang the doorbell. I only noticed later on that there is a CCTV looking gaget next to the door, though I am not sure it is for show or it is used to monitor house guests. This person does not speak English or French, only Spanish. I noticed that it was quite cool and damp in the place, so I asked for a heater. That is when the trouble starts. The owner was contacted, first she said it is a health and safety concern, then she said she will ask her friend to look for one, but then no one ever come back with one. One has to understand, even though it says 18 degree C, which is 64 F, it could still be chilly, because of the humidities in this country. While we are back and forth by email trying to resolve this issue. The owner Rita Weber sent an email to the http://www.airbnb.com‘s customer service, and sent us a reply saying that heating was not one of the amenities. I was shocked, hot water and bedding are not listed as amenities, but do vacation rental provide them? Because it is such simple run of the mill things travellers expected. So we ended up sleeping in long sleeve T shirts, 5 layers of blankets, because her place does not have any thick blankets.

    Then there was not enough hot water to run for a hot bath, there is enough hot water only to run for a luke warm bath. I notified the owner, but nothing was done.

    http://www.airbnb.com‘s customer service is despicable, there was no more reply.

    A House Manual was only emailed to the house guests after one booked the place, i.e. after you have paid for your accommodation. This particular owner is on the unreasonable side, there are so many rules, and she emphasizes that they have to be followed — Am I living in a boarding school?? Then another ridiculas one is that one person can only do 1 laundry each week!!

    Our of the 3 bedrooms, the one with the double bed next to the balcony at the front is very noisy, you can hear all the cars honking and nearby hostels and restaurants’ people coming out late at night…….

    I will NEVER USE http://www.airbnb.com again, and especially not this properly which has a property number 440298, and is located in a building in the 400 block of Alcanfores in Miraflores Lima, Lima 15074.

    Beware of it, since all guests are pre-paid, it is unlikely you can back out once you paid. Plus http://www.airbnb.com was not helpful in resolving issue.

    Reply
  51. Tom

    I booked and paid an apt in Spain for a one month stay. A few days after I paid the host sent me an email telling me that I will have to pay 60-100 euro more on key fee. Not a deposit but a key delivery fee. This fee is never mentioned on the listing. When I asked the host why the key fee was never mentioned on the listing his answer was because he didn’t know where I would meet with the person who delivers the key. (airport or half way to the apt).I apid for everything including cleaning fee that was mentioned on the lisiting but I don’t key fee that was never mentioned on the listing just doesn’t seem right. He told me that if I don’t agree to pay the key fee then I should go ahead and cancel the reservation. Who is responsible for Airbnb if I have to cancel. How would Airbnb resolve hidden fees like this?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  52. Sam

    DO NOT USE AIRBNB. I recently went on their website to book an apartment in Holland, I searched through airbnb website and found something suitable with the dates I requested. I then proceeded the only way you can, to press on the book it now button. It then asked for my credit card details etc. which i provided and coming to the end of the procedure airbnb states that credit card details are on a retainer and that if the booking is not completed by the owner of the property that you will not be charged.

    2 hours later i receive a message of the owner of the apartment that it is not available and that it is declined. I didn’t think much of it and the next day I proceeded in the same way to search for a property. I found one, gave all my details yet again and waited for this all illusive reply as to the acceptance of the owner of the property.

    In the meantime i receive a text message from my bank that 2 large sums of money had been taken out of my account. I am baffled, I contacted airbnb with great difficulty, searching through their website to find human contact and say ‘ he where the hell did my money go?’ I have no apartment to show for it, and also property nr. 2 was declined by the owner.

    The response was this:
    Hello Sam,
    Thank you for contacting Airbnb. My name is Elijah, and it is my pleasure to assist you today.
    Our records show that the authorization of $466 to your Visa was voided on October 15, 2013.
    When a security deposit is released or when a reservation request is retracted, declined, or expired, Airbnb voids any authorization that was made on your card. While authorization voids happen instantly on our end, it may take your bank or credit card company longer to process the transaction. The authorization may have been deleted from the account entirely, as it was never a real charge. For more details you can follow this link: http://www.airbnb.com/help/question/313

    If you are experiencing a delay, please contact your bank or credit card company about this issue to see if they can track it down. Provide the processor authorization code, which is 87****, and advise them you are inquiring about an authorization and not a refunded charge. By providing this information to your bank or credit card company, they can expedite this process and grant you access to your funds again.

    I hope you have a great day, and my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused by the voided authorization.
    Kind regards,
    Elijah E

    SO, as it turns out it is my banks fault for taking the money out of my account in the first place, and it is also my banks fault that it took ALMOST 2 weeks to have the money refunded.

    DO NOT USE AIRBNB, I had to go on holiday with very low funds in my account as I had to book a hotel through another website for my stay.
    All the best,
    Sammy

    Reply
  53. Bernie

    I have used Airbnb only once and it was fine, apart from the fact that the elevator was miles over the other side of the large apartment block, so the description was a bit misleading.

    I don’t remember Airbnb’s fees being an issue at the time, they didn’t strike me as high. This is a few years ago.

    Now when I search for a room for 4 to 5 nights, and the fee is the guts of E50 (12.5 percent I believe) why would I bother with Airbnb, they’re pricing themselves out of what was supposed to be a budget market.

    Add to that the cleaning fee scam that has crept in lately (not just Abnb), and now, as above a ‘key’ fee, the mind boggles. Greed or what, on the side of Airbnb/some other agencies and SOME hosts.

    I booked a studio in Venice for 6 nights, not through Abnb, and the owner wanted a e75 cleaning fee on top of everything else.

    In my next life I want to come back as a Venetian cleaning lady.

    Reply

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