Do you still book accommodation through Airbnb?

I personally avoid booking through Airbnb where possible. Bad experiences with Airbnb as a host has put me off of this organization along with exorbitant fees. What deters me even more lately it’s that you can’t cancel a reservation without paying Airbnb fees (for no services rendered!)

I generally use private Facebook listings or Expedia (free cancellation). What do you do?

Hmmm. If a reservation was made “services” were rendered. Advertising (your ability to find/post the listing) and payment (collection/refund). How do you not see these as services provided?


You’re paying for an advertising platform and merchant account services. The fees aren’t exorbitant.


In that case, why doesn’t the host get paid when there is a cancellation? Aren’t they rendering a service when they take the booking? Hosts are owed far more than Airbnb’s robot booking system. They stand to lose potential income and make plans and preparations that take their time.

When you cancel, the Airbnb automated system has done their “work”. When you keep the booking Airbnb still must provide service before, during and after the stay (which is by far the bulk of their work). And yet the guest pays as if they have received these services when they cancel.

Why doesn’t Expedia charge for these computer generated “services rendered”? Why doesn’t everyone who views an ad pay to view it?

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That depends on how much the booking is for. It can be ridiculously expensive. Remember too, the robot spend a nano second providing these services. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the questions I asked.

I use Airbnb as a guest and as a host and I love everything about it. That said, I haven’t used it as a guest since Feb and March of 2020 due to the pandemic. I’ve hosted on and off during the year, most recently partially reopening this month.


I like going on Google maps, finding accommodation listings and going to their personal website or Facebook pages to book. Most of the time they are small guest houses and they really appreciate it. Most of them are on a ton of different sites like Airbnb, VRBO, booking, etc.

Have you just resurfaced to have a pop at Airbnb at every opporchancity?

Just curious because your negativity is becoming boring, and this is from one of Airbnb’s biggest critics…



I have used it quite a bit since I started hosting, mostly in the US, but several years ago in France I probably used them for about 5 weeks while traveling about. Most I set up before leaving the US. Most of the hosts were so helpful, some picking me up at a train, and hiking and eating out with one of the more outgoing hosts, breakfasts by one pastry chief. It was a great experience.

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I just completed a booking with Airbnb which was fine. Part of the reason was I had a $100 credit to use. As a host I prefer people booking my place via Airbnb since the guest pays most of the service fees. But as a guest I tend to use Booking.Com since the host pays :smiley:

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So you’ve basically come here to complain and neg all over AirBnB and now you’re upset that even with its faults, the hosts here are defending the millions Air put into that nano second (oh @JohnF let’s discuss front-end UE vs back-end programming and the millions of lines of code in play…)

If you don’t like the platform, don’t use it. Or make constructive comments to Air directly (not that you’ll get anywhere). And yes, you do actually pay to view an ad - in the cost of the services should you buy anything from said advertiser. But I’m not going to give an economics of marketing lesson.

Wine. Need :wine_glass:


I do think it’s greedy of Airbnb to retain all the service fees when guests cancel, but it’s pretty standard for companies to charge some thing when a customer returns an item- whether it’s called shipping and handling fees, or whatever. They should just have a standard processing fee which they charge on cancellations.

It’s one thing for a guest to lose $25 in service fees on a cancelled booking, but sometimes it’s more like $1500 if they booked a big, expensive place for several days.

On that same note, I also think that just because a guest cancels within the full refund window, hosts should be able to retain a standard fee just for dealing with the booking, because the host may easily have spent half an hour answering the guest’s questions, sending them more info, etc, and that time should be worth something.

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Sounds pretty negative to me :thinking: Maybe check yourself instead of others

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Sounds like a plan :joy: :joy::joy:

My original post was about alternatives to booking through air. Do you have anything helpful or positive to add to the topic?

Again, I like to use Google maps and go directly to the Facebook page or website of small guest houses. Would you do that?

I have had guests book using that method… usually after they have looked at my reviews on the OTR’s

Your original post was a rant about Air and then you answered your own questions about using other booking platforms or search parameters.

I have used Air to book in the past and will do so again. I understand the rules about service fees, cancellation policies (Expedia has similar policies), and if I want to check out other platforms like FaceBook, VRBO, or BDC I will. But I like the folks on Air, especially the in-home hosts. It’s fun to get that local vibe (in Paris my hostess was spectacular with hints, fun conversation, and her life had been amazing).

I’ve looked and not booked. When I travel again, I may do that.

It seems like I’ve really hit a nerve with you. Sorry.

Expedia’s cancellation policy is eg. “Cancel your reservation before May 20 at 11:59pm, and you’ll get a full refund. After that, you’ll be charged for the first night of your stay plus taxes and fees.” In a lot of cases you can cancel 2 days prior to check in and get a full refund. I’ve had to do that and it worked exactly as stated. In addition, there is often an option to “book now, pay later”. Your money stays in your account instead of theirs so they don’t earn interest on your money in the days, weeks or months leading up to your stay, you do.

Since you know all about Airbnb’s policies perhaps you can help me out because I actually don’t know a lot… Is expedia’s cancellation policy the same as Air’s? What about the the guest refund policy that “may supercede the cancellation policy”… when may it supercede and how does that work? When I cancel, does Airbnb give me 100% back like Expedia or do they hold onto their 12% booking fee? Can I book now, pay later with airbnb?

Is it the folks on air that you are partial to or Air iitself? I ask because many of the folks on air are also the listing on VRBO and bdc… and they are listed on Google maps along with their contact info and links to their personal website, Facebook page etc. Same hosts, but they get paid 3% more and their guest pay 12% less than they would have had they had gone through Airbnb. Not that you are ever going to do this, since you’ve assured you won’t.

I contact hosts directly all the time using Google maps and they are always very appreciative and grateful. Same product, avoid the middleman. I have been doing this continuously since October 2020. 5 places, 2 of which I have been at more than once. These are places where the hosts live onsite and have only one or two units for rent. One of them cooked local food for me almost daily and another took me hiking a few times a week. I have become friends with some of them. It’s cost me about 20k all up. If I’d gone through Airbnb that would have been an extra 2.4k. But it’s not for everyone and I understand that. Going direct to the folks would probably feel scary to some people and make them feel like they’d been disloyal to air.

You didn’t hit a nerve. You asked, people answered, you’re still asking and posting about what you do that’s NOT using AirBnB on an AirBnB-related forum. It’s beginning to look like a survey that’s not a survey on booking platforms.

Enjoy your cottage stays.

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Reminds of me of a saying about beating a dead horse.

@SB9671111 we’ve been promoting and discussing booking direct here for years. We aren’t against it. “Disloyal to air?” Very few active members here are “loyal” to Airbnb. It’s a company that we use for bookings and payments. We don’t count on it for much else because the odds are we will be disappointed.

You post as if you just discovered looking on the google maps for a business. Yeah, we’ve heard of it. When I started my dog boarding business I listed on google maps and had nothing but trouble with the people who contacted me, so I removed it. I’m not interested in doing it for my Airbnb business. I don’t mind the 15% Airbnb takes for their “robot” services.

That said, there are definitely some of us who feel grateful to Airbnb because they launched us into this business. I like and use my $100 Superhost credit each year. I like the 300% profit I made on buying Airbnb’s stock IPO. Those are nice gestures that Airbnb doesn’t have to bother with and I give them credit for doing so. But I’m not loyal to them nor do I expect them to be loyal to me.


It seems like one of those student research studies that is being disingenuous in about the actual intent. “What do you use? How do you use it? Would you use?” humph.

And I got insulted in the bargain! Patronizing person…

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