It’s no surprise how every feature that Airbnb introduces to the short-term rental market is over-sensationalised. This time the new feature is Airbnb Aircover. The OTA has dominated our industry for decades; and no doubt, redefined traveller behaviour.
However, despite its enormous success, there’s a lot to be said for Airbnb’s interpretation of “social responsibility”. The pandemic has already brought Chesky’s lack of (sincere) concern towards hosts to light. But delve deeper – and you’ll find that this booking platform’s policies fail to be 100% guest friendly, too.
One of Airbnb’s biggest promises to guests is via the renowned AirCover feature. However, when you look beyond the surface, it soon comes to fruition that this so-called guarantee is thinly veiled by unfulfilled promises and doesn’t actually protect guests.
In today’s piece, we’ll break down the ambiguity (and maybe even, the controversy) of Airbnb’s AirCover. And compare it against Luke Stays’ StayCover.
Airbnb AirCover: All Talk, No Substance?
Earlier this year, Airbnb introduced insurance coverage for guests via AirCover.
Chesky’s announcement was met with positive press. Many claimed that it was great to see the OTA finally making a meaningful gesture and protecting its travellers.
As part of the AirCover feature, which is now included in every Airbnb booking, Airbnb promised protection against:
- Host cancellations
- 24/7 Safety line
- Get What You Booked Guaranteed
- Help with other “check-in issues” (although no specifics were mentioned)
While this seemed to roll out with good-ish intentions, it soon came to the surface that Airbnb wasn’t really offering the 100% guarantee that they had alluded to.
Airbnb’s Help Centre is very quick to list the Ts and Cs under which guests are fully or partially refunded (if they experience problems at their accommodation). Unfortunately, the content on here insinuates that Airbnb still has complete control to fob guest complaints off if they wish to do so.
What’s most concerning; however, is that even with Airbnb’s AirCover, it is still impossible to identify a fake listing on the OTA and prevent becoming a victim of short-term rental fraud.
Airbnb might refund you under AirCover’s policies should this happen. But this doesn’t protect guests from the emotional turmoil, stress, and wasted time that comes with falling for scam artists.
So, the question is, does AirCover ultimately protect its guests in every capacity, 100?
The answer, we’re afraid, would be a big fat NO.
StayCover: 100% Protection Guaranteed
In order to offer guests a better alternative to Airbnb’s half-baked promise, Luke Stays introduced a guest protection feature called StayCover a few months ago.
Essentially, StayCover does everything AirCover claims to do, but with a 100% guarantee.
With StayCover (which is automatically added onto a traveller’s booking for free), people are guaranteed payment protection, safety, and 100% protection against holiday rental fraud – which by the way, is rife in our industry.
As part of its StayCover feature, Luke Stays provides an I-PRAC guarantee. This means all our short-term rental properties are 100% I-PRAC Approved (after meticulous checks and references). So guests NEVER need to worry about losing their money to a dodgy listing.
In addition to this, if a guest is unhappy with their accommodation for a viable reason, then Luke Stays promises to compensate them 100% AND help them find an alternative STR.
This is in complete contrast to Airbnb’s ambiguous claims, which do not prioritise well-being and safety as much as they insist.
Read more about Airbnb’s pros and cons, booking property rentals from their platform.
To find out more about StayCover, visit the official StayCover page on the Luke Stays website. And find out why a stay with us is 100% bliss and peace of mind.