Thanks to both pent-up desire and accumulated savings, demand for travel is hotter than ever going into the summer 2022 season. In particular, Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms have enjoyed booming business as travelers venturing out in pandemic circumstances sought more private lodgings. But holiday-makers seeking this kind of accommodations should be aware of a new warning that comes just in time for the kickoff of the summer travel season. Read on to find out what it is and how it could affect your plans.
Back in 2020, Airbnb announced a global party ban, and in 2021 the platform built upon that framework with a plan that launched over the July 4th holiday weekend aimed at trying to stop unauthorized parties. (Similar initiatives had been previously piloted over the previous Halloween and New Year’s Eve holiday periods.) It worked by blocking certain one-night reservation attempts and redirecting certain two-night reservation attempts for booking guests who do not have a history of positive reviews.
As a result of that summer holiday weekend pilot last year, the time period was quiet and Airbnb reported a substantial decrease in incidences of disruptive and unauthorized parties. Overall, over 126,000 guests without histories of positive reviews were impacted by this anti-party system over the 2021 4th of July weekend alone.
“As summer is rapidly approaching, we continue to build on our commitment to try to stop as many unauthorized parties as possible in the U.S.,” the home-sharing platform explained in a news release.
To that end, the release announced Airbnb will be building on the success of its program from last summer and will be “re-instituting these strict anti-party measures for the 4th of July 2022.”
And new for this summer, Airbnb will expand on the system to include Memorial Day weekend for the first time. Memorial Day weekend—the unofficial start of summer—kicks off on Friday, May 27 this year.
Airbnb is placing an array of eligibility criteria on guests attempting to book reservations over both Memorial Day weekend and the 4th of July weekend in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
This new system means that guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be prohibited from making one-night reservations in entire home listings.
It also means “more stringent restrictions” on certain two-night reservation attempts. For example, Airbnb says it will “leverage and amplify our technology that restricts certain local or last-minute bookings” by guests without a history of positive reviews on the platform.
Airbnb will also make guests sign anti-party attestations for local reservations; they’ll be required to affirmatively attest that they understand that Airbnb bans parties and that breaking the rules could trigger legal action.
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Guests who have a history of positive reviews needn’t worry; they won’t be subject to these restrictions. And Airbnb’s statement aims to acknowledge its loyalty to its regular, rule-abiding customers.
“We do not take these measures lightly,” the statement notes. “Both Memorial Day and the 4th of July are meaningful weekends that allow our hosts to facilitate all kinds of responsible travelers including families. This is why our anti-party system and policy allows exceptions on these bookings for those who have a history of positive reviews and have earned that trust through Airbnb.”
It also acknowledges that the system could inadvertently weed out would-be guests with only good intentions. But, it says, “this is a trade-off we are willing to make in the interest of trust and safety.”