Everything You Need To Know About Airbnb

Created in 2008, Airbnb is one of the online marketplaces where people can search for suitable accommodations around the world. It currently has a list of accommodations in 65,000 cities of 191 countries. Airbnb makes use of a sophisticated system to match your preference to your dream vacation spot. But, how does it work?

Creating an Account

You can create your own free Airbnb account using your email address, Facebook account, Google Account, or Amex. By signing up, you will need to complete the following requirements in your profile to be able to make reservations.

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Confirmed phone number
  • Introductory message
  • Agreement to house rules
  • Payment information

Other than these, you have the option to upload a profile picture of your choice to your account. However, having a profile picture is not required and only encouraged.

If you wish to cancel your account, you are free to do so. You only need to go to Settings and click the Cancel My Account button. By canceling your account, all the reservations you have made will be canceled as well. However, you have the option to reopen your account at any time by contacting an Airbnb personnel.

Making a Reservation

If you have completed all requirements for your account, then you can start booking your reservations. You need to click the Request To Book function on a host listing to make a reservation. Then, you will need to check the reservation details, input payment information, and agree to the terms and policies before confirming. Then, all you need to do is wait for the host’s response.

It is important to remember that your host has the option to accept or decline your reservation. If your reservation is accepted, then you will be charged. If the host refuses or does not reply within the 24-hour window period, then nothing will be charged to your account.

It is always recommended to find hosts that have an Instant Booking function. This means that the host allows anyone to make a reservation in their place in an instant.

Paying For Your Reservation

Airbnb accommodates to the various online payment methods of the country you are located in. Offline or cash payment processes, on the other hand, are strictly prohibited. Paying using these methods will result in the removal of your Airbnb account. This is because these kinds of methods are difficult to track and puts you at a higher risk for security issues.

Here are some of the payment methods that Airbnb accepts per country.

  • Prepaid credit cards and major credit cards (Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Discover, JCB)
  • Many debit cards that have credits to be processed
  • Alipay for China
  • Postepay for Italy
  • Sofort Überweisung for Germany
  • iDEAL for the Netherlands
  • Boleto Bancário, Hipercard, Elo, and Aura for Brazil
  • PayU for India
  • Google Wallet for US Android App
  • Apple Pay for iOS App

Airbnb also supports payment through Paypal, but only in selected countries. You can just use a single payment method for your reservation, so be sure to indicate an active and long-term payment method.  

Does Airbnb have Special Offers and Discounts

To make your experience worthwhile, Airbnb has special offers that you can use to pay for your trips and reservations. So far, there are Airbnb gift cards, coupons, and travel credits.

Gift cards can be used to pay for experiences. To redeem a gift card, only accept the gift card the has been sent to you and enter the code. Once redeemed, the credits will be added to your account and will not expire. Gift cards not claimed within 90 days will automatically terminate.

Meanwhile, Airbnb coupons can be used to pay for your reservations. You must enter the Airbnb coupon code to redeem it. Take note that Airbnb coupons can only be used for new bookings, not existing ones.

Airbnb offers an exciting way to refer to friends by Travel Credits. If you recommend Airbnb to a friend and they use it to make a reservation, you can earn up to USD 5,000 of travel credits.

Advantages

Airbnb has the following central features that make it stand above the rest.

  • Designed for Safety

Airbnb performs risk scoring and background checks on their accommodations to make sure they are up to community standards. They also take measures to make your payment platforms secure and account protected. Also, they employ a scam prevention scheme to protect their users.

  • See Trusted Reviews

Airbnb lets you view the profiles of each host to get to know them better. They also offer a secure way of communication between host and guest. Moreover, Airbnb hosts a credible review system so you can see what other Airbnb guests say about the accommodation.

  • Ready to Help

If you have encountered any issue in Airbnb, their team is always prepared to help you. The Airbnb team is available 24/7 in 11 different languages. They are friendly, sociable, and patient enough to walk you through your troubles.  

Disadvantages

Like any other online community marketplace, Airbnb has its share of negative criticisms from its users.

  • Not-so-Tight Security

An article about Airbnb scammers had surfaced in Otago Daily Times. Mel Jansen and her family in New Zealand lost $4,800 to someone believed to be part of the Airbnb staff. While booking, Jansen was told to pay her booking to a Spanish bank account by this alleged Airbnb staff. She never heard from that person ever again.

  • Communication Issues

Some customers have experienced their difficulties and frustrations in communication the hosts in Airbnb. A reviewer by the username NANCY booked via Airbnb, but the host revealed they were not available at those times. Regardless, Airbnb still sent numerous confirmations that the booking was a success.  

  • Slow Response

According to a reviewer by the username of Megan, she had been passed around from one department after another. After that, she had contacted Airbnb about her accommodation, but she had been told to wait for someone to contact her shortly. In total, she had called Airbnb for about six times.

Final Thoughts on Airbnb

Airbnb has several features and special offers that make it an easy-to-use and reliable tool to find excellent accommodations. It is great for searching cheap and unique accommodations from the comfort of your own home. However, like any online marketplace, you need vigilance and a shred of doubt to choose the outstanding hosts from the bad.

 

References:

https://www.airbnb.com/help?audience=guest

https://www.airbnb.com/trust#screen0

https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/airbnb-scam-more-victims-come-forward

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/airbnb.html