I arrived for a pleasant, prolonged weekend in Kiev, Ukraine to watch the Champions League football final, having a couple of days off. I’d booked (and paid for) a nice apartment like 2-3 months in advance. After booking, I had had contact with the “verified” host a couple of times and everything seemed okay.
Only after landing in Kiev, I started to understand something was wrong. The host suddenly stopped replying to texts. After a while, I finally got the phone number from an “administrator”: “Oh, there must be some mistake…”
To make a long story short, they cancelled my booking and Airbnb offered a replacement apartment for five times what I’d paid already. Seriously?
At that very moment, I realized that Airbnb is just a middleman that takes a hefty fee but when things go wrong, they head for the forest. I had to spend four hours working the phone and email (like an ordinary day at work) to resolve the issue myself and at the end I had to stay at a place 14 kilometers away from the center and where I’d planned to stay.
The fact is that when you use Airbnb, you have zero protection against something like this happening. Airbnb does not add any value and if accommodation is crucial to your holiday, book a nice hotel instead.