Airbnb has finally answered our prayers—or at least our many Twitter requests. Now, when you’re making a group trip on Airbnb, you can also split up payment through the app.
Beginning today, you can split payments on Airbnb with up to 16 other travelers. A trip organizer can now hold a reservation for up to 72 hours when initially booking a group trip. While they’re charged only for their portion of the payment, the reservation still blocks out those dates in the host’s calendar. The organizer can then share a payment link with friends, and they can pony up their share. Friends have to pay their portion within that 72-hour time frame.
With this payment splitting option, a trip organizer may be able to book a listing that’s more expensive than they’d normally be able to afford on their own. It also clearly holds trip attendees accountable for their portion of the bill. After you confirm your booking and invite friends, the app shows who’s paid thus far, and who hasn’t.
According to a survey conducted by Airbnb, group trips are a popular travel option, but payment is often a weak point of the experience. Seventy-nine percent of U.S. travelers have been on more than one group trip over the past five years. Nearly half of that number (43 percent of travelers) report losing at least $1,000 in repayments for group trips. Only 29 percent of travelers responded that they’d fought with a friend over the group trip money collection process. So while some people are losing money during their trip planning, they’re not willing to lose a friendship over it. Who are these people?
As TechCrunch notes, there are a few limitations to this new payment splitting feature. The reservation must be made at least 10 days ahead of the date the trip organizer books the stay. The stay also can’t be a long-term thing: 27 days is the maximum length of time you can split payments over. As long as you plan (a little) ahead, and aren’t hoping for a months-long stay in a single listing, you should be good to go. This capability is rolling out globally today.