We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
96 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

Hi. We are looking at something we saw on Airbnb and it looks good. Any reason why we shouldn't?

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
3,955 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

Yes, they're definitely legit. They're a pretty well known company based in SF. They've also been all over the news lately thanks to how much money they've raised as a start-up, and I'm sure if you google you'll find some articles on them. As for personal experience, I haven't stayed anywhere yet, but have contacted a few places off the site and have been gotten back to pretty quickly.

Edited: 15 June 2011, 15:00
Lassen National...
Level Contributor
2,631 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

Ditto on the legit. I have a friend who works there.

San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,629 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

Here's a link to a NY Times article that was posted to this forum awhile back.

…nytimes.com/2010/…

Edited: 15 June 2011, 16:28
San Francisco...
1 post
Save Reply
4. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

Well I would avoid at all costs

here is an article about a guy who had his place ransacked by an airbnb host. there are no security checks done so you could be staying with a psycho with a nice apartment.

Quote

"They smashed a hole through a locked closet door, and found the passport, cash, credit card and grandmother's jewelry I had hidden inside. They took my camera, my iPod, an old laptop, and my external backup drive filled with photos, journals... my entire life. They found my birth certificate and social security card, which I believe they photocopied - using the printer/copier I kindly left out for my guests’ use. They rifled through all my drawers, wore my shoes and clothes, and left my clothing crumpled up in a pile of wet, mildewing towels on the closet floor. They found my coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond and used the discount, along with my Mastercard, to shop online. Despite the heat wave, they used my fireplace and multiple Duraflame logs to reduce mounds of stuff (my stuff??) to ash – including, I believe, the missing set of guest sheets I left carefully folded for their comfort. Yet they were stupid and careless enough to leave the flue closed; dirty gray ash now covered every surface inside.

They did weird stuff too: moving things around in a spooky, psychotic kind of way - creepy little things that I am still discovering as I dig through the wreckage - like cutting the tags off my pillows, and hanging a painting of Paris on the wall that I had never hung before... probably while wearing my now-missing Ugg boots and Roots cap.

All the while, Dj Pattrson was sending me friendly emails, thanking me for being such a great host, for respecting his/her privacy…. "

Link.

…blogspot.com/2011/06/violated-travelers-los…

Paris, France
Level Contributor
17,544 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

What does this have to do with airbnb?

This may be a lesson for someone wanting offer a place for rent, but this scenario could apply to any rental company.

This is my favorite part - "They found my coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond and used the discount" Really?

Where was this "article" published?

To answer the OP 's question - yes airbnb is legit. I recently rented an apartment through them in Barcelona and had a great experience. I like that , as renter, you pay airbnb directly and the owner doesn't get any money until 24 hours after you've arrived.

As I've said before, just be sure to do your homework. I would read the reviews carefully and be more likely to rent a place with lots of (good) reviews over one with no reviews.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
17,544 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

Just started reading the link - seems that thelittletrav... left out this part about airbnb:

"I would be remiss if I didn’t pause here to emphasize that the customer service team at airbnb.com has been wonderful, giving this crime their full attention. They have called often, expressing empathy, support, and genuine concern for my welfare. They have offered to help me recover emotionally and financially, and are working with SFPD to track down these criminals. I do believe the folks at airbnb.com when they tell me this has never happened before in their short history, that this is a one-off case. I do believe that maybe 97% of airbnb.com's users are good and honest people. Unfortunately I got the other 3%. Someone was bound to eventually, I suppose, and there will be others. For this reason, I felt compelled to get my story out as soon as possible – as a warning to travelers and renters everywhere – even though this case remains under investigation, and the final chapter of this story remains unwritten"

Edited: 14 July 2011, 15:42
San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,629 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

Well said F1.

I thought the same about the BB&B coupons. I mean, c'mon, those things are ubiquitious. And if they used the person's Master Card, well, then it appears s/he left it out for someone to find.

thelittletravel joined TA today in order to make a first post which is a partial opinion of someone on a blog. Hmmmm

Paris, France
Level Contributor
17,544 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

to Sceneryseeker,

I forgot to mention to be sure to list the location of the rental you're considering and the very helpful folks on the forum will let you know if it's a good choice - or not so good choice. They've helped me a ton!

Also the usual TA warning about 1st-time posters who provide overly positive or negative comments about a company - oftentimes they are representatives of the company or a competitor and not real travelers.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
43,819 posts
1,099 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

thelittletravel also conveniently FORGOT this part of the same blog:

"I can still recognize airbnb.com to be a brilliant concept that fills a much-needed hole in the traveler market, and based on their amazingly kind, caring response and support throughout the past few days, they have proven to me that they are an honest company with pure, good intentions."

...

"I certainly cannot and do not blame the agency for what has occurred. If anything, I blame myself. In retrospect, and as I read through my initial email exchanges with Dj, I recognize now that something was “off” in his manner of communication, that I trusted too easily, and probably did not do my due diligence to properly protect myself and my home."

*

This was just a blog, by the way. Not a news article.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
33,008 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Airbnb - any opinions? Legit? Good?

For what it is worth. We have used vacation rentals all over the world.

I prefer to use an agency rather than a private owner so that I have recourse if the rental is not as advertised, or if something stops working, or etc. etc.

I do not "couch surf" and I feel uncomfortable with some of airbnb's rentals.

They may be legit. Just not my cup of tea.