AirBnB explaining star rating to guests when writing reviews

I used AirBnb as a guest recently and one change I noticed is that when writing a review, AirBnb is explaining what each star means as follows:
1 Star = Terrible
2 Star = Bad
3 Star = Ok
4 Star = Good
5 Star = Great

Noticed also the following addition about meeting expectations:

Unfortunately, Airbnb is being disingenuous in its descriptions of star ratings. If four stars is “good”, why do hosts who receive four stars receive suggestions on how to improve and threats of being delisted?


Very good question! Perhaps we should all tweet out to ABB the same question!


Oh! this is terrible. Someone’s expectations are not an objective thing, So to evaluate a listing under someone´s expectations is reinforcing the idea that is ok to give less than 5 stars if the guest doesn´t feel their expectations were addressed.


Couldn’t agree more. If Airbnb think 4 stars is good they need to stop threatening to delist hosts who hover around the 4 stars overall mark.


Wait a minute, this is an improvement surely? Previously it was 5* = Fantastic, 4* = Very good.
So making it a bit more realistic is a good thing!
Am I missing something here??


It’s the second question that I don’t get … presumably the optimum mark is is “much better than I expected”, but that could imply that the guest thought that the place would be a hell-hole and was pleasantly surprised that it had curtains and a clean toilet. If the description of the listing is honest and the guest has read all the description and reviews (not a given, as I admit) then the answer should always be the third “About the same as I expected” … I honestly don’t see the point of this question or waht information Airbnb think they can glean from it.


I agree. Pre-ABB, in any survey or review I gave, I usually rated a positive experience as 4* and never considered it to be a bad rating.

If working with a business was a pleasant experience, then it was 4* with a positive written review. If someone/thing extraordinary happened in the transaction, then I gave 5* and added a shout out to the person/event that was exemplary.

Not giving 5* to everything seems like an honest way to review, rather than sounding like a dingbat that just “loved!!!” every little thing that came along.

Now, with ABB, I want the 5* “This experience was the best ever!!!” people because it feels necessary to survive. :scream:

1 Like

It’s positively Orwellian: “4 stars good, 5 stars better”

If you get 4 stars on AirBnB they take you to Room 101 for some re-education.

1 Like

But does this show up anywhere on their review anyway?

Thanks for letting us know I might have panicked if I suddenly started getting more 4 star reviews.

I think the change is deliberate and they are trying to get host’s averages down so fewer hosts can reach the magic 4.8 average for Super Host, which only allows for 20% 4 star reviews, and it might actually mean something. I am currently on 4.9 which means 90% 5 star and 10% 4 star reviews but I could see that dropping below 80% if guests follow the new system.

I also think it would be harder to get 5 stars if you are hosting remotely as I often get a comment about the great or friendly host from when i meet them playing with my adorable dog in the yard. I go Full Momzilla and tell her: “It’s show time baby! If you want to be eating real steak again this week”. :japanese_goblin:

I also get annoyed about the “expectations” question. When I enjoy a stay I always tick “Much better than expected” but guests who aren’t hosts wouldn’t know to do that.

Today a guest sent me this private feedback: the options in the Airbnb guest survey don’t match so well with what I’m thinking… you presented the accommodation so well in AirBnB that walking into the apartment completely matched with the high expectation I had based on how you had presented it already

1 Like

Hello James

It’s an interesting thing to discuss how anyone could be objective when criticizing something, this is just an example, and the guest was an anthropologist from Oxford University. He gave me 4 stars on overall experience and on accuracy and 5 stars on the rest.

Since everything he mentioned is accurately described at the listing and the pictures are not edited, I feel I could not do anything in order to change his expectations.


23 de mai - 28 de mai · €34

Cozy Apt Andrassy Avenue/Oktogon Downtown

Feedback pĂşblico

An amazing host, with a apartment in a great location. They are very nice and collected us from the airport for a small fee. The apartment its self, was clean and the ground floor is spacious. The upstairs bed room, has some steep steps and low ceiling height. The bed is firm, which I find is common in Europe, so no complaint. My only complaint is the steps are difficult and I was scared of breaking the hand rail. The builds courtyard also needs some tlc. All the complaints are very picky, especially for the price. The building felt secure and safe. If you pick this place for anything its the location. Its perfect for the getting anywhere, its right on the public transport line. trams, buses and metro are only meters away. The top ruin bars are only 800meters away. The Terror Museum is only round the corner, as are some of the best restaurants and cafes (including the cat cafe) in Budapest, PERFECT!

Feedback privado

You are a wonderful host and you place is a great location. We had a wonderful time and thank you for the collection from the airport


what can be better


The location was amazing but the lighting on the windows is a bit misleading of what the place really looks like.

Thank you for your comment!

Best regards!


You’d kinda think “PERFECT = 5 stars” but some people are thinking of 5 star resorts with infinity pools and 24/7 room service.

Best not to let is stew I find, soon buried. I read the reviews in case something needs to be sorted but I don’t look at the ratings until months later so it is too late to bother me because I don’t even remember who they were.