Airbnb will finally start showing the full price of a rental listing in an effort to be more transparent.
The travel service upgrade comes at the height of the holiday travel season as the company aims to make it easier to buy cheaper deals. Sadly, Thanksgiving travelers will be missing out as the update won’t be released until next month. To better explain the new feature, Company CEO Brian Chesky took to Twitter (opens in new tab) and broke everything.
Total price display
Users will soon see a location’s total price in search results, on the map, in price filters, and on the listing page. However, it will not show the taxes you will have to pay. To see the taxes, the official announcement (opens in new tab) states, customers will have to go to the final step before booking to see “a full price breakdown”, which includes discounts and service fees. The feature will not be set by default as you will have to toggle “Display full price” (opens in new tab) to see the full price.
When asked why Airbnb didn’t make this a default setup, a company representative told us they want to make it easy for people who were used to the old way and give them a choice between the two.
A Twitter user also asked Chesky why taxes are not included (opens in new tab) in the price from the start, to which he replied that it is because of “convention”. He stated that prices in the United States are normally shown before taxes are applied. Chesky then asked users if the price should include tax. Several people in the thread said they would like to see this, so a post-tax update could come later.
In 2021, the company acknowledged that its platform has a pricing issue. (opens in new tab) after years of customers complaining about hidden fees. Back in June, Nerdwallet analyzed 1,000 Airbnb ads (opens in new tab) and found that more than a third had a cleaning fee that represented between 20% and 29% of the price of the place. Eight percent have fees that represent 40 percent or more of the original price. Add that to extra taxes or fees and suddenly that quick weekend getaway has become a financial sinkhole.
Airbnb hopes these changes can help people find accommodations that better fit their budgets.
In addition to the full price display, Airbnb will make three other changes, two of which are aimed at educating Hosts. The company will adjust its search algorithm to prioritize a list’s total price over nightly price. High-quality locations with the best price “will rank higher in search results,” according to the company.
Starting early next year, Hosts will receive new “pricing and discount tools” to teach them how to set more competitive prices. Airbnb says it wants to “help them understand the final price guests pay.” There will also be new guidance for Hosts who have checkout requests. The company wants to ensure these orders are “reasonable and displayed to guests” before booking. Not much is known beyond this announcement, but Airbnb said it will share more information at a later date.
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