Airbnb Banning Guests For Attending Protests And Walking Dogs Off Leash – Ten Years Ago

Airbnb often leaves you stranded when owners cancel (though they’re fining owners more for late cancels), imposes exorbitant fees, and is a site with too many scams. Non-refundable hotel rooms rarely make sense, and when your travel plans change you’re often completely stuck if you rented through Airbnb.

Still, it’s sometimes necessary. There are towns without suitable hotels, and for family trips where multiple bedrooms and a kitchen make sense, timeshare properties and home sharing sites have a business that’s distinct from the traditional hotel.

You’re going to be in the lurch if Airbnb bans you from their service, and they’re increasingly doing that for stupid reasons.

One guest got banned for having a dog off leash 10 years ago (misdemeanor).

Airbnb generates background checks on users through Inflection Risk Solutions. And this company often performs them inaccurately. Airbnb cancels reservations and bans users for past criminal convictions they do not even have.

This is a problem for sex workers who aren’t allowed to have a travel life apart from their sex work. Think of it as a version of China’s ‘social credit’ system. In China if your behavior deviates from the state’s standards you can lose the ability to book airline tickets or ride the train. Airbnb isn’t the government, and there are alternatives (in most places you travel). And they appear far less competent than the Chinese state (at least outside of pandemic measures).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It’s just risk management. You wouldn’t give a credit card to someone with poor credit why would you rent your room or home out to someone with a criminal record? As the Baretta theme song used to say “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the crime, yeah don’t do it”.

  2. Not all ‘risk management’ is good. And consumers shouldn’t reward companies that do this poorly. Make a reservation and you think you’re set, you then find your reservation cancelled for stupid reasons *or because the company Airbnb uses mistakes you for someone else*

  3. Banning someone for a 10-year-old charge of walking a dog off of a leash goes way beyond any reasonable ‘risk management’.

  4. So in New Jersey, a law was passed making it illegal for landlords and apartment managers to look up your criminal history, prior to renting. I wonder how this squares with AirBnB in my state.

  5. These companies deplatform non violent, peaceful, politically incorrect people

    Literally give no shits

  6. Jumped off AirBnB a few years back. Vultures taking fees from both parties whilst adding no value. Changing T’s & C’s at will. No regard for the end consumer. Now they are social engineering and banning anyone who dares disagree with the whims of the dictators who run the company. Belongs in the same cesspool of US companies such as Uber and Meta.

  7. This is quite ridiculous. Nobody wants a ‘criminal’ in their dwelling, but having a robot do the sorting out is not a good choice. Rent elsewhere, it’s the only way to deal with these online faceless wonders. Consumers want the ‘cheapest’ anything, every time, so the online services go for cheap to stay viable in the marketplace. For cheap, you don’t get very personalized service. Human beings are expensive, the robots are cheap. Figure it out, you can’t have it both ways.

  8. Only way to keep the riffraff from renting your place to party or do drugs. Seems like they could put in some filters though when running a background check.

  9. These same people rent hotels so what is the difference?
    What happens when the Dad is the renter and has the wife with a DUI a son that is a druggie and a daughter that is a shop lifter staying there. Daddy may be good but the others are crap.

    Do not judge a book by a cover because the inside could be holding a gun.

  10. @mangar we have a relative who lives in a local senior housing complex overseen or funded somehow by HUD and they had to pass a criminal background check to get into the apt.
    Apparently it has been a long time problem bc lower income people and families who HUD was designed to help often have one or more family members who may have a criminal record and thus are ineligible for the programs so it becomes a catch22.
    Having been a landlord (had tenants do in excess of 30k in damages to a rental house) I understand the desire for checks but often times the higher risk ones are the young people who just haven’t been arrested for problems as was our situation.

  11. We need to work on the word “often”- you used it twice in the article, once to describe how frequently AirBnB hosts cancel, and once to describe how likely it was to get an erroneous response from Inflection Risk.

    I’ve rented from AirBnB probably 50 times without a cancellation. Likewise, Inflection Risk still has a A+ BBB rating “because Inflection had relatively few complaints compared to how much business it does”. Neither of those are “often”. Sure, one cancellation or wrong response is bad, but then make that point- don’t claim instead that it happens more often than not.

    It’s like the Hertz thing- I almost abandoned my President Club status and stopped booking them because of all the horror stories of people being arrested or defrauded by toll scams. Then I thought about it a second, realized that it was probably not going to happen to me, and started taking pictures of my return instead.

    “You will often get inedible food flying in coach domestically in the USA”- that’s how you use the word correctly.

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