Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, recently posted this on Twitter:
I’ve heard you loud and clear — you feel like prices aren’t transparent and checkout tasks are a pain. That’s why we’re making changes.
Starting next month, you’ll be able to see the total price you’re paying up front. When you turn this on, you’ll see the total price (before taxes) in search results, as well as on the map, price filter, and listing page. You can also view a full price breakdown with Airbnb’s service fee, discounts, and taxes.
This should be the policy not just for Airbnb, but for all lodging, airline seats, concert tickets, and anything else that has hidden fees. Ticketmaster shouldn’t tell me a ticket for a show is $79 when, in the end, it’s going to be $120 — fifty percent higher than the initial listing. Similarly, hotels shouldn’t be able to bury their “resort fees” and car rental companies should be straightforward about the various fees they tack on (including those imposed by local and state governments).
Give me the total price — including taxes — for every listing and let me shop and compare. Anything less is a long-running deceptive practice that should be abolished.
Updated 12/7/22 at 3:24pm…
Bob Robinson emails:
My wife and I have not yet looked into Airbnb as an option when we go on vacation, though it seems to me that we should for our next. That said, there was something in Brian Chesky’s announcement that caught my eye, and it’s this: “you’ll be able to see the total price you’re paying up front. When you turn this on…”. Why should anyone have to turn this feature on? That makes it sound like he’s actually quite happy with the way things are, and the only people who will know they can change what they see will be those who saw his twitter post. Also, why will the site still only show the price “(before taxes)”, especially when so many of the fees you have to pay at many resorts, etc. are actually considered taxes? Since every one of these booking services is able to determine all the taxes you will have to pay, why not include that in the total and show it to people? While this is a good start, I still get the feeling that he’s not really doing all that he can to make pricing transparent.
You’re 100% correct, Bob!