The Airbnb fallout continues. Trending online as the “AirBnBust,” travelers around the world are increasingly losing favor with the accommodations site. A now-viral screenshot posted in an Airbnb Superhosts Facebook group reveals growing worries for some hosts who are seeing a sharp decline in bookings. The shift is causing hosts to ask, “what’s going on?”
From Twitter to Reddit, users are sharing their reasons for disliking the platform – many of which you may have agreed with at one point or another as an Airbnb user. The Manual offers several of the top problems users are sounding off about, which TN is sharing here for your reading pleasure.
Ever attempted to book your preferred listing only to get to the final booking screen and discover the actual price is significantly higher than the alluring nightly rate? You’re not the only one.
A personal account from Redditor RockyNobody shares, “I was going to rent one for two nights with friends in Atlanta recently. The fee was around $1600 a night for a six-bedroom, four-bath. When I went to pay, they had tacked on over $2000 in various additional fees.”
Yikes! The discussion around added fees is one of the biggest reasons users are opting for alternative lodging. Service charges and sizeable cleaning fees are two of the main culprits for the difference in pricing.
Reddit user professor__doom shares a workaround that may help, depending on the country you’re visiting. In Australia, for example, hidden fees are illegal so a visit to airbnb.com.au will display the actual price upfront as opposed to the sticker shock you may feel on the regular .com version of the company’s website.
Complaints of outrageous demands for guests are another issue for many users. Cleaning rules are the most consistent problem expressed by Airbnb users.
Redditor Former-Animal3116 shares, “One time I got a negative review from a host was because they said I left the place ‘a mess.’ We followed all of their cleaning instructions to the letter, TWO PAGES WORTH. And paid a three-figure cleaning fee. They were mad because there were some ‘crumbs’ and some of the pillows weren’t put back in the right rooms”.
Users have had enough of vacations riddled with rules, known and unknown surveillance, and an overall growing sentiment that booking an Airbnb these days feels more like doing chores at home and less like the actual rest and relaxation of a vacation.
As JustJessJ_Art aptly jokes, “Why would I pay to clean someone else’s house on my vacation?”
Minimal Or No Amenities
Airbnb users are rediscovering the privilege of added amenities as they venture back to hotel bookings. In an effort to maximize profits, many listings are accompanied by little to no amenities from the building to the unit itself.
In response to the tweet that started it all, @Jani__Gee perfectly articulates the differences between hotels and Airbnbs.
She writes, “Hotel has a concierge, cleaning lady, rooftop, bar, restaurant, security, pool, taxi stand, + room upgrades for loyalty. Airbnb has hidden cameras, a cleaning fee, discriminatory hosts + they ask you to take out the trash, strip your linen, and scrub the tub before you leave lmao.”
With 14.4K retweets and 65.7K likes, she’s clearly not the only one who feels this way.
Airbnbs No Longer More Affordable Than Hotels
Once upon a time, Airbnb was growing like wildfire due to its attractive nightly rates when compared to nearby hotels. Sadly, in many destinations, those days are over. With the growth in popularity also came increased costs for travelers as property owners aimed to boost income by going up in price.
Reddit user cfisch08 writes, “they used to be cheaper than a hotel. Now they’re more expensive. Owners getting greedy”.
Redditor Suspicious_Serve_653 notes, “The only time I found Airbnb to be cheaper than a hotel is when I’m shopping for monthly stays.” According to a recent analysis of the platform by NerdWallet, they’re right. The June 2022 investigation found that Airbnbs are typically less expensive for longer trips or large groups.
Scams, Dirty Conditions, and Hidden Cameras
A quick Google search shows there is no shortage of horror stories experienced by users. Tales of fake host scams and guests finding hidden cameras in their rooms are well documented (and have even led to legal trouble for the company). Scrolling through the Reddit thread, you’ll find even more complaints about last-minute cancellations, filthy properties, and other unsavory situations.
Redditor MyTwoTotroises recounted their partner’s recent nightmare Airbnb experience. When guests arrived at the property, they found “towels were still wet in the washing machine, random food in the fridge, house had bed bugs (they discovered later) and at some point when they were all out someone came by to do… something.”
Is the Airbnb era coming to an end? If the company doesn’t act soon, there’s a good chance the answer is yes.
There are still a number of honorable hosts providing reasonable rates and worthwhile stays. Depending on the length of your stay and desired experience, Airbnb properties could continue to be the better option. However, for those taking quick trips or who love a luxury moment, hotels may be the way to go.