Regular readers (all two of you) know that I love Airbnb. I enjoy hosting, which I’ve been doing for ages, and I enjoy using Airbnb when I travel. I’ve met a lot of terrific people, online and ‘in real life’ thanks to Airbnb and I’m all for the company partly because of its fight against discrimination.
We hosts pledge that we will not deny potential guests the opportunity of staying in our places because of their race, religion or sexuality. In fact on our main listing, we say:
We welcome all guests regardless of gender identity, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or national origin.
But I’m wondering if I should add to that? What about people who are obese? Pregnant? Guests who are under 23 years of age?
I can hear you now – ‘what are you talking about Jackie?’ Here’s a screenshot of a listing in Chino Hills, USA.
Yes, you read it correctly.
As far as those ‘conditions of booking’ are required, I would pass – but because this host has an age policy, maybe he has an upper age requirement too. Could I be too old to stay? Yes, I’m on just about every known social medium but not everyone is. Real, honest, clean, decent, honourable people. Having a LinkedIn account, believe it or not, is not a valid identifier or guarantee of squeaky-clean respectability. (Or weight. Even a fat person can have social media accounts). Baffling isn’t it?
The room is available for three guests. It has two beds. So, simple logic dictates that two people are going to be sleeping together in one of the two beds, the queen. Neither of these two people is obese – let’s say that both are fairly skinny little things of 120lbs each.
Google has just informed me that a 5’9″ male would be considered obese at around 200lbs. So this host’s excuse – ‘our bed may not support your weight‘ is bullshit. After all, what host would have an inferior bed? If this man really thought that the bed might not be strong enough then get a better bloody bed.
I, and others, reported this listing because of its discriminatory attitude last year. I believe that the host was given a warning but the offensive discrimination (what’s wrong with people under 23 for goodness’ sake?) remains.
In the video below, Airbnb say:
“We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”