Airbnb’s New Features Include Fee Transparency and Launch of Airbnb Rooms

More than 50 upgrades will make it easier than ever to choose a vacation rental that’s perfect for your needs

Young man walking through the patio doors of his rental accommodation pulling a wheeled suitcase
The changes will help you relax instead of worrying about surprises upon arrival
Getty Images

Many of us have been there before: we go through the motions of renting an Airbnb, only to find that the property is way more expensive once all the cleaning fees and taxes have been calculated. Or, you find a beautiful property, but the listing lacks the robust details that we all need when trying to make an educated decision about a rental. But Airbnb has been listening, and they just announced 50 new features based on community feedback.

The “total price display” is one of the most helpful changes, as users can now choose to toggle on this option so that the total price of a rental — including fees but excluding taxes — is displayed on the search results, maps and listings pages. This prevents people from thinking they found a rental within their budget, only to discover the property has a $500 cleaning fee. And instead of paying for a rental all at once, you can now pay over time with Klarna in four interest-free installments within six weeks.

But perhaps our favorite new feature is “transparent checkout instructions,” which obligates hosts to disclose their complete checkout requirements on the listing. Not only will this help guests avoid absurd tasks, but they can also call out any excessive asks during the post-stay review process. If a rental has too many low ratings for unreasonable checkout instructions, the listing will be removed.

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Airbnb also announced the launch of Airbnb Rooms, which improves the standard for renting a room in someone’s home. The category’s updated privacy features lets renters see if the room in question has a shared, private or attached bathroom; who else might be in the home during a stay; and if the bedroom door that you’re renting locks. A new feature even lets you get to know hosts a bit better before booking a stay. The latest interface includes more details about them like what they do for work, how they like to have fun and what makes their home unique. 

“This is the most extensive set of improvements that we have ever made,” Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, said at a press event in New York City on Tuesday. “Airbnb’s original tagline was ‘travel like a human,’ and the human part was always more important than the travel part because the most memorable part of traveling is the other people you’re with. Meeting somebody new, walking in their shoes and seeing the city through their eyes: this is the soul of Airbnb.”

Hopefully, these new changes will usher in a more transparent Airbnb experience and bring back the joy and excitement of renting a home that was present when the platform first launched.


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