Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022, people are finding creative ways to help Ukrainians trapped in the war. One method is through booking local Airbnbs in the country, while not actually going to stay there.
A Guardian report detailed how many residents of Ukraine are facing extreme financial hardship as a result of the war, resulting in the bookings across Airbnb. Airbnb also announced the company would be providing free short-term housing for 100,000 refugees fleeing the country.
A number of people shared their booking confirmations and encouraged others to do the same:
Yesterday I shared an idea to support Ukraine by booking rooms for rent on AirBNB. 24 hours later, 100's of people are booking AirBnBs in Ukraine as a way to send immediate monetary assistance to people in hard-hit areas. The messages in response from the hosts are so moving pic.twitter.com/ai2Je8VKCt
— IG: @quentin.quarantino (@quentquarantino) March 3, 2022
Airbnb has suspended all fees in Ukraine. A good way to directly support hard hit families is to rent out a room and dm saying you can’t come. The money is deposited almost immediately to their chosen payout method. Personally I’m about to have a lovely week in Kharkiv ?? pic.twitter.com/DUEBjVBddJ
— Emery (@EmeryEXP) March 4, 2022
Check first that the room is run by an individual, not a company. Amazing to be in touch with locals and to feel like you can help. pic.twitter.com/hRLDSH3QWF
— Hugh Harvey (@DrHughHarvey) March 4, 2022
HOW TO HELP – just booked a Kiev AirBnb for 1 week, simply as a means of getting money directly into the hands of Kiev residents. It's really cheap and can make a small difference right now. Please share this idea #Ukraine #Russia #StopWarInUkraine #StopPutinNOW #UkraineRussiaWar pic.twitter.com/7yQDLYRkph
— DiMaggio.eth (@DimaggioEth) March 3, 2022
Some online called on Airbnb to waive booking fees in Ukraine so that the in-country hosts would receive all the proceeds. A company spokesperson confirmed that the company would be waiving fees in the country. “We appreciate the generosity of our community during this moment of crisis,” she said. “Airbnb is also waiving all guest and host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time.”
They responded to a number of Twitter users asking them about fees for guests and hosts, and confirmed that they would be waiving all of them for Ukraine:
— TotallyDeaf (@DeafTotally) March 3, 2022
Hi there, thank you for contacting us. We can confirm we are waiving all guest and host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time. Thank you. https://t.co/WCQEFGIlXC
— Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) March 3, 2022
We can confirm we are waiving all guest and Host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time.
— Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) March 4, 2022
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company was reviewing whether to continue its operations in Russia. He also said they had provided free housing to around 54,000 refugees globally in the last decade, and most recently to Afghan refugees.
Abrahamson, Rachel Paula. “How Americans Are Using Airbnb as a Way to Get Money to Ukrainians.” TODAY.Com, 3 March 2022. https://www.today.com/news/ukraine-airbnb-money-booking-rcna18507. Accessed 4 Mar. 2022.
“Host People Fleeing Ukraine.” Airbnb.Org, https://airbnb.org/help-ukraine. Accessed 4 Mar. 2022.
Quach, Georgina. “Airbnb to Offer Free Housing to 100,000 Ukrainian Refugees.” The Guardian, 28 Feb. 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/feb/28/airbnb-to-offer-free-housing-to-100000-ukrainian-refugees. Accessed 4 Mar. 2022.