We were disappointed to see Airbnb removed this awesome option from their platform. When we first used it in June we were so excited that we no longer had to miss bookings because we did not have the full amount at the time of browsing. Booking again today (for a trip over the Christmas holiday) it was not an option. Booo. Putting out $1000 six months out is sometimes difficult. Putting out $500 to confirm and hold the reservation is financially sound and way less stressfull for travelers. We have not used a hotel in 7 years but I recall that being a pretty basic option. Reserve the room with little or no money down.
Even if this option is only available as a perk to traveling Superhosts and guests booking at a Superhost properties that would at least be a start. We have numerous guests who stay with us in prime season that book for 4-7 weeks. Their biggest complaint is having to put out the full amount so far ahead of their stay. To help our long term guests with this situation we have to block off our calendar for the dates they are requesting, keep in contact and eventually they let us know when they have the funds we then proceed with the booking. Personally I do not think this is a solid option but its one that we have to incorporate at this point.
Come on Airbnb. Bring it back. Its too good of an option not to have.