Split payment option is no longer available (disappointing)

Status changed to: Archived

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.

Comments
Cormac0 in
Kraków, PL
Level 10

@Barry-and-Lera0

 

They don't even explain why they took it away!

 

 

Regards

Cormac

The Explorer's Club Krakow III

Helga0 in
Paris, France
Level 10

@Barry-and-Lera0, are you sure it's gone completely? When it was presented, it appeared for certain markets and only if the cancellation condition was not strict. Maybe your booking was outside the zone where it's possible or the host on strict policy or to new. ?

Barry-and-Lera0 in
Sarasota, FL
Level 10

@Helga0We travel to see our families over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. In June we were able to book our Thanksgiving trip with the split option. Yesterday I went to book our Christmas trip (at the same Superhost Airbnb we booked for Thanksgiving) and the option was not available. Before finalizing our stay I called the Superhost help line and spoke with a woman who said the split option was a trial run and that it ended on June 30.

 

 

Helga0 in
Paris, France
Level 10

@Barry-and-Lera0, sorry to hear that. Those features come and go, sometimes unanounced and sometimes only announced when they come, not when they go.

In France, we pleaded for the feature years ago, but I have seen on other forums that many hosts elsewhere did not like it at all. I guess it depends on the way a country's banks work. In France, it was a traditionel method, to pay in installments, but in other countries it may be a sign of a bad credit rating, if you can't pay in advance, so people are prejudiced. 

I'd be curious to see the results of the test and hopefully the feature comes back in one form or another - in time for your spring holidays ;-)

Barry-and-Lera0 in
Sarasota, FL
Level 10

I don't know why it would bother hosts that a guest pays in split payments. Its not like hosts get the money at the time of booking. They still have to wait until that guests check-ins to get paid. How they pay it makes no difference.

 

Airbnb is the one that really makes out since they can hold whatever that dollar amount is in escrow and generate interest off it for 2, 3, 6 months.

Helga0 in
Paris, France
Level 10

@Barry-and-Lera0, the fear was, that people block a space with à down payment without any hope of coming up with the rest. If they don't win the lottery, they cancel and the down payment is refundable. In the French system, the first part was not refundable. In 10 years, we suffered one such cancellations, with a first payment of less ten 10 percent of the rent. In that case, the guest just did not show and we could not rent the week. Setting the non-refundable part to 30%, the legal limit here, it never happened again.

In the airbnb system, everything is refundable 30 days before arrival and that can really be a risk. If you see two or three flats, you like, you could block all of them till the rest of the family has made up their mind.

The other hosts may not be able to rebook.

I'd like to have payment in installments for longer stays, but with a fix amount, that has to

be paid even if the stay is cancelled.

As a guest, what would you believe to be fair? At which point would you only book, if you are sure, and only one place?

Barry-and-Lera0 in
Sarasota, FL
Level 10

It does sound like we are working with different systems. We have only used the split payment option once and as travelers. We had to pay 50% of the total with the remaining payment due 2 weeks before arrival. I am uncertain if any or our guests have used the split payment option when paying to stay with us. The only notice about payment we have ever received (before a guests arrival) is if there is some sort of issue with payment.

 

As traveler I would always use the split option even if I had full payment at time of booking. We do have favorite places to stay when we travel home for the holidays so yes, we try and book early while the dates are available. Sometimes that is 6-8 months out and not having to put out the full amount makes me book earlier. I would prefer to put 50% down and have that remaining 50% work on my behalf for the next 6 months.

Dan342 in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 1

To answer an earlier question about why hosts don't like it, it holds the booking and blocks their calendar for 3 days and at the end of that three days, if even one of the guests in the group doesn't pay, the reservation is canceled and the host doesn't get any money at all.  Now they have missed 3 days worth of potential bookings for nothing.

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