Pros & Cons: Airbnb vs. VRBO

Old Sep 27, 22, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by cwoo View Post
Thank you for the airbnb tip!! I have been a loyal airbnb customer for many years and apparently I have missed lots of Avios points until now! Does the airbnb booking has to go thru from the BA site? I asked because I've already booked 2 upcoming trips with airbnb site directly.
You are very welcome. To best of my knowledge I found out about this BA/Airbnb connection in a BA email dated June 1st, 2022. So I'd assume it is a fairly new 'alliance'. So, yes, I followed the link in the email and the first thing they ask is the BA membership number. As for your 2 future bookings, I'm not sure how this can be done as even contacting Airbnb worthless staff is very difficult (more on this below).

I also have been a loyal Airbnb customer for many years and have defended them on the blogs. We have had 12 Airbnb stays and they were all good on the most part:
3 in Rome Italy
1 in Florence
1 in Venice
1 in Bangkok (review later)
1 in Barcelona (review later)
1 in Donostia-San Sebastian (review later)
1 in Madrid (review later)
1 in Seville (this was actually with Marriott Homes & Villas - review later)
2 in Lisbon (review later & see below)

We have saved a bundle as we travel as a family of 4, and always need 2 hotel rooms – not to mention convenience, space, and fabulous prime locations. Hotel rooms in most of these cities are on the smaller size, and if the location is nice a bundle of $$$. Having said this, please be aware that Airbnb is neither a high-tech company nor a hospitality one – case in points: our first prepaid rental in Lisbon ($1,500) was a fake listing – a shocking discovery when we arrived at the address at 4PM! SO, this tells us that Airbnb does not vet their properties as they should or doesn’t have a system to do so despite of the fact that they claim to be a high-tech firm. The second point is that after the initial shock and then call to Airbnb that we were stranded without accommodations, we were promised a response and a resolution in an hour. NEVER happened! We waited on the street (Paul’s Pastry Shop in downtown Lisbon) until 9PM (Sunday night Lisbon time) to absolutely no response from Airbnb. Started to get dark and our kids were getting tired so I got on my IHG app and booked 2 rooms at the holiday Inn Lisbon on points (20K IHG points per room per night). Not bad for mid-July high season. Two days later, saw an apartment opens up on Airbnb with 10-15 minutes walk to downtown, and I booked it. Staff at Airbnb did not offer any assistance or alternative accommodations – absolutely nothing! Just lip service! Refund for the original amount showed up 7 days later in my checking account (we have no credit cards). We lucked out! Imagine if I didn’t have any hotel points and the only money was the spend on the original prepaid booking! So vet your rented property and make sure there are reviews to consider – do your homework to get a successful Airbnb!

Last edited by Kalboz; Sep 28, 22 at 9:58 am
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Old Oct 8, 22, 3:23 pm
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Next review is for Bangkok - some of you might find this stay a bit strange as hotels in Bangkok are really cheap and plentiful. But our needs for our dates and this particular area made it necessary to get this enjoyable apartment. We did have a room at the Millennium Hilton across the river, but we had family visiting to watch the NYE fireworks.

Location: The Room Charoenkrung 30 (corner of Soi Captain Bush)
Dates: 12/28/2021 - 1/2/2022
2 bedrooms and one bathroom - full kitchen - WIFI - AC - Smart TVs
Total cost: $729.78 USD

The host, Khun Pim, was a very capable, nice, and kind lady, who spent enough time with us to show the unit and the building amenities. The host is very responsive and replied within hours if not minutes. The unit itself is clean, comfortable, and offers all the amenities for a comfortable stay. We watched spectacular NYE fireworks from the rooftop. Swimming pool was refreshing and large enough to do laps. The building/parking is very secure with 24/7 security personnel on hand but without being intrusive. Great location on the historic Soi Captain Bush with walking distance to Si Phraya pier and Saphan Taksin BTS station placing the entire city at your fingertips. 7-11 is located on the ground floor. This unit is highly recommended.

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Last edited by Kalboz; Oct 8, 22 at 3:31 pm
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Old Oct 8, 22, 4:18 pm
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@Kalboz, what a nice apartment and stunning views of the fireworks.
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Old Oct 8, 22, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
@Kalboz, what a nice apartment and stunning views of the fireworks.
Thank you - indeed, the apartment on the 31st floor was great. But we remained at the Hilton - our children and the in-laws stayed there for NYE because they didn't want to drink and drive. The kids were there for the duration. For a total of 9 people plus us two, it was comfortable to have a party and then we watched the fireworks from the rooftop. Other tenants were there too and it was a great opportunity to mingle. More photo here:

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Old Nov 1, 22, 6:34 am
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Several hundred Airbnb stays here. Many good, many exceptional, a few truly amazing (hundreds of thousands in artwork on the wall, but please, if it rains, jiggle this switch to get the electricity back on, feel free to the liquor cart) -- but, 1 in 20 is a burn, and ABB CS will absolutely stab you in the back (CS is usually outsourced).

ABB in Europe is filled with large commercial and apartment rental operations that misrepresent themselves and their properties. From Paris to Poland, simply sorting out actual 2BRs from studios posted as 2BRs and represented as mom&pops with deceptive photos and descriptions is a chore.

Your Airbnb customer service will likely provided by this mess: Meet the Customer Service Reps for Disney and Airbnb Who Have to Pay to Talk to You

and if something goes wrong, you'll be treated to ever-shifting, arbitrary and inconsistent not to mention simply wrong applications of policy etc:

let's zoom that:

After a nightmare (you had to relocate and pay for a last-minute hotel, etc-- I've had that happen about five times in a few years, which is far too many times) you will then get to spend hour upon hour arguing trivialities with said so-called CS, which will hang up on you (literally or virtually; your claim or ticket will be closed after arbitrary short timelines if you don't reply) multiple times instead of enforcing policy. Please start over in the queue. When a refund is promised, half of the time it won't come. Please start over in the queue.

I've loved Airbnb, I love the concept, but counting unexpected expenses + time loss, just not sure Airbnb is worth the risk for many trips at this point.
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Last edited by kthomas; Nov 1, 22 at 5:45 pm
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Old Nov 10, 22, 2:31 pm
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Another risk with AirBnb and VRBO:

Of course this could happen in a hotel as well, but I'm guessing most of the 400 annual deaths in USA occur are private homes. Then there is fire risk, but that's the subject of another thread.
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Old Nov 10, 22, 3:58 pm
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RIP. So carries your own carbon monoxide defector going forward on airbnb stays?
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Old Nov 10, 22, 4:43 pm
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I had to cancel 5 AirBnB reservations I made for last September in Europe and received all of my money back within a few days. We have used AirBnB for years and have never had any problems. I do try to contact the renters with a question or two before booking just to try and make sure they actually own their unit. I also only book units with generous cancellation policies. I think this weeds out the problem renters. The only time we book hotels is for short stays when paying a cleaning fee doesn't make sense.
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