Wicked Good Travel Tips / Featured  / Airbnb Enters The Last Minute Hotel Booking Marketplace
13 Jun

Airbnb Enters The Last Minute Hotel Booking Marketplace

Last-minute bookers and spontaneous travelers, give a cheer!  Last Minute Travelers Will Soon Get Help From Airbnb

San Francisco-based Airbnb is now experimenting with a new service that will enable the company to enter the very delicate and crowded field of booking last-minute accommodations over the phone.


“We want to make it easier to book an experience anytime, anywhere,” the company wrote on its blog this morning. “Starting today, we’re rolling out a new service in San Francisco and Los Angeles (and more cities coming soon), to help people find and book places immediately. Whether or not travelers book last minute, they will still have the same Airbnb experience of living like a local.”

Similar to popular travel apps launched by sites like Expedia and Priceline, the new Airbnb capabilities will allow customers to find lodging at the last minute—for that night or the coming weekend, for instance.  Making properties so quickly available required Airbnb hosts to eliminate the standard guest pre-approval process, which serves as a reservation. Normally, hosts can pre-approve multiple guests for specific days and the guest who books the offer first gets the listing.

Currently, there are 90,000 listings available that can be booked immediately, up from 35,000 at the beginning of the year. If you are traveling to the San Francisco or Los Angeles area at the last minute, all you’ll have to do is click on “Need a place for tonight or tomorrow?” on the site to find something nearby.  Airbnb will also be targeting short weekend trips. “Weekend Getaway,” its new feature, will show convenient trips based on your location, including places like Wine Country or Lake Tahoe.

Much loved among budget-conscious, community-oriented, and open-minded travelers, Airbnb has gained some opponents in the past year, including the hotel industry and the New York State Attorney General, but the site’s new last-minute travel feature is likely to be a huge hit.

About the Author: Andrea Fisher is a writer, blogger, and content specialist for Renters Alarm Company. She has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider. Check out more of her tips @andreafisher007.