Airbnb.com is a service dedicated to finding alternative dwelling rentals for the traveler and adventurer who does not what to spend money on a hotel or is looking for a different, more authentic experience.
I have now used AirBNB.com for bookings in the US, UK, Czech Republic, Italy and Spain. The adverts for properties have been nearly uniformly accurate. The reviews help to back fill the adverts for the properties. Some of the renters are renting bedrooms in their dwellings, some are renting vacant apartments in buildings they manage, and some have renovated outbuildings into cozy little dwellings.
Checking in has been easy, sometimes I have had to wait a bit and sometimes not – but it is understood that this is not a hotel – this is a private service with all of its quirks.
My only compliant, and it is more of an observation than a complaint, is that some property owners do not keep their airbnb calendar updated. So you settle in on a location and the dates for an available property only to submit and get rejected as the property is already rented. It is clear that the renters are not just suing airbnb to fill their properties – but they should work a bit harder to keep their calendar updated on airbnb.
This form of disruptive renting has caused some real problems in some cities where the city and the hotels are ticked off about being under cut on not collecting taxes and being undercut on room rates. The most notable has been New York but there have been and will continue to be many others. The model may not survive the heavily regulated markets of the big cities – but, it is not going away. It will be more an agent for change than it will change itself.
All in all I give airbnb a hearty thumbs up.