Thursday evening 10/19/17 I received a booking request for a three night stay November 3-6. I quickly accepted the reservation and replied with my default new booking message assuming all was normal. A few hours later I got home and opened up airbnb on web browser and noticed the reservation said "Awaiting group payment". It took me a minute to research when I found the new option that guests have to split payments amongst a group, which is a cool feature.
Here's the problem. The guests have 72 hours from booking time to complete the group payment, if not 100% paid after 72 hours the booking will be canceled. There is no fee to the guest for holding my calendar hostage for 72 hours.
For my example, the payment is split among 8 people and currently as i type 24 hours remaining to complete payment. This means that the entire weekend (Saturday and Sunday 10/21 and 10/22) my calendar will show those dates as booked. I would estimate 95% of my bookings are made on either a Saturday or a Sunday. So come Sunday evening if the guest hasnt paid, that reservation cancels and I've missed the opportunity to have those nights booked this weekend. Then I will have to lower the rate as the date gets closer.
I think the group booking option is nice, however, AIRBNB needs to lessen the amount of time that my calendar is blocked off for a non-confirmed reservation. If a guest can't get their group to all pay within 24 hours then they probably won't make it in 72 hours either.
My vote is to lessen the time to 24 hours to complete a group payment to lower the risk of unbooked nights for hosts.
I'd love to hear other peoples thoughts.
As usual, Airbnb is more for guests than for hosts, @Clay. They will never surprise me...
24 h is fine. Most Internet shops give you the same for completing payment.
I am also getting this vibe from Airbnb lately. They seem to be all about the guests and not about the hosts. In fact they are quite content to play games with your listing's search ranking if you don't follow their suggestions on things like pricing, instant book, etc. They also blocked off my calendar for a period when I declined one unverified guest in October (which they deny).
I think that what Airbnb need to understand is that their entire business is built around hosts, not guests. Hosts provide the service and take all the risks. If Airbnb continue to allow guests' needs & wants to dictate the terms of business they risk losing their inventory. If enough disgruntled hosts decide to stop hosting on Airbnb what will they do then?
Are there any proper alternatives to Airbnb?
Sorry Marzena to hear the negative opinion that you have about Airbnb. I have been a Superhost for about 3 years and they have been very profesional, helping in anyway they can. Also, we have to take in concideration than the client always come first. I love the group payment option but I also agree on given them only 24 hours to make the full payment. Have a positive day. Hope
The notion that the client always comes first is simply rubbish. Airbnb should focus on quality inventory and the clients will follow seeking quality.
Hosts aren't clients? That's absurd. Airbnb hangs on to the money guests pay when booking until the day they check in, so airbnb is making huge $ on interest while holding onto hosts' payments. And I have not had good experience when looking for help from airbnb. Responses are often rote, too much thanking us and telling us how pleased they are to attend to our concerns, without actually solving the problems.
Very good initiative but extremily desappointing that host have to wait 72hours
with some airline u need to make a small payment deposit and if u dont confirm u loose that even though it is 24hours not 72
the only positive part of the group booking u get to have ID check for all guests so hopefully less cheating on nbre of guests staying
before some bad guests find the sneaky way to work arouont that again
Exactly my thoughts. Really dissapointing - my calander is hostage for 72 hours, and if they do not pay (or maybe find a better option during that time) - no one can book my place during that time. Zero penalties for the guests. I really hope Airbnb changes this ASAP.
Well said @Clay, I agree on all points. Same experience last week (which immediately felt wrong), and the formal introduction of the feature this morning solidified my concern. Having a verified ID from all guests is poor consolation for hosts, whom this feature was NOT designed to benefit.
But, in an age of lightning fast P2P money transfers (paypal, venmo, etc), does this feature REALLY represent a significant incremental improvement for guests? If not for the host, and not for the guest, then WHO was this feature designed for???
Consider this: Instead of gaining a single new customer with that completed booking, Airbnb gained EIGHT
Jimmy I don't think Airbnb is just for the money, look at the tinny fee that they charge the host and compare it with other companies like "Homeaway, they charge 15% and they don't do anything, the host has to deal with the hussle of receiving payment directly. I'm very greatful to Airbnb they are very profesional and not greedy. Forever Airbnb member:) Hope
See my response above- "the tiny fee" plus the guests' booking payment which Airbnb retains until check-in, which could be months down the line. All the while earning interest on our $.
Hope, airbnb charges us less but they charge the guest more. There is a limit to how much a guest would pay to stay at your place. So you can either mark up your price on another site to make up for the fee or you can lower it here so there is room left for a guest to pay. You put the same amount in your pocket. And it is designed this way specifically so people feel the way you do. Also, it makes their prices look lower initially in search. Airbnb is not doing you any favors