A Travellerspoint blog

September 2015

Airbnb A Cautionary Tale

Do NOT Rent from Laurence in Paris

I don't do reviews on this site normally, but this is a cautionary tale of a negative experience I had with Airbnb and a specific host. I want to be clear. I know there are thousands of good hosts out there, but my experience with a specific host named Laurence and the policy of Airbnb made me want to share my experience so others can move with care . Although other than using a different site I don't know what I could have done differently. Here's what happened:

I am going to Paris for two months beginning in October. I began looking for an apartment LAST MAY and found a few that I queried. Eventually I had a contract (Non-binding as I now know) with a certain Laurence for an apartment in St. Germaine. I had to pay a full month's rent of several thousand dollars at the time of booking with the rest due one month before arrival. The point being, Laurence and Airbnb had my money for over four months. With less than THREE weeks left before my trip, Laurence wrote me that she needed her apartment and was canceling. She was very jaunty and wished me luck finding another place.

I immediately contacted Airbnb and although they were pleasant enough to deal with, there was no recourse available to me other than my refund. So much for a contractual obligation. Lesson learned folks.

Laurence wrote me and told me she was sorry for my "distressing situation." Sorry, Laurence. A distressing situation is sitting in traffic. This is unethical and should be illegal. To have thousands of dollars of mine for months and cancel at the last minute when I planned carefully is not acceptable. But Airbnb has no teeth to enforce agreements. They haven't even kicked her off the site! So that is what you should know before booking. The Airbnb rep that I dealt with was very upset and helpful. She arranged for me to get a credit towards the fees. But the policy itself is flawed. An agreement with a host, even if you have paid, is non-binding and people shoud know that.

Me? Anyone know of an apartment in Paris??? I leave October 15 and will stay until December 15. I may be sleeping near a bridge overlooking the Seine.

If anyone has had a similar experience, please comment on this blog. Or if you know of a great apartment!!!!

Posted by teethetrav 12:54 Archived in France Tagged paris airbnb_caution do_not_rent_from_laurence Comments (3)

Las Vegas

Best and the Worst of the USA

I travel a fair amount, mostly in Europe. I am somewhat embarrassed to say I've probably seen more European cities than popular American ones. I'm not anti-American; After all I was born in NYC and it is still my favorite city in the world. Although Paris is a very close second.

In spite of all my travels, I have managed to avoid Las Vegas until now. My brother is (finally) getting married to his longtime love and they live (you guessed it) in Las Vegas. Not his choice. The short version is that moving to Vegas was the only way he got her to finally commit. But that's a story for another day and another blog.
I have never had a desire to go to Vegas. I don't gamble, I hate loud places, I'm a beach girl not a desert girl, I have issues with half-naked girls being paraded around serving drinks and so on and so on. I expect you're thinking at this point I'm going to confess I was wrong and I love Vegas. I don't. I'm glad I came, happy to have been there, done that, but it is everything I expected and worse.
Maybe once it was glamorous and cool. But the days of Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank, Dean, and the rat pack are long gone. Maybe I would have liked it then. I can picture myself in a white Corvette Sting Ray, cruising the strip, cigarette in hand, sunglasses on top of my head, heading to one of Frank's late night shows. Unfortunately, we have arrived-- thanks to my brother and his wedding --on the busiest weekend Vegas has seen in years. I Heart Radio Concert is here along with Ryan Seacrest, Kanye, Jay-lo, and at least twenty-five other current musical sensations of today. Not only is the concert here, there is a Mr. Universe event and a two day gay Pride parade. Even Jerry Seinfeld is here. All of them, and me. The cafe-loving, no traffic-loving traveller whose idea of a good time is sitting on the steps of a Duomo in a tiny town in Italy and watching the world go by. Or hanging with the Rat Pack.

My brother waited all these years to marry the love of his life. I'm thrilled for him.. Did he have to do it in this most consumer-oriented, commercial, misogynistic city on the busiest weekend ever?

Posted by teethetrav 07:36 Archived in USA Tagged las_vegas nevada corvette the_rat_pack i_heart_radio gay_pride_parade sammy_davis frank_sinatra jerry_seinfeld Comments (0)

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