The “Airbnbust” is upon us. After more than a decade as the top choice for vacation rentals, Airbnb is rapidly losing favor with travelers globally—and the change has hosts asking “what’s going on?” In a now-viral screenshot from the Airbnb Superhosts Facebook group, some hosts have complained of a recent drastic decline in bookings that has left them wondering why.
Naturally, the internet has all the answers to their question. From Twitter to Reddit, people are offering up their own reasons why they dislike the platform—and tbh, they make a lot of good points. Keep reading to discover some of travelers’ biggest Airbnb problems.
Hidden fees are among the biggest reason why travelers are turning their backs on Airbnb. As Reddit user ellastory puts it, “sometimes the daily rate won’t seem so bad, until you try to book it and realize there are hundreds of dollars of extra surcharges that are hardly worth a short trip.”
According to a personal account from Redditor RockyNobody, “I was going to rent one for two nights with friends in Atlanta recently. The fee was around $1600 a night for a six-bedroom, four-bath. When I went to pay, they had tacked on over $2000 in various additional fees.”
Many on the platform also complained about the unrealistic expectations of hosts. Cleaning rules were some of the most common—and most outrageous—Airbnb problems users mentioned.
“One time I got a negative review from a host was because they said I left the place ‘a mess.’ We followed all of their cleaning instructions to the letter, TWO PAGES WORTH. And paid a three-figure cleaning fee. They were mad because there were some ‘crumbs’ and some of the pillows weren’t put back in the right rooms,” shared Redditor Former-Animal3116. As JustJessJ_Art aptly jokes, “Why would I pay to clean someone else’s house on my vacation?”
When it comes to amenities, hotels have Airbnbs beat every time. Even basic hotel services can be difficult to find at short-term rentals. In response to the tweet that started it all, @Jani__Gee perfectly lays bare the differences between hotels and Airbnbs.
She writes, “Hotel has a concierge, cleaning lady, rooftop, bar, restaurant, security, pool, taxi stand, + room upgrades for loyalty. Airbnb has hidden cameras, a cleaning fee, discriminatory hosts + they ask you to take out the trash, strip your linen, and scrub the tub before you leave lmao.” And with 14.4K retweets and 65.7K likes, it’s clear she’s not the only one who feels this way.
When it first launched, Airbnb was marketed as an inexpensive alternative to hotels. But as its popularity grew, more property owners began to see the platform as an easy way to boost their income—at the expense of travelers. “They used to be cheaper than a hotel. Now they’re more expensive. Owners getting greedy,” says Reddit user cfisch08.
Redditor Suspicious_Serve_653 notes, “The only time I found Airbnb to be cheaper than a hotel is when I’m shopping for monthly stays.” And according to a recent analysis of the platform by NerdWallet, they’re right. The June 2022 investigation found that Airbnbs are typically less expensive for longer trips or large groups.
Scams, dirty conditions, and hidden cameras
Stories about fake hosts and guests finding hidden cameras in their rooms are well documented (and have even landed the company in legal trouble). But if you scroll through the Reddit thread, you’ll find even more complaints about last-minute cancellations, filthy properties, and other unsavory situations.
Redditor MyTwoTotroises recounted their partner’s recent nightmare Airbnb experience. When guests arrived at the property, they found “towels were still wet in the washing machine, random food in the fridge, house had bed bugs (they discovered later) and at some point when they were all out someone came by to do… something.”
This may well be the beginning of the end for Airbnb. While there are still some good hosts on the platform and certain types of stays a home rental is better for, from exorbitant fees to filthy (and sometimes illegal) properties, it’s easy to see why so many travelers are canceling the platform. So do yourself a favor; next time you’re planning a vacation, book a hotel room.