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Airbnb is adding cleaning fees to a new 'total price' of bookings in search results after people complained listings were misleading

screenshot of a phone screen with a red arrow pointing to what AirBnb's new total price toggle looks like on top of a mountain house listing
Airbnb's total price toggle will show the total price of an accommodation, including all fees, before taxes.Airbnb
  • Airbnb is updating its platform to show guests the total price of an accommodation before booking.

  • The price will include additional fees, like cleaning, that are shown separately from nightly rates.

  • Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO, tweeted that he's heard guest concerns that "prices aren't transparent."

Airbnb guests will soon be able to see the total cost of their stay, including cleaning and service fees, before taxes in a step towards better pricing transparency on the platform.

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, tweeted that he's heard guests "loud and clear" that pricing on the platform isn't transparent and "checkout tasks are a pain," so the platform is making four changes starting in December.

The first is that guests will be able to see the total price of an accommodation, before taxes, while searching. The full price breakdown of service fees, discounts, and taxes will also be viewable.

The platform is also prioritizing total price in search rankings, versus nightly rates, which have been criticized for a lack of pricing transparency since they don't include the additional fees. Chesky tweeted that "the highest quality homes with the best total prices will rank higher" when searching.

Early next year, Airbnb said hosts on the platform will have new pricing and discount tools so they can understand the "final price" guests will pay so they can set competitive prices. Hosts will also get guidance from Airbnb on "reasonable" checkout requests for guests, and will have to show requests to potential guests before they book.

"You shouldn't have to do unreasonable checkout tasks, such as stripping the beds, doing the laundry, or vacuuming," Chesky tweeted in a thread about Airbnb's updates. "But we think it's reasonable to turn off the lights, throw food in the trash, and lock the doors — just as you would when leaving your own home."

Airbnb guests have taken to social media to complain about chore lists from some Airbnb hosts who require guests run the dishwasher, wash bedsheets, and mow the lawn while also paying hundreds of dollars in cleaning fees.

In May, Airbnb addressed fee transparency on its platform, explaining that hosts set cleaning fees and nightly rates depending on the size, location, capacity, and amenities of their accommodation.

"Hosts need to set their own cleaning fees because everyone is in a different position when it comes to cleaning," Airbnb said, adding that there's a difference between cleaning a studio apartment and a five-bedroom house. "Additionally, some Hosts choose to clean listings themselves to reduce costs, whereas others hire professional cleaners."

According to Airbnb, 45% of its listings worldwide don't have a cleaning fee, and for those that do, the average is less than 10% of the total cost of the stay.

"We started as an affordable alternative to hotels, and affordability is especially important today," Chesky tweeted. "During this difficult economic time, we need to help our Hosts provide great value to you."

Read the original article on Business Insider