Airbnb was once touted as the most brilliant and innovative way to travel. No more dealing with the hassle of checking in at a hotel front desk, chatting with a friendly receptionist, receiving free breakfast with your stay, and having access to a pool and cozy beds. Instead, you can search in the dark for 10 minutes outside a stranger’s apartment until you find their lock box, stay in their place that may or may not have been cleaned in the past month, and scrub it clean upon leaving or you’ll receive a negative review. Oh yeah, and don’t forget that $85 per night cleaning fee.
In recent years, more and more travelers have been opting to use other companies or simply stay in a hotel, rather than booking through Airbnb. And in this article, we’ve got one story that might make you swear off the rental service for good.
Below, you’ll find one guest’s detailed account of a terrible experience she recently had with a negligent Airbnb host, that she later shared on the Petty Revenge subreddit. We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments, and feel free to share whether you love or hate Airbnb. Then, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article highlighting some of the problems Airbnb has, look no further than right here!
After dealing with a negligent host of an illegal Airbnb, this guest decided to get petty revenge
Image credits: daryl_mitchell (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Nessip (not the actual photo)
Image credits: 29akash (not the actual photo)
Image credits: MegatronsJuice (not the actual photo)
Image credits: hippopx (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Anna Tarazevich (not the actual photo)
Later, the guest answered the burning question of why she was willing to replace her host’s TV
I used to love Airbnb, and I’ve stayed in them countless times in various places all over the world. However, I have to admit that in recent years, I’ve been opting more for hotels and hostels rather than stays at apartments hosted by individuals. One of the main reasons I’ve started supporting Airbnb less is because of the ridiculous price gouging on stays, but there are plenty of other reasons the service just isn’t as appealing as it used to be. For one thing, illegal stays might be more common than you realize. The guest in this story did not feel completely comfortable staying somewhere that she had to lie about, but it appears that plenty of hosts around the world see no issue with that.
In fact, illegal Airbnbs have been running business for many years. Apparently, in 2014, 72% of Airbnb rentals in New York City were illegal. According to US News, it can be a complicated process ensuring that an Airbnb is run legally. This includes understanding the current regulations for the site and where the host lives, the host must be renting legally, and they must have the proper insurance to host an Airbnb. If you’re staying in an illegal place, there is always a risk that the landlord or building owner will come knocking, and that confrontation is the last thing you want to deal with while on vacation. Sometimes, it’s safer to just book a regular hotel instead.
The ethics of Airbnb are also questionable in many places. When too many apartments and homes are being snatched up and then rented out to travelers, it becomes increasingly hard for locals to find a place to live. And even if they do, there’s always a chance that the apartment next door will become an Airbnb, where a variety of strangers will be coming in and out every few days. In 2019, ten European cities (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Krakow, Munich, Paris, Valencia and Vienna) actually banded together to demand more help from the EU due to the “explosive growth” of Airbnb in their cities.
“European cities believe homes should be used first and foremost for living in,” the cities said in a statement released by Amsterdam city council. “Many suffer from a serious housing shortage. Where homes can be rented out more lucratively to tourists, they vanish from the traditional housing market.”
We all love to travel, but there is no point in visiting a place if you’re only becoming a burden on residents. So if you’re looking for an option that’s a bit safer than Airbnb but will still provide you with a comfortable place to stay, why not check out Vrbo, Booking.com, the Plum Guide, Agoda Homes, Homestay, or Sonder? These platforms are similar in the way that they’re extremely easy to book, but they tend to have a bit more oversight than Airbnb. Hotels are never a guarantee that you’ll have amazing service, but they do tend to be less risky than Airbnbs. And if you still want the experience of staying somewhere cozier than a hotel, there are plenty of options on these sites.
This particular story does make me hesitant to ever book an Airbnb again, but hopefully, nobody else will be able to book that particular one because it appears it will be shut down soon! We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation, pandas, and then if you’re interested in checking out another article that might make you want to convert to a loyal Booking.com user, you can find that right here!
Many readers noted their shared dissatisfaction for Airbnb and reminded the woman that a hotel might be her best bet for future travels