Every aspect (well, except this one) of the travel industry is hurting thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines, airports, hotels, attractions, travel agents, tours, cruises and even travel bloggers are feeling the pinch of significantly fewer people traveling.
Different arms of the travel industry are doing different things to make money:
- This airline is allowing you to rebook (instead of giving you a refund) for 2 years
- Hotels spout on and on about how much cleaning they’re doing (even when that isn’t the case).
- Theme parks are reopening in areas of the country that are huge hot spots for COVID-19.
Airbnb is apparently looking at it a different way. They recently sent emails to former guests, suggesting they send “kindness cards” to their hosts. Now, that’s a nice gesture, and even kind of goes up there with our post about how to support your travel agent when you’re not traveling.
Except it doesn’t end there. Airbnb also suggests that, during this time of non-travel, maybe you’d like to make a contribution to the host of your choice.
The “kindness card” is a virtual one and Airbnb gives you the opportunity to pick a card, pick a host and, if you’d like, choose how much you’d like to contribute to them.
“Like all of us, hosts on Airbnb are impacted by Covid-19 and many of them are unable to welcome guests. Now more than ever, it’s important to reach out and support one another – even in small ways.
“Today we’re introducing a new way to connect with your favorite hosts. Now you can create personalized kindness cards that make it easy to send a message of appreciation or encouragement, with the option to send a contribution.
“We hope these cards will make hosts smile, and bring a little joy your way.”
Would you like to add a contribution?
Many guests have asked for a way to send support to their favorite hosts during this challenging time. If you’d like, you can include a financial contribution for XXXXX
The response, as seen on Twitter, has generally been…not good:
“So @Airbnb emailed me asking if I’d like to send a thank you card &/or contribution $ to someone owning a property I stayed in 3 years ago … Wee bit much no? I paid when I was there and no, I’m not sending $$$ to someone whose third home i stayed at.”~ @AidenBuckley
“”Airbnb asked me to send a ‘kindness card’ to the host who made my female friends so uncomfortable they didn’t want to spend a minute alone inside the apartment in case he came back.” ~ @dgottleib
“@Airbnb has lost its f—ing head. Why would I donate to my host? I can’t even afford one house.” ~ @olensjae <– link contains adult language
Although there were a couple of positive responses to the initiative:
“I don’t usually dish out applause to unicorns but@Airbnb does have a unique way build community, the “kindness card” initiative is admirable (and the UI/UX is pixel perfect)! #GoodJob” ~ @apaterson
I’ve been fortunate enough to not have been financially impacted by the crisis. My last stay in an Airbnb was at an old lady’s house who ran into unexpected financial troubles and who is now renting her spare room to avoid loosing her house. I sent her a little something. ~ @alexarmel
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary