After AirBnB conducted an online survey by DKC Analytics; they found that providing the ability for cost splitting on the platform would enhance their users’ experience. They are the first accommodation provider to build a tool that allows the cost of a trip to be Split, amongst the group members and is one of their latest service enhancements.The cost-splitting-tool allows accommodation seekers, in all 191 countries, to benefit from this feature.

How does the new cost-splitting-tool affect the Airbnb platform?

  • Airbnb allows users the ability to make online reservations for accommodation.
  • A user is then able to invite friends to pay, by sending an email or a link to the reservation.
  • The payment can be divided into shares, but the reservation is put on hold until all parties have paid their portion. The accommodation listing is unavailable until payment is made.
  • Members of a Travel group will be notified via email of what their share is to be paid on the platform.
  • If a group member does not have an Airbnb account; they will have to sign up for one.
  • Accommodation seekers have until 72 hours to make payment, which will be canceled if all payments are not received within that time.
  • Once a reservation is canceled, partial reimbursement of funds is made to those who paid.
  • Travelers can avoid this by paying on behalf of a group member or can even pay more than what they are meant to pay.
  • In order to check on the status of an outing; accommodation seekers can view the status in Your Trips.
  • If members find that parts of the trip are unpaid for by certain members; sending a message to pay via the application can be done too.

Some terms and conditions of the accommodation-seeking platform

  • The cost splitting tool works for groups of up to 16 travelers.
  • The reservation must begin at least 10 days from when the booking is made.
  • The stay can only be for less than 27 days.

Interesting details uncovered prior to cost splitting tool:

  • With New Year’s Eve being the biggest night for group stays for Airbnb, alleviating the organizer from footing the bill or most of it, is now possible.
  • The accommodation provider noted that 15.5 million groups took trips on the platform and average stays were in the region of 3.5 days.
  • Airbnb also revealed in the testing conducted in previous months, that this tool led to one or more new users on the platform.
  • More than 88000 groups used this feature from 175 countries, using over 44 different currencies.
  • Airbnb’s research uncovered that 29 percent of American travelers had a falling out with friends over unpaid group money collections.
  • 18 percent of group trip takers lost more than $10000 or more in the last 5 years.

Whilst this is innovation within the accommodation industry and part of the company's activities for rapid expansion, a lot still relies on the members of a travel group.The onus lies with the organizer, and other group members to choose responsible companions to socialize with. If not, the other members could find themselves out of pocket soon.