Travel agents could not book Airbnb accommodations for their clients for a long time. This is due to Airbnb’s strict policies against third-party bookings. This has put some people at a disadvantage who rely on travel agents.
Airbnb has recently relaxed its policies on third-party bookings. For example, Airbnb has partnered with Concur, a traveling agency, which may now book Airbnb rentals for their clients. Yes, travel agencies can now book Airbnbs. Concur Travels’ website has these listings.
Although Airbnb standards permit travel agents to book rentals on behalf of their clients, Airbnb does not yet allow third-party bookings by individuals. Airbnb has also not wholly enabled third-party booking for all travel agencies except Concur.
Can Travel Agents book Airbnb?
Yes, travel agents can book Airbnb. The only known travel agent allowed to book on Airbnb is Concur Travel Agency. Concur will be the first online corporate trip booking platform to include Airbnb listings. Airbnb’s agreements with Concur have allowed Concur to book its listings for clients.
The listings will allow users to browse for Airbnb accommodations directly on the Concur online booking website, with itineraries and e-receipts immediately fed back to Concur to streamline expenditure reports.
Concur’s chief product officer said their customers wanted to give their employees the luxury of taking advantage of Airbnb lodging while maintaining the framework and constraints of Concur’s travel program.
Airbnb’s worldwide head of business travel, David Holyoke, stated that the distinctions between work and pleasure travel are becoming blurred, with more people combining business trips with weekend stays.
He added that when traveling for business, travelers typically want to get out and soak in the culture of a city, so travel managers require visibility on employee spending and whereabouts to support company policy and duty of care initiatives.
This partnership between Concur and Airbnb coincided with Airbnb’s ongoing expansion efforts.
Airbnb purchased Luxury Retreats, a rental firm with over 4,000 properties in over 100 countries. Due to the debut of its new Trips platform, which allows local hosts to provide activities within a destination via Airbnb’s platform.
In a recent roundtable of Millennial leisure travel agents, opinions on booking Airbnb were divided. Some agents indicated that a substantial amount of business had migrated to the platform, while others praised the company’s ability to compete with traditional hotels.
According to other agents, Airbnb’s less touristic atmosphere appeals to many Millennial guests.
Read more: Do travel agents get a discount on flights?
Does Airbnb allow third-party bookings?
Airbnb does not allow third-party bookings. The terms and conditions of Airbnb require in-person reservations and not third-party bookings because Airbnb hosts rely on the client’s profiles and reviews to decide whether they want to stay.
The other reason Airbnb does not allow third-party bookings is because Airbnb’s insurance policy does not cover third-party bookings.
Consider a situation in which an adult books an Airbnb for their child. The host will review the adult’s profile and notice an outstanding track record so that he will accept the reservation without hesitation.
If the child causes damage to the property, Airbnb’s insurance will not cover him\her because the child did not agree to Airbnb’s terms and conditions when the reservation was made. The Airbnb third-party booking policy emphasizes the importance of transparency and trust in the Airbnb experience. Accepting third-party reservations poses a substantial risk for the host.
You cannot make reservations on anyone’s behalf unless you are staying together; hosts rely on reading client profiles and reviews throughout the approval process. Therefore, all personal travel arrangements should be made by the guests themselves. Viewing your profile page, a host can only determine if you are a good fit for their property.
What are third-party bookings?
Third-Party bookings refer to when an individual, firm, company, or other corporate or unincorporated entity applies to book a service to sell or otherwise provide the service booking to a client for profit.
Third-party bookings are made majorly by travel agency sites or OTAs (online travel agencies), which are websites where you may book your flight, hotel, vehicle, and packages that are not on the product’s official website or service. Examples are Expedia, FlightHub, Priceline, Orbitz, SellOffVacations, iTravel2000, Booking.com, and Hotels.com.
Airbnb considers it a third-party booking even when your parent books an apartment for you or when an employee handles making reservations for their employer. Airbnb requires a client to make a reservation for themselves so that the host can determine whether to accept the reservation or not based on the client’s reviews.
Alternatives to third-party bookings
Various alternatives exist for hosts’ and guests’ work regarding booking through a third party. Here are some viable suggestions:
If you realize that the individual who booked your Airbnb is not that individual, ask them to cancel their reservation and rebook under their profile. The person who made the reservation may be subject to a cancellation fee.
However, this is preferable to an uninsured trip, which could wind up costing significantly more.
Contact Airbnb and request they cancel this booking because a third party made it. If you contact Airbnb, you will not incur any penalty fees, and it will not affect your Superhost or potential Superhost status.
Suppose you deem it fit to proceed with the reservation and request identification such as a passport or birth certificate. Also, have the guest sign a release form or message the person making the reservation and have them acknowledge all risks in writing through the Airbnb app.
However, keep in mind that permitting a third person to make a reservation is always risky. Airbnb will examine these reservations on a case-by-case basis, so calling Airbnb and canceling the guest would be the best course of action.
A guest can do the following to avoid the risks of third-party bookings.
Create your account; when you create your account, you receive free credit toward your first reservation.
Instead of booking for your friends, refer them, and they can create their accounts. To do so, click the “invite friends” icon on your dashboard and select your friends that enjoy traveling. Once they successfully make a qualifying reservation, you will receive travel credit. You also receive travel credits as a referral award.
If you have already made reservations on behalf of someone else without knowing that it is prohibited, Airbnb may permit you to transfer the reservation free of charge. However, it involves calling the Airbnb customer care service.
First, have your friend/relative create an Airbnb account using your referral code. Then state that you wish to keep the reservation, but want to transfer it to your friend’s account.
Next, explain to the host what has transpired and that you wish to change the reservation.
The best solution is for the host to agree and receive written confirmation through the Airbnb app. The next step is to contact customer support and request that they alter the reservation.
Airbnb does permit approved corporate employees to register and book business trips for colleagues. Recently, Airbnb launched a new feature known as Work Collection. They created this with business travel and third-party bookings in mind.
It is recommended that businesses of all sizes investigate Airbnb for employment opportunities. Especially if you have traveling personnel that requires accommodations, it is the ideal alternative to Airbnb third-party bookings.
Just like a standard account, registration and use are free. Create an account, and view the Airbnb for Work dashboard, divided into three sections. The Trips section, the Reporting Tab, the Invoices section, and the People section.
The Trips section provides you with an overview of all booked trips. It displays your personnel’s confirmed, active, and completed travel status. The reporting tab displays your current expenditures, the average daily rate, and the number of nights reserved.
The invoice section helps you examine your invoices for all your bookings and categorize them based on a particular employee or employee group. The people section enables you to add or remove new or old personnel and manage your employees’ accounts.
To wrap it up, keep in mind that Airbnb policies do not allow third-party bookings, but with recent changes, they are gradually starting to incorporate them. A good example is the partnership between Airbnb and Concur, a travel agency.
Guests should now be aware of the risks they incur when they use third-party bookings. If something goes wrong, Airbnb’s insurance policy will not protect you. If you discover a guest has booked through a third party, you should contact Airbnb to cancel the reservation.
The other workaround is the Airbnb for Work collection, which allows you to make third-party reservations without restrictions and is ideal for business travel.