Lodging fees have been making headlines lately. And for all the wrong reasons.
Marriott and Hilton are each being sued in separate states for their deceptive resort fees. Marriott's new home rental platform comes with some egregious cleaning fees, sometimes stacking up to 55% of the cost. Even Airbnb rentals often tack on some cleaning and processing fees, which can drastically increase your all-in rate for a stay.
Well, Airbnb has taken note of these fee frustrations. It seems Airbnb has started displaying the total nightly rate when you pick a date and search through rentals – including all the fees.
How to See Total Cost Breakdowns on Airbnb
On Airbnb.com, you can now see a stay total calculated for you before you even select an option from the search results. Previously, you'd have to pick a specific rental property in order to see the additional taxes and fees.
To see total prices, you must add the dates you're looking to stay so Airbnb can accurately calculate the total price.
Once you've added dates, you'll see a price per night and a total price. It's unclear exactly when this was added, but this total price breakout is new. What's more, you can click on the question mark icon next to the total price listed to view the total price breakdown without leaving the search results page.
The price breakdown shows which fees are included in that total price. In this example, you'll see the cleaning fee and service fee. The cleaning fee will be a standard price per Airbnb set by the owner. Generally, the cleaning price stays the same whether you stay there one night or five. The service fee is the portion Airbnb takes and is calculated based on a variety of factors. Generally, the service fee increases based on your stay duration.
For this one-night stay example, the cleaning fee is set to $40 for this guesthouse. For one night here, the service fee is $14 per night.
Now, let's say we stay three days instead of one in this guesthouse. This new Airbnb feature will calculate what your total price will be based on that increased service fee and added nights. The price per night for these dates is higher and the service fee total increases, but the cleaning fee stays the same.
You can see the total cost for each option that populates in the search results, all without leaving the page. This is a huge improvement for the searcher: Now, we don't have to open 20 different tabs and click through to the booking page on each to see what the total would be.
Kudos to Airbnb.
While major hotel chains often make it difficult to determine what fees will be levied until checkout, this is a far more transparent disclosure. It allows travelers to see and compare the total price upfront.
Cleaning and service fees on Airbnb haven't decreased, but knowing what they are and how they'll impact the total price ahead of time makes a world of a difference when searching for affordable accommodations.