Airbnb 'Rooms' part of range of new features released to address customer concerns

Airbnb Rooms launched in May, 2023.
Photo credit: Airbnb

Airbnb has released a variety of new features this week based on customer feedback and research, including the ability to hire just a single room.

Amid the cost-of-living crisis there is increasing demand for cheaper travel options - especially among younger travellers, the company said.

Airbnb Rooms allows users to book a bedroom and globally their average cost per night is NZ$106 (US$67), the company said. It added that over 80 percent ask for less than NZ$158 (US$100) per night.

Every private bedroom listed as an Airbnb Room will also have an associated Host Passport, so customers get an idea of who they'd be staying with before booking a stay.

"We want every guest to feel comfortable staying with a host," said Airbnb.

"Simply tap the Host Passport to view a larger photo and details hosts have shared about themselves, including where they went to school, what they do for work, a fun fact about themselves and much more."

Airbnb Host Passport feature.
Photo credit: Airbnb

Airbnb said the number of new features and upgrades it released in this week's update numbers over 50.

One of them is a 'buy now, pay later' option, currently only for customers in the United States and Canada but coming to other countries later this year. It will let people pay off a stay over four interest-free payments with Swedish company Klarna.

It's not just difficulty with finances that Airbnb is addressing with its new update - the company is also trying to tackle ongoing concerns customers have with the service itself.

Customer service is promised to be improved for people on trips with a 24/7 support team the company says will answer 90 percent of calls in two minutes or less.

Customers will also now have the option to see the nightly price inclusive of fees while browsing, and hosts can compare their listing with nearby competition.

"Millions of people have given us feedback on how to improve Airbnb. We've listened," said CEO Brian Chesky.

"We're introducing the most extensive set of updates ever. Our design-driven approach means we're always making Airbnb better, and our over 50 new features and upgrades are just the beginning. We will never stop improving Airbnb."