It's an app.
You browse through people's houses and apartments.
You reserve with your credit card.
You message the person with any questions and you make plans to pick up the keys.
Then you stay in their house, use all their stuff and leave it pretty clean but not perfect.
You make plans to give back the keys.
And you leave.
Here's how airbnb worked for us last weekend:
We browsed through and found a place to stay.
We messaged a few times and didn't get a response, complained to airbnb and then got a response that day.
We asked if we could check in 30 mins early.
Chad said sure.
We landed and got a message saying 30 mins early no longer worked.
Showed up at the apartment and Chad gave us each a hug. He had fresh flowers, mini chocolate bars and cold water in a carafe (well, three different carafes) by the bed.
We got the keys, asked about parking, he gave us the parking pass.
Next day. We are in his apartment. All our stuff is there, we are out
He's charging us an extra $20 for parking.
Hmmm. That was not mentioned when we met yesterday and he gave us a hug.
(Yes, there may have possibly been some writing on the wall but there were also miniature Aero bars.)
Write back to airbnb and say that I need an extension because I want to check the original terms of our agreement which I can't do from my phone.
Airbnb says she doesn't know if that option is available.
Chad messages asking for the $20.
Decide not to respond because don't feel comfortable having fight with him when all our stuff is in his apartment. Don't want to come home to find my
Leave apartment, parking spot and keys at designated location.
Chad lodges official complaint against us because we did not pay
Chad states that he is being flexible because instead of charging $40 for two days of parking he is only charging $20.
Airbnb rep named Miggy calls.
Explain situation to her: blah blah not responsive, blah blah mini Kit Kat bars, blah blah parking spot.
Tell her I am planning to pay the $20 because I don't want to have a fight with this guy. Plus, karma.
Miggy turns out to be as cute as her name.
She says. Because you are being so nice about this, we will give you a $15, no $20, no $30 US credit toward your next airbnb stay.
And that my friends, is how airbnb works.