AirBnB’s major flaw. Why in the end, hotels win.

I had sent no less than 24 messages to different AirBnB hosts in different cities since last Monday – and the result.

I booked with zero.




Okay, you get the idea.

In theory, AirBnB is more beneficial, offers amenities regular hotel stays wouldn’t offer – such as living like a local – there are many flaws I’ve found with the system by just ‘trying to book’. I’ve found the booking to be a little stressful to say the least. First of all, as a AirBnB n00b, you need to differentiate Enquiry and Request – an Enquiry is where a potential guest messages the potential host about a potential booking – and if the host agrees, then the guest is pre-approved to book. An Request is something more direct – a guest shoots a host a booking request without jumping through the loop of the Enquiry and the hosts can either accept or reject.

AirBnB operates on the principle that hosts wants to offer their ‘places’ up to make money, and you’d want a decent priced room that feels like a home away from home.

Pretty straight forward, right?

Yes, in theory. In practice however, hosts are not obligated to rent out to every person who asks. In other words, for most it’s more of a side income, than a main income – hence the process can be snail-paced and I found more often than not, you’d find yourself waiting for hours, or days – then your phone goes off with a text message whenever someone replies, with more rejections than approvals – or maybe that’s just my bad timing, trying to book New Years Eve and New Years, where everyone’s either leaving town, or not leaving their bed after too much fun.

Either way, after going through the loop of not finding anything on AirBnB, I went back to where I found myself a place in under ten minutes. Oh well. Maybe in the future I will give AirBnB another try. But until then, I’m sticking to more traditional traveling techniques.

And for those experienced with AirBnB out there. What are some of your thoughts and overall experiences? Leave a comment below and let me know!


5 thoughts on “AirBnB’s major flaw. Why in the end, hotels win.

  1. For my upcoming trip to Bali, I booked through AirBnB, mainly because I’ll be travelling solo for the first time, so I wanted to have all the extra help I could get. I didn’t find the process all the tedious though I faced a couple of rejections myself. Having said that, later (months later) I went on and saw similarly priced, yet much better properties. So maybe I was hasty, but that’s what mistakes are for right, to learn from. I think next time I’ll try it the other way around.

    1. Yeah…I don’t know, at first I thought AirBnB was some awesome solution to traveling then I realized…wait a minute, how do you even get people to trust each other? And surely it could be really ‘uncomfortable’ if the personalities don’t match and whatnot. I’ve thought about it and in the end – I decided to go the traditional route because hotels are there to do business, whereas AirBnB might be a great idea but if hosts / guests don’t take it seriously, then it’s a no-go.

  2. Spent five months using AirBnb in Europe with great results… and only a few rejections. It can be difficult to get started because you don’t have any track record… any comments or recommendations from landlords at previous stays. In the same way that you will be asked to “rate” your stay, the host will fill out a similar survey on you. A couple of tips:
    1) When you request a booking, always send a note with a little information about yourself and why your really want to visit this place; 2) ALWAYS clean up after yourself! Strip the bed and fold the linens, wash the dishes, take the trash out. It will be noticed and commented on by the landlord and will grease the way for the next stay; 3) leave a note of thanks on the table; and 4) leave an honest (and hopefully positive) review.
    Hope this helps.

    1. Thank you for the tips. I find that timing is probably another huge factor in finding a place. Because right now, dare I say, New Years is quite busy already and people don’t know where they’re going to be or if they’d like to invite their friends over for NYE. There’s also the political side of things. People are uneasy, all of Europe is on high alert because of terrorist threats. Brussels is on lockdown and there’s no access to the city right now. I’m probably going to have to reroute my trip. I’ll give the tips a try when things are not as tense. Thanks again!

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