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Thread: Airbnb Hosts More Likely to Reject the Disabled

  1. #1

    Airbnb Hosts More Likely to Reject the Disabled

    Airbnb Hosts More Likely to Reject the Disabled, a Study Finds

    New York Times

    When Crystal Marie Garcia decided to try the home-rental service Airbnb for the first time, she had a few questions.

    Ms. Garcia, who is from El Paso, was planning a May trip with her family to the Chicago area and wanted to know if the places she was considering could accommodate her needs as someone with muscular dystrophy.

    Unfortunately, she said, her questions appeared to scare off at least two potential hosts.She said she feels that if she had not mentioned her disability, they would have rented to me, no issue.

    Ms. Garcia is not alone in feeling that way. Other users have reported similar bias, and a new Rutgers University study based on more than 3,800 Airbnb lodging requests sent by the researchers suggests it may be common: Travelers with disabilities are more likely to be rejected and less likely to receive preapproval, or temporary clearance, for a potential stay, the authors found.

    For the rest of this story:

    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 06-06-2017 at 02:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Seems like another obvious conclusion.

    I've had a cab driver in Vegas literally hop a curb to avoid picking me and my friends up once he saw I was in a wheelchair. People don't want to be bothered by the disabled. We're an extra hassle/liability that they don't need.

    It was rather foolish for Ms Garcia to mention her muscular dystrophy unless it was absolutely necessary.

    I've had reasonable luck with Airbnb, but I generally let someone else do the booking and get the host invested in the conversation before springing the questions about door widths and bathroom sizes on them.

  3. #3
    I think the real question here is what is the status of AirBnB hosts as a "business"? I doubt that all private homes used for AirBnB rentals can be required to be accessible, but turning down renters just because they have a disability at all does appear to be discriminatory under the ADA. Note in the article that not all the people reporting discrimination had mobility disabilities (such as dwarfism, blindness, etc.) so really no excuse for rejecting their approvals because the home was not wheelchair accessible.

    There needs to be a couple test cases filed with the DOJ.


  4. #4
    I don't see lawsuits going too far. Individual owners are too small to matter in the grand scheme of things, you're not going to get much out of them, and at best you'll have a lot of people choose not to host with AirBNB out of excess concern for the liability (even those who weren't likely to discriminate).

    Best case scenario AirBNB could be persuaded to be like Uber and force hosts to blindly accept a booking before they know anything about the renter. This would be a pretty significant change in their business model, but it might be feasible. (No uber drive has ever hopped a median to avoid giving me a ride, probably because they already accepted it and would have to cancel rather than avoid initiating the transaction).

  5. #5
    I don't think you are going to find people wanting to participate in AirBnB hosting without the option to pre-approve. I am not a host myself, but I use AirBnB a lot when I travel, and in my experience people who use this option do so because they are being cautious about who they let come into their home from a safety standpoint (try to avoid ax murders, etc.!!!). I completely understand that, and always answer the questions that I get from hosts truthfully. I have never been asked if I had a disability, even when booking a AirBnB that is listed as "accessible".


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