Airbnb puts cleaning fees on display

Executives at Airbnb want you to know they have, in fact, read all your angry tweets about out-of-control cleaning fees, and that they’re listening and learning. 

What happened: Airbnb will now include those pesky surcharges in the total price of a room (minus taxes, still *sigh*) and tweak search results to prioritize value, all in hopes of curbing accusations that the company excludes fees to make places look cheaper than they are.

  • Airbnb, which makes money on service fees, is doing just fine after reporting its most profitable quarter ever, but there is growing fear of losing customers over prices.
  • “We started as an affordable alternative to hotels, and affordability is especially important today… during this difficult economic time,” CEO Brian Chesky said.

By prioritizing affordability, Airbnb is looking to make it back into cheaper-than-hotel territory (something that’s been nearly impossible to claim lately) to secure repeat bookings.

Why it matters: A tough economic climate has left consumers zeroing in on hidden costs and looking for value. By addressing both of those needs with one swift (but arguably long overdue update), the company is banking that consumers will forgive, forget, and spend.