Airbnb App Gets Major Redesign, New Categories and More

Airbnb on Wednesday announced a big app update that will come with a redesigned user interface (UI) and new features like Airbnb Categories, Split Stays, and AirCover for guests.

  • Airbnb Categories – A new way to search that makes it easy to discover millions of homes you never knew existed.
  • Split Stays – An innovative feature that provides more options for longer stays by splitting your trip between two homes.
  • AirCover for guests – The most comprehensive protection in travel, included for free with every stay.

Last year, the company introduced 150 new features and improvements last year, but these changes will supposedly top them. “The way people travel has changed forever. That’s why we’re introducing the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade,” said Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb.

Airbnb’s new app UI is designed around 56 new accommodation categories, which sort available rentals into different types according to commonalities.

Image: Airbnb

“When you open Airbnb, you’re presented with 56 categories that organise homes based on their style, location, or proximity to a travel activity,” the company said. “When you search for a destination, your search results are also organised by categories that are relevant to that destination. As you view different categories, the map intelligently zooms to show you where the homes are located. ”

Image: Airbnb

The new Split Stay feature makes it easier to find rentals for longer stays by splitting your trip between two different homes, resulting in more listings being available to you.

Split Stays automatically show up in your search results when you search for a specific destination, and they are also arranged into 14 different categories. When viewing Split Stays on a map, the two homes are visually connected by an animated to show you the distance between the two rentals and the sequence of your stays.

AirCover is a new protection plan for guests that “represents the biggest upgrade to Airbnb customer service in a decade.” Coverage includes:

  • Booking Protection Guarantee – In the unlikely event a Host needs to cancel your booking within 30 days of check-in, we’ll find you a similar or better home, or we’ll refund you.
  • Check-In Guarantee – If you can’t check into your home and the Host cannot resolve the issue, we’ll find you a similar or better home for the length of your original stay, or we’ll refund you.
  • Get-What-You-Booked Guarantee – If at any time during your stay you find your listing isn’t as advertised — for example, the refrigerator stops working and your Host can’t easily fix it, or there are fewer bedrooms than listed — you’ll have three days to report it and we’ll find you a similar or better home, or we’ll refund you.
  • 24-hour Safety Line – If you ever feel unsafe, you’ll get priority access to specially-trained safety agents, day or night.

AirCover is included, by default and for free, with all of your stays. Alongside the update, Airbnb has also expanded its 24-hour safety line to support a total of 16 languages.

The redesigned Airbnb app and website are rolling out in the U.S. today, with global availability scheduled for this week.

On top of improving customer experience, Airbnb is also looking to make life easier for its workers. The company last week announced plans to let all employees “live and work anywhere.”