I have made 50 Airbnb bookings since 2016, spending $26,243. (Yes, I did go through and added them all up. This is more than I spent on Amazon during the same period ($10,434), and most likely more than any other company I have dealt with in that time span.
You must be an Ultra-Adamantium Elite member of Airbnb. Airbnb does not have a loyalty program. Airbnb doesn’t offer any elite status, points or welcome gifts at check-in.
Despite having spent a lot of money with the vacation rental giants, I still don’t get a badge beside my username.
There’s still hope. Airbnb has announced Superguest, a new loyalty program that offers benefits throughout your entire vacation.
There are also some bad news. This announcement was made in 2018, and has not been updated since.
What’s the deal? Will Airbnb offer a loyalty program to its most frequent customers as the competition in the vacation rental market increases and travelers become less patient with disappointing rentals and cleaning fees?
The outlook isn’t good
Why hasn’t Airbnb created a rewards program during its 15-year history
In an email statement, Liz DeBold Fusco, an Airbnb spokesperson said that “Airbnb has become a noun in the world and a verb everywhere else, and we are proud to have our global platform.” “Our focus in the next year is to perfect the core service and to begin to build the foundation for expanding beyond the core span>
The first sentence is my favorite part of the statement. It’s just so bold. Airbnb is too successful to have a loyalty program. Kleenex has a loyalty program?
Because the term “Kleenex”, which is almost synonymous with tissue, can’t be used. You can buy puffs, but that’s not what you are going to do.
Despite all the hawing about “Airbnbust” and the fuss about cleaning fees, the company posted its best fourth quarter in 2022 with $1.9 billion in revenue. According to its shareholder letter.
Airbnb continues to grow and outperform the competition without a loyalty program. What’s the point in adding one?
Airbnb is a business, not a travel agency
A key factor that reduces the chance of an Airbnb loyalty programme is: Businesses. Or, rather, the absence of business travelers who stay in vacation rentals
Business travelers who travel a lot are attracted to and maintained by big airlines and hotel reward programs. These frequent travelers are highly valued, and travel reward programs will offer them expensive perks like first-class upgrades or additional rewards points.
Compare that to Airbnb which, despite its efforts to attract corporate travelers, does not have a strong foothold in the business travel market. A loyalty program without these large spenders might not be a good idea.
Despite this, some Airbnb guests are staying longer due to the rise in remote work and digital nomadism. According to the company’s most recent shareholder letter, nearly a fifth (202) of all nights booked were by guests who had made reservations for 28 days or more.
The question is whether Airbnb guests who are looking for long-term accommodation are comparing their options with other platforms or happy to book through Airbnb.
I don’t need no stinking badge
Since the pandemic, my Airbnb spending has fallen off a cliff.
This is not because I have been traveling less. In fact, I lived in Seattle for most of the pandemic.
This may seem crazy, but I calculated how many IHG Rewards points and elite benefits I would earn and concluded that booking an Airbnb at a similar price was not an option.
While Airbnb may not be the most competitive in the vacation rental market, it is the best in the lodging sector. This means that guests who are looking for a loyalty program (like myself) can always choose to stay at a large-brand hotel.
Would you like to see a badge next my username that shows how many times I have spent money on Airbnb? Yes. Yes. Yes.
Are you going to wait for Airbnb’s loyalty program to be launched so that I can start earning them? Most likely not.
Maximizing your Rewards
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