There’s good customer service, there’s great customer service, and then there’s Alejandro and Fernando.
Alejandro and Fernando were our hosts at our most recent Airbnb stay in Barcelona, and they was fabulous.
From answering all of our questions prior to arrival (how to get from the airport to their apartment, what’s the most economical way to get around town, what places and activities did they recommend while we were here, etc.), to allowing us to stay in the apartment until mid-afternoon the day of our departure, to then accommodating us for a few extra nights because our flight was canceled, and then helping us to find accommodations for our last two nights because their apartment was booked.
And not only did they help us find accommodations, Alejandro came to his apartment when we were checking out so that he could walk us to our new apartment (in the pouring rain), and then following up shortly after he left us with a WhatsApp message sending us directions as to how to get on the bus to the airport; said message included not only a text message, but a screen shot from Google Maps, and a photo of what the airport bus looked like.
On top of all of this, they provided me with an invoice I could send to my airline as part of my request for reimbursement of my housing costs for the extra nights we had to stay because of the cancelled flight.
I’d challenge you to find any hotel that would provide even half of these type services, let alone all of them.
And then there was the accommodation itself. An entire two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Barcelona, including an outdoor patio, for just 90 euros a night.
It’s no wonder that Airbnb is thriving while hotels are running scared; I’m sure my experience is repeated thousands of times per day around the globe.
It’s all part of thd so-called trust economy, where trust between the buyer and seller is the most important part of the exchange. After our stay we will rate and review our stay, and our host will do the same of us. I want to have a good rating so that it makes it easier for us to rent from Airbnb in the future, and the hosts want good reviews so that they can successfully compete against other Airbnb hosts.
We’ve stayed at about half a dozen Airbnbs, and each one has been wonderful. We have been blessed with great hosts who have welcomed us into their homes. You also feel like you are more a part of the city and its community when you stay at someone’s residence as compared to staying in a hotel.
There’s no doubt that in the future, our first place to look for a place to stay when we are visiting a city will be Airbnb and its cousin VRBO.
I don’t see Airbnb having the same impact on hotels that Amazon has had on retailers, but there is no doubt it’s disrupted the hospitality industry, and on my opinion, for the better.
Thank you Alejandro and Fernando for making our visit to Barcelona even more special.