Airbnb’s Top Pet Peeves: What Irks Guests Most [NEW Study]

Airbnb's pet peeves: new study

Remember the early days of Airbnb?

It was a solid option to see the world on a budget and live like a local. 


Over time, unpredictable guest experiences, prices rivaling hotels, and its role in intensifying the housing crisis have left some feeling disenchanted.

So, we decided to reach out to 1,000 Americans to learn their thoughts on Airbnb and uncover their biggest gripes and frustrations.

Let’s make a start:

Key Takeaways

  • Most Americans had a positive experience with Airbnb, with 80% rating their experience as satisfactory (45%) or very satisfactory (34%).
  • Nearly 83% reported choosing Airbnb over hotels at least some of the time in the past 24 months.
  • A significant 92% of respondents are likely (54%) or very likely (38%) to use Airbnb in the future.
  • The top three Airbnb pet peeves are issues with refunds or cancellations (74%), noisy surroundings (73%), and misleading photos/descriptions (72%).

Most Had a Positive Experience with Airbnb

Airbnb’s story began in 2007.

It was when Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to rent an air mattress in their San Francisco apartment. 

Since then, Airbnb has evolved into a tech unicorn, revolutionizing the travel industry.


With the growth came criticism that blemished Airbnb’s image.

Some horror stories include hosts throwing guests’ suitcases out of windows, concealed cameras, gas leaks, pest-infested rooms, and even incidents of sexual assaults.

In light of this, we wanted to gauge the general public’s sentiment toward Airbnb at the end of 2023.

Let’s look at the results:

Majority had a positive experience with Airbnb, with most finding it satisfactory or very satisfactory

The data suggests that most Americans (80%) had a positive experience with Airbnb, while less than 5% expressed dissatisfaction. The remaining 16% found their experience to be average.

How come?

The incidents mentioned earlier, while harrowing, aren’t the norm.

That’s probably why the company’s revenue continues to grow, and is still the 3rd most visited travel site, with 89.2M monthly visitors.


Admittedly, the platform’s prices can now rival hotel rates, partly due to brutal cleaning fees. In fact, A NerdWallet study revealed Airbnb’s median one-night cleaning fee was $75.

With this in mind, we were curious to know how often people choose Airbnb over hotels.

How Often Have You Chosen Airbnb over Traditional Hotels in the Past 24 Months?Share
Sometimes (about 25–50% of the time)37.33%
Always (100% of the time)23.76%
Often (more than 50% of the time)21.82%
Seldom (less than 25% of the time)12.73%

Interestingly, a large majority (83%) reported preferring Airbnb to hotels at least some of the time.

Perhaps the allure of unique accommodations, pet-friendly spaces, and local experiences outweigh the potential risks.


Will Americans continue to choose Airbnb in 2024 and beyond?

Let’s hear from them:

A vast majority of respondents are likely or very likely to use Airbnb in the future

A little over 92% of our respondents said, “Yes.”


In short, the outlook for Airbnb appears positive despite gruesome stories popping up now and then. Still, it doesn’t mean guests don’t have a bone to pick with the platform.

We’ll discuss it next.

Money, Noise, and False Advertising: The Biggest Issues of Airbnb Users

Let’s be frank:

There’s no shortage of Reddit or X (formerly Twitter) threads where people roast Airbnb. 

Just skim this page for a few laugh-out-loud examples.


To uncover the biggest gripes with Airbnb, we analyzed hundreds of complaints, distilled them into a list of 15 items, and asked respondents to make their picks.

Let’s look at the top 10 that made the cut:

Most common Airbnb pet peeves, with issues related to refunds, noise, and misleading listings at the top

The most significant pain point for Airbnb users is issues with refunds/cancellations, pulling in 74% of the vote.

Makes sense.

When money is involved, tensions are bound to run high.

Close behind are noisy surroundings at 73% and misleading photos or descriptions (72%).


One of our survey takers also shared their views on the issue of excessive cleaning expectations:

My biggest pet peeve? Hosts expecting surgical suite cleanliness upon check-out. Sure, I won’t leave half-eaten pizzas under the bed, but if you’re hunting for stray hairs or critiquing my pillow fluffing technique, maybe you should consider renting to robots. No hair. No mess. Just pure, robotic indifference.

With this, it’s time to wrap.

Stacking It All Up

There you have it.

A comprehensive look at Airbnb’s pet peeves.


If you believe your audience will be interested in this information, feel free to share it. Just remember to mention the source and link back to this page.


We conducted an online survey of 1,000 US respondents who had used Airbnb as guests at least once via a bespoke online polling tool in October 2023.

The respondents were 63% male, 36.6% female, and 0.4% identified as other. 33.2% of respondents were 26 or younger, 49.8% were aged 27–42, 13.1% were aged 43–58, and 3.9% were 59 or older.

This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 3%. Given the gender and age makeup of our sample size, the study’s findings are statistically significant for the population at large.

This study was created through multiple research steps, crowdsourcing, and surveying. Data scientists reviewed all survey participants’ responses for quality control. ​​The survey also had an attention-check question.