Word of Warning: Do Not Book Airbnb for Popular Cities

If you are like me, Airbnb has become my #1 priority when booking accommodation for a trip abroad. However, Airbnb cancelled my booking in New York with only weeks to spare, even though the booking was made eight months prior. Their customer service has no responsibility to find you alternative accommodation.

For Airbnb this is good business, because now the betrayed and baffled traveler has two expensive options: to book again with Airbnb and either pay more for a similar listing, or select a poorer quality listing. Alternatively, a person can book a hotel which is also more expensive as there is such a short time left prior to the trip.

What was shocking is that Airbnb originally blamed the host for cancelling. Moments after this, I received a message from the Superhost stating that he had no idea why it was cancelled. He had 50+ five star reviews. Airbnb removed all traces of the booking including our conversation chain and the host’s profile.

Airbnb might be good for small cities but for big ones, I would avoid booking as there is a high risk your booking will be cancelled and you have no way to expect the sudden additional expenses.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. It was likely the city that shut down the listing and not the host. NYC city housing officials have been documented doing some fairly sleazy stuff and levying some outrageous fines for bogus “defects” in apartments of vacation rental hosts. The stories abound. People have been given $30,000 “fines” for not having sprinkler systems in their apartments, (as if everybody has those), or as retaliation for speaking at city council meetings, etc. It does not even border on mafioso, it is a mafia style shakedown…and lo and behold, the very powerful hotel lobby is behind most of it, paying off government officials and doing some fairly reprehensible things. Yes, NYC has a housing crisis, but that has existed for decades. There have also been short term vacation rentals in that city for decades. Long before Airbnb. It is only since the advent of Airbnb and its rising popularity, that the very, very powerful, well-funded hotel lobby began relentlessly stirring the pot and railing against short-term rentals in private homes. There is conflicting data as to whether or not rents go up in response to vacation rentals, as well as whether or not short term vacation rentals have any adverse affect on available housing, and since NYC has a strict rule of not hosting entire units without the host present anyway, (i.e. not removing any units from the market), the latter should be a non-issue now. It is a tinderbox, but the people who are short-changed are usually the guests who want to book home stays and the hosts trying to make a few extra dollars…all while the hotel industry and politicos go in and out of each others’ pockets and continue their mafioso dealings and monopolies. It is a shame, but really not widespread outside of NYC. I certainly would not give up on using Airbnb because of an issue in that city alone. But, wait…you could, of course, be a hotel lobbyist just trolling on here telling people not to use the website. lol In which case….

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