The numbers are in: Airbnb prevented tens of thousands of people from potentially partying during the pandemic.
By enforcing a global ban on partying beginning in August 2020, Airbnb blocked over 50,000 people from partying in 15 US cities.
Airbnb’s head of trust and safety communication, Ben Breit, told the Verge that this included 7,000 blocked or redirected “potentially risky reservation attempts” in Dallas, 6,000 in San Diego, 5,100 in Charlotte, 3,500 in St. Louis, 3,000 in Columbus and 2,700 in New Orleans. The Denver Post also reported that 5,000 people were blocked from making suspicious bookings in Phoenix, 4,500 in Las Vegas, 4,500 in Seattle, 2,600 in Denver, 2,600 in Portland, 1,800 in Salt Lake City and 1,500 in Albuquerque.
To weed out the short-term renters likely to buck COVID-19 safety protocols, the rental behemoth has capped occupancy at 16 people and restricted the rental abilities of young people and those with previous bad reviews on the San Francisco-based platform.
“If you are under the age of 25 and you don’t have a history of positive reviews, we will not allow you to book an entire home listing local to where you live,” Breit told the Denver Post. “The system actually blocks that reservation. It doesn’t allow it to go through.”
In addition to ensuring that Airbnb rental-hosted parties don’t become super-spreader events, the pandemic-era policy is also meant to prevent disruptive and unsafe parties generally.
“The bigger issue and what we care most about is trying to stop any kind of disruptive gathering. The open invite gatherings are a big priority for us, the ones where the host of the party doesn’t know everyone who is showing up,” Breit added.
The approach appears to be working: In the first half of this year, Denver received approximately half as many short-term rental complaints as it did during the same time span in 2020, the Denver Post reported.
“This system is aimed at trying to stop unauthorized parties — meaning a party thrown without the knowledge or consent of the hosts,” Breit noted to The Post.