When the pandemic began and travelers were canceling their plans in droves, companies like Airbnb were scrambling to come up with some way to soften the financial blow of plummeting revenue.
Originally, Airbnb said it would be speeding up its plan to offer long-term stays in hopes that those that were social distancing would want a change of scenery.
Well, that hasn’t borne fruit. The company decided to try something else, and where other companies would put energy into offering discounts (another thing that didn’t seem to work for Airbnb, either), cut staff (which it did), and continuously change business models to keep up with the needs of the populous, the short-term rental aggregator has begun asking quests to send ‘kindness cards’ with cash donations to their former hosts.
The move is to appease hosts that have had their financial revenue slashed incredibly since the pandemic began. Airbnb says all of the proceeds are given to these hosts, but the backlash has been less than charitable.
A quick search on Twitter offers alarming results. One tweet reads:
“Airbnb has lost its f****** head. Why would I donate to my host? I can't even afford one house.”
Others show a number of memes making fun of the feature and the company as a whole.
In March, Airbnb had promised a large reimbursement sum to hosts for cancellations. Hosts that own more than one property have lost millions in possible revenue and guests aren’t looking to help strangers who own extra property when everyone is financially struggling during this time of crisis.
Still, Airbnb has yet to release a statement on the backlash leaving hosts, guests, and the average populous to wonder what its next move will be.