Airbnb Now Allows Group Travelers to Split Costs of Rentals

Nov 28, 2017

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There’s nothing better than going on vacation with friends and family and sharing new memories. But when it comes to splitting the bill at the end of the trip, well, that’s something not everyone loves — except for the organizer who likely helped to foot the bill at the beginning. Airbnb has introduced a new feature  to alleviate this; beginning today, you can split the bill with everyone at the time of booking an Airbnb.

The new feature allows one person to book an Airbnb and after that, there’s a page where you can invite friends to split the cost. The organizer pays their share and the booking will be placed on hold until everyone in the party has fulfilled their payment. If everyone doesn’t fulfill the payment before the deadline within 72 hours of the booking, the reservation will be forfeited and everyone will get their money back.

Around Christmastime last year, Airbnb co-founder and CEO  Chesky tweeted: “If @Airbnb could launch anything in 2017, what would it be?” The overwhelming response was a group payment method. Airbnb is the first accommodation provider to offer a split payment feature, but the concept is not new. Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft both have split fare features and Uber says it is one of the most utilized feature on its app.

If @Airbnb could launch anything in 2017, what would it be?

— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) December 26, 2016

According to Airbnb, the most popular destinations for group bookings in the US (five or more people are traveling together) are Los Angeles, Nashville, Las Vegas, Kissimmee, Florida and New York City. As far as group travel around the globe goes: Tokyo, London, Paris and Rome are the most popular destinations for groups.

According to an Airbnb survey of 2,000 American travelers, 79% have been on group trips in the last five years. 52% report that they’ve fronted $500 or more and 31% have fronted more than $1,000. The new feature hopes to alleviate the financial burden on one person paying for lodging. It will also offer more listings that would otherwise fall outside the organizer’s what the organizer may be able to afford.

A pilot program of the new tool was launched in June, 2017 and over 80,000 groups successfully split payments for their travel from all over the world.

Photo by @rycette via Twenty20

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