AirBNB is a way to get rooms for cheap in a new city. It beats hotel room prices and you get to meet some new people.
There are definitely some drawbacks to AirBNB, things you will not experience in a hotel situation.
- Hosts not held to professional standards – calendars may be out of date. Hosts can cancel without financial penalty. I don’t know how many times I have checked off a series of dates and hit submit only for the host to reply: “oh, well my nephew is coming into town and that day is no longer available… yadayadayada“.
- The review process is based on free speech, not conflict mediation. AirBNB (hypocrtically) calls itself a community. But are the hosts and guest trained in community living and communication? Do they agree to resolve conflicts directly and honestly or do they use the review process to launch a bitter vengeful assault? I once stayed at a place of an elderly lady. I had numerous issues with the unit, but I wrote my review of her (and the unit) beforehand and gave it to her and said: “I am willing to discuss all of these points before posting a review.” By contrast, she never once alerted me to any negative impressions she had about me. But she sure did unload on me in her review! And what is tragic is that I can see how she drew her conclusions, but all of her conclusions were faulty and missing vital information.
- The reviews are made by reviewers whose psychological makeup is not clear. In other words, in most cases you are reading a review by someone you dont know. So what good is knowing what a review says if you dont know anything about the reviewer? That’s why I dislike and do not participate in the reference process when looking for a job as a computer programmer. For instance, the lady in the review above had a mother with a serious mental illness. I am not sure if the illness was inheritable, but it wouldnt surprise me.