You must have before Airbnb. Just use your best credit card. Visa or Mastercard are going to be more helpful than Airbnb anyway. And they’ll even be nice. And efficient. And effective. And sympathetic.
Many years ago, I took a flight to NY, on my own as I tended to do every summer for a long time. A friend of mine was working for Hyatt in Austin and hooked me up with a suite at a discount at the Hyatt Grand Central. When I got out of the cab, I left my purse in it. It had all my money, credit cards, ID and even my passport (talk about identity theft )
I hadn’t noticed yet when I checked in, it was a zoo and they had already taken my CC number when I reserved so they just handed me a key to my room. And they were extra nice because I had a suite. Once I was in the room I realized I didn’t have my purse. So I promptly called and cancelled all my credit cards. The guy at Mastercard was so nice and so sympathetic. I’m sure I was crying. And was planning on going to a baseball game and was upset about having to miss it. I had no cash, nothing and even my metro card was in the purse too.
This guy was so calm and like, “okay where are you?”. And then “alright, there’s a Western Union four blocks away, we’re sending cash there for you now and then you’ll have a new card first thing in the morning. Pick up your cash and go to the game. Call us back if you need anything else”.
I went and picked up the cash, they had arranged a passcode since I didn’t have an ID. But then I went back to the hotel to get my hat and there was huge lock on the door of my room. It was a little bit like those things people use to put on their steering wheels for security, but shiny brass and bulkier. Of course the hallway seemed to immediately fill with people who gawked at it and me. The Hyatt had run my card and it came back cancelled or as they interpreted it, “stolen”. There was no talking to these people, they could not understand what happened for some reason and threatened to have me wait with security while they called the police. It was a bad day.
They wouldn’t even let me get my stuff from the room. I walked out, crying of course and so confused. I didn’t know what to do so I called Mastercard back (why not). I ended up talking to a different person but in the same department and she said she’d take care of it, presumably by giving the Hyatt a call, and then asked if I’d like for her to get me a different hotel. I told her my price range and went to the baseball game. When I got back to the Hyatt, there was a wine and cheese tray in my room and a message from MC with my new hotel information. Which is, incidentally, how I discovered and got hooked on boutique hotels.
I see your point. What do people think happened before Airbnb? That no one booked a place to stay? It’s crazy. The number of people screwed out of accommodations has only increased with Airbnb, not the other way around.