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Airbnb to reveal complete prices and other hidden charges up front

December 2022 onwards, Airbnb will be displaying the total price of a booking, including hosts’ cleaning charges and the platform’s own fee before taxes, for customers at the very beginning of the booking process.

The announcement was made by company CEO Brian Chesky in a series of tweets on 7 November.

The San Francisco-based company was criticised by customers for surprise charges that they encountered late in the booking process.

Here are all the changes that Airbnb has introduced in its booking processes

A complete breakdown of charges

“I’ve heard you loud and clear—you feel like prices aren’t transparent and checkout tasks are a pain. That’s why we’re making 4 changes,” Chesky tweeted.

In a video shared in the tweet, a toggle option reading ‘Display total price’ can be seen on the Airbnb screen of a booking page. Once turned on, the total cost, including additional charges, of the establishment being booked is displayed.

On the following screen, guests can see the taxes that are applied to the booking.

Interestingly, the demo video also shows why the customers were complaining. In it, the price of the property displayed on the screen can be seen jumping from USD 165 per night to a total of USD 1,212 for the six-day selected date range when ‘Display total price’ is turned on.

Customers have reportedly told Airbnb that the nightly rate lacked transparency and hosts often set exorbitant charges such as cleaning fees.

Airbnb has reportedly been showing the total price of stay up front in Europe following regulator demand.

Chesky said in his tweets that customers will be able to see the total price “in search results, on the map, price filter, and listing page.”

“You can also view a full price breakdown with Airbnb’s service fee, discounts, and taxes,” he added.

Emphasis on total price

The CEO added that the company will now prioritise total price instead of nightly price in search rankings. This, according to Chesky, means that homes of the highest quality with the best total prices will rank higher in search results.

“We started as an affordable alternative to hotels, and affordability is especially important today. During this difficult economic time, we need to help our Hosts provide great value to you,” Chesky noted in another tweet, before announcing the plan to launch new pricing and discount tools for hosts to help them set more competitive prices.

“Hosts told us they’d like our help to better understand the final price guests pay and what price to charge to stay competitive,” he said, addressing the concerns of both hosts and guests.

In a message to guests who book accommodations via Airbnb, Chesky said they should treat the place as their own home.

“You shouldn’t have to do unreasonable checkout tasks, such as stripping the beds, doing the laundry, or vacuuming. But we think it’s reasonable to turn off the lights, throw food in the trash, and lock the doors,” he said.

Interestingly, in June 2022, the company permanently banned parties across its properties around the world.

Yet, hosts can have their own checkout requests which, Chesky said, “should be reasonable and shown to you before you book.”

Hero and Featured Images: Courtesy Yuvraj Singh/@YUVSTRONG12/Twitter

Airbnb to reveal complete prices and other hidden charges up front

Manas Sen Gupta

Manas Sen Gupta writes at the intersection of tech, entertainment and history. His works have appeared in publications such as The Statesman, Myanmar Matters, Hindustan Times and News18/ETV. In his spare time, Manas loves studying interactive charts and topographic maps. When not doing either, he prefers reading detective fiction. Spring is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.


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