We received a message from someone concerned about the potential for white nationalists to rent our place next week in Washington, DC. She asked us to carefully vet any guests and consider canceling any suspicious reservation. We're wondering why Airbnb has not communicated with hosts in the DC Metro area about the incidents next week and potential for trouble next week. The silence is deafening and shows a continuing problem with the company's decision to put profit over people. That said, here's our reply to the person who contacted us, in case you're interested.
Thanks for your message. We can assure you that our guest next week is fully vetted and, in fact, is a grandmother here to meet her grandchild for the first time.
Your message, however, raises a good point. Far too many Airbnb hosts will accept reservations from anyone willing to pay. Why? Because far too many Airbnb hosts are now operating multiple properties. Some are, in fact, management companies. They are motivated by profits and greed and have no commitment to the neighborhoods where they operate.
My husband and I have seen this happen over time in our neighborhood. As a result, our neighbors down the street have had to suffer through loud parties and more. One young woman, who had recently moved into the neighborhood, sold her newly purchased condo when drunken Airbnb guests in the condo below her came up the back stairs and banged on her bedroom window, threatening to come in.
While some hosts last week may have been fooled, I'm sure many others simply looked the other way just to make a buck. My assumption is that many of the white nationalists had created new Airbnb profiles with no previous reviews. How many responsible Airbnb hosts would not have been suspicious. My husband and I would have declined such reservation requests and waited for a verifiable guest. But we're not greedy or foolish.
We face many threats from irresponsible hosts far beyond white nationalists. That is why my husband and I have supported the DC Council's efforts to limit Airbnb listings to those where the host lives on the property. We hope you and your colleagues will support such legislation where you live. Doing so will provide our neighborhoods security in the coming months and years. After all, while nationalists (and Antifa and the rest) may have plans to come to our area long after the inauguration is over.
Other platforms are also blocking reservations. Airbnb is just the more known brand name: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9143237/Inauguration-2021-Airbnb-cancels-reservations-Washi...
I looked for a more specific report about Vrbo cancelling reservations in DC, and in my search I found a Vrbo listing titled, "
2021 Presidential Inauguration, 1\17 - 1\21, 5 Nts". It's a studio apartment that the host is renting for $2,000 per night, and it has to be for the 5 nights. So, I will say that Vrbo isn't blocking DC listings.
@Inna22 I see it sort of like encountering some 14 year old on your way into the liquor store who tries to get you to buy them a bottle of booze. Sure, maybe someone will do it if they try long enough, but is that a reason for you to facilitate that and say sure, no problem? And if they stand there long enough in the cold without any takers, they may give up and go home.
Anything that throws an obstacle in the way of making it easy for those planning violence to do so, is helpful, IMO.
@Sarah977 that’s an interesting perspective. What are the thoughts on the liquor store being completely closed and somebody who just had a baby not being able to buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate either? I guess alcohol is not good when you’re breast-feeding and the dad should be helping mom and not somewhere else celebrating 🙂
@Inna22 So somebody gives birth to a baby and immediately thinks "I need to go to a liquor store" after closing time?
That person would have to have a serious drinking problem...even the liquor store owner probably wouldn't want them as a customer.
"Oh here's that crazy pregnant lady again, let's just lock up early"
Yeah, kinda... The parallel is that now the “store” is closed during regular business hours. The lady did not buy Champagne in advance because she’s superstitious and it’s bad luck. She now shows up and the store is shut down to prevent the minor from going in but it’s preventing her as well.
I guess it’s the forever discussion of if it’s OK to make one person suffer if it is for everyone’s collective good.
@Inna22 In Mexico, liquor sales are illegal on election days.
And during the pandemic, liquor sales have often been cut off after a certain time of day, like mid-afternoon, because the incidence of alcohol-fueled domestic violence had gone way up when people are locked down and there are curfews.
Those who believe that some things need to be done for the common good may see it as inconvenient, but not suffering.
You have to remember, these guys are idiots and are highly unlikely to have any local pals to crash with anyway. There weren't any counter protesters on the 6th & there is a massive military presence in D.C. right now. If the insurrectionists hadn't been poster children for the crassness and stupidity of their "cause" God help the union. We came this close to the wholesale slaughter of our congress, what would have happened after that? I don't see how they could be more fueled than they are already with their guns, bombs, and nooses. I don't know what further damage and death will come from the civil war we are experiencing while meanwhile the pandemic rages. I really hope a year from now the state of the union is better than it is today. I would love to see the museums in Chicago someday!
Unfortunately there's insurgents in many parts of the world.
BNP in UK is one known group.
Perhaps we should be asking, who has instigated this situation we all find ourselves in and what is/ are their real motives behind it all?
The Circular economy involving Tobacco & Pharmaceutical industries are at the heart of this along with those who have had long standing roles without been held to account who advise Governments on Public Policy.
With the internet unfortunately there are those in those roles who have used their own dishonest behaviours to infiltrate roles & places that have caused the whole COVID19 / Coronavirus situation and Acts.
Look back in history when & where things have changed, including when Smokefree Legislation was introduced as that's where there's been a long chain of events all tied in with this.
Take care folks and may we all learn to look at the wider picture to underlying issues.
As aside, there are some who have long held on to jobs because they are male and in positions of power that influence our Politicians & others who may have received "Golden Handshakes' whilst they continue their trials of destruction to what has previously been a harmonious Society.
I'm happy for the DC Metro hosts who are getting a paid holiday from hosting during what will likely be a nervewracking week. It's not ideal, and I worry for some of those guests who might have needed those homes to deal with family emergencies or essential work, but I do think that when there are government orders to curtail unnecessary travel, Airbnb should not be encouraging or profiting from it.
@Fergark0 it's clear what your personal politics are, and they're undoubtedly different from mine, but in most cases I do share your opinion that it's preferable for Airbnb to defer to the agreement between host and guest and not intervene in it. But every day, these forums are flooded with posts from hosts who have suffered property damage, rule violations, and criminal activity, and are outraged that Airbnb didn't do more to protect them from the consequences of giving their house keys to a stranger without any measures to defend their property. I tell people over and over again, you're the boss of your home and you have to act like it, but thousands of posts I've read have convinced me that a plurality of hosts are submissive by nature, terrified of getting a bad review or losing Superhost, and actually want Airbnb to be their mom. They want the competitive advantage of taking huge risks - using Instant Book, having fragile furnishings, allowing kids and pets and large groups, etc - but they're unprepared for the totally predictable consequences when things go wrong. Their own carelessness gets them into trouble, and suddenly they go from "I'm a successful independent entrepreneur" to "where was mommy when I needed her?!"
So, seeing every day how devastated hosts are when Airbnb didn't swoop in like a helicopter parent and rescue them from their naive decisions, I can't really blame them for being paternalistic about this situation. It remains to be seen whether they made the right call, but realistically they are not prepared for the deluge of freaked-out hosts and guests that would be flooding their outsourced call centers if something did go horribly wrong next week.
@Andrew0 Don’t forget that while there was reimbursed for the reservations already made, they w were blocked from taking any future reservations. I don’t think airbnb owes them anything and I’m not arguing about the decision being right or wrong but we can’t just say that there is no loss to hosts at all.
@Inna22 If the host's expected income was based on getting fully compensated for a cancelled booking and then re-booking the dates, you're totally right! But that would be a bizarre business model, wouldn't it?
It's a dirty secret that I shouldn't air in public, but most people actually love getting money for nothing.