6 Things to Know About Airbnb Plus

Properties with the Airbnb Plus badge cost a little more, but have been officially vetted by Airbnb inspectors.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Edited by Meg Lee

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The next time you’re searching for a home rental, you may want to look into Airbnb Plus. Whether you’re a newbie to home-sharing services or a frequent, experienced renter, the Airbnb Plus requirements for homeowners mean that their properties are the best of the best.

Airbnb Plus is a designation on the Airbnb vacation rental booking platform that highlights some of the top properties in different destinations that the service offers. They are chosen for their high rankings, impressive design and exceptional hospitality.

In short, these are not new listings to Airbnb — these are established, popular and well-reviewed by customers. You’re more likely to know what you’re getting when you book a property with this marker.

Let’s take a look at what’s involved in how listings become part of Airbnb Plus and how you can benefit from their hospitable efforts. Knowing more about Airbnb Plus could make the difference between a good trip and a great one.

1. The difference between Airbnb and Airbnb Plus

Essentially, Airbnb Plus is a shortcut to the best properties in any destination. These rentals are held to a higher standard than a typical listing and have been personally verified by the company for quality.

For now, these properties are only available in select cities, including:

  • Austin, Texas.

  • Barcelona, Spain.

  • Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Chicago.

  • Lisbon, Portugal.

  • London.

  • Los Angeles.

  • Melbourne, Australia.

  • Milan.

  • Nashville, Tennessee.

  • San Francisco.

  • Shanghai.

  • Sydney.

  • Toronto.

The full list of eligible cities can be viewed on Airbnb's website.

Unlike non-Airbnb Plus listings, company inspectors review each property with a checklist of more than 100 requirements. This checklist was built based on feedback from guests on what elements are most important for a good stay.

Both full homes and private rooms are eligible for the distinction.

From its inception, Airbnb Plus has been a way for the company’s product to compete with hotels that already have established, familiar standards among consumers. Travelers are reassured that Airbnb Plus rentals maintain excellent quality, similar to what they might expect from a hotel.

2. Airbnb Superhost vs. Plus

Airbnb Plus is different from Superhost status, as the Airbnb Plus requirements are more rigorous. To get an Airbnb Plus badge, hosts have to be invited to the program and their properties must be personally inspected. Superhosts, on the other hand, will automatically qualify for the designation if they meet certain hospitality requirements, like maintaining a 4.8 rating. While both Superhosts and Airbnb Plus hosts provide excellent service, Airbnb Plus properties must also meet high standards for style and design of the physical space.

3. How to find and book Airbnb Plus listings

When you search for a rental on Airbnb, especially in places where there are a lot of listings, it can be difficult to sort through your options. Even when you start to narrow things down by price, neighborhood or amenities using the search filters — the extensive results can sometimes be overwhelming.

Instead, do yourself a favor and simplify your search in eligible areas. Enter your destination, dates and number of guests, then immediately filter to Airbnb Plus listings. This guarantees that you will first consider top available properties.

From there, you will see the Airbnb Plus badge in the upper left-hand corner of eligible listings.

Once you’ve zeroed in on the right property for you, go through your normal Airbnb booking process to request a stay.

4. What you can expect from an Airbnb Plus rental

The Plus badge means that that particular spot has been personally reviewed by an inspector to verify it has all the expected amenities, since attention to detail and special touches from the owner are hallmarks of properties selected to be in the Airbnb Plus program.

Amenities include:

  • A full kitchen with cooking utensils.

  • TVs with streaming capabilities.

  • Filtered or bottled water.

  • Speedy Wi-Fi.

  • Iron and hair dryer.

  • Functional locks on all bedroom doors in shared spaces.

  • Strong water pressure.

  • Soft linens.

  • Working appliances.

The homes are also designed for simple check-in with a keypad on the door, lockbox or on-call host who is easily available. In addition, Airbnb Plus properties also come with a dedicated support team for faster customer service.

5. How much does Airbnb Plus cost?

Since Airbnb Plus members must meet a list of requirements, their properties tend to cost a bit more given their better quality. According to The New York Times, “The average nightly rate of an Airbnb Plus home is $200, compared with the $100 average rate per night for a standard listing.”

Still, there is no membership fee for guests to book an Airbnb Plus property so long as they’re fine paying more out of pocket for the quality insurance.

Homeowners/renters must not only work hard to achieve at least a 4.8 out of 5 score to be considered for the program, but they must also pay a $149 application fee.

Some owners are invited into the program if their listings exhibit high enough standards and thus, aren’t on the hook for the application fee. Example qualifications include proving they’ve had no cancellations in the past year (beyond extenuating circumstances) and that they’ve accepted at least 95% of booking requests. This helps to prove their reliability, consistency and responsibility.

6. Should you choose Airbnb Plus?

Whether or not you should book an Airbnb Plus property comes down to finding the right rental for your needs and preferences. For some, the neighborhood is a primary focus, but for others — interior design and quality control are paramount. Airbnb Plus properties assure renters that style is a highlight, along with top-notch amenities and customer service.

If you’ve ever wondered what the Plus badge means on an Airbnb listing, now you know. The distinction doesn’t come easy, as hosts must meet a 100-point quality checklist to participate. As a guest, you might really appreciate the upgrade, but it might cost you more than a standard listing.

Photo courtesy of Airbnb.

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