People are booking Airbnbs in Ukraine as a way of doing direct charity. They have no intention of staying, they’re just using it as a way to send money to people with home rentals. On the one hand, these people are relatively prosperous (with real estate that presumably hasn’t been bombed out by Russian forces!) but on the other hand they’re seeing any business they had dry up. Some may be providing lodging to refugees free already, and this helps ease that burden.
This is being promoting on social media by Airbnb’s CEO:
People are booking Airbnbs in Ukraine they don’t intend to stay in just to help Hosts https://t.co/L6B11ioSXb
— Brian Chesky 🇺🇦 (@bchesky) March 3, 2022
Some people in miles-land are suggesting using the Capital One Venture X $200 home rental credit they earn as part of the card’s initial bonus offer right now (ending March 14).
Ukranian refugees need a place to stay and this can easily take inventory off the market (restrict supply) and raise price.
- It very much matters where you book. It seems like you’re want to know where people are fleeing to, and avoid booking those places (so you don’t take inventory, but also because those hosts may not need as much help as others)
- When making a booking at least be certain to make very clear you won’t be coming – and suggest they re-list the inventory on another platform for the covered dates so that it’s still available.
Airbnb is offering 14 day stays to refugees and has waived fees in the country. Here’s a platform that’s connecting hosts and refugees. And here’s an opportunity to help get supplies to Ukranian refugees.
Maybe also do just a one night stay and the communicate directly with the host to minimize their fees for any additional dollars you’d like to send. This is one scenario where I guess I don’t mind paying the cleaning fees.
This probably isn’t the most effective form of charity. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see fake Ukranian listings added to the site now that this has become a thing, so check that there’s a deep history of reviews for the host’s property your considering booking.
There’s both civilian and military assistance that’s needed, and it’s not coming quickly enough. The World Bank and IMF describe themselves as ‘racing’ to get aid to the country in the ‘coming weeks and months’. The IMF isn’t actually considering aid until next week.
There are some reports that this apartment building was unoccupied (unfinished construction):
Russian forces bomb another residential apartment block in Hostomel. pic.twitter.com/9Uy0onqXTR
— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) March 4, 2022
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) March 4, 2022
In the meantime, I suppose, one could place orders on Etsy from Ukranian sellers then cancel the order but let the seller know you don’t need your money back?