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AirBed and Breakfast
August 11, 2008 5:40 PM   Subscribe

AirBed and Breakfast connects people who have a spare bed (or couch, or whatever) with people who need one. Hosts can set the price (or a charity donation), throw in breakfast (or not), and refuse any guests they want. Guests can find available options by date range, location and any other criteria (e.g. WiFi), pay by credit card, and leave reviews. Not quite enough locations yet, but otherwise looks pretty useful.
posted by scottreynen (37 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Neat idea, but I'm too anal about my privacy to ever do either side of this transaction.
posted by brundlefly at 5:44 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


So it's like CouchSurfing plus greed?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:54 PM on August 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Our Guarantee1: You will never meet anyone even remotely skeezy via this service.

1notaguarantee
posted by DU at 6:05 PM on August 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


I wonder if by doing this you are effectively doing business as a hotel and thus require the various licenses that go along with that.
posted by proj at 6:17 PM on August 11, 2008


I've been hosting CouchSurfers for free this summer, but I must admit this is tempting. Just washing their sheets and towels is setting me back almost $5 per person. Not a lot, but when you have 15 people stay with you in a month it adds up quickly. Nevertheless, I like the idea of allowing people to stay with me for free. CouchSurfing is very much a community and that's what appeals to me. People aren't guests when they stay here--they're friends. We eat together, drink together, pal around together. I'm not their maid (well, a few visitors may have thought so) and I'm not their concierge.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:26 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


This will go over great in the niche serial killer and kleptomaniac markets.
posted by ornate insect at 6:33 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find U.S. ho(s)tel rates ridiculous, so why not. CouchSurfing is a community for people looking to host & attend low-key hostel-style parties, i.e. a niche market. But this might have wider appeal.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:55 PM on August 11, 2008


MurderedInYourOwnHome.com
posted by ColdChef at 7:01 PM on August 11, 2008 [11 favorites]


I've been hosting CouchSurfers for free .. 15 people a month

Sheesh. That's a lifestyle.

CouchSurfing plus greed?

If (AirBed = CouchSurfing + greed), then (Couchsurfing = AirBed - (thrift + prudence + common sense)).

I found it interesting that most of the AirBed pictures show pictures of the host, and not the accommodations.

In one picture there is a middle-aged woman (and a dog) in a darkly lit room (can't see her face) standing next to a bed with her hand resting on it while dressed in a nightgown. No doubt her last name is Robinson.
posted by stbalbach at 7:03 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait, so (thrift + prudence + common sense) = Greed.

Is it the 80s again?
posted by pompomtom at 7:08 PM on August 11, 2008


CouchSurfing is very much a community and that's what appeals to me. People aren't guests when they stay here--they're friends. We eat together, drink together, pal around together. I'm not their maid (well, a few visitors may have thought so) and I'm not their concierge.

heh, hate to say it but you are maiding for them if you're spending money to clean up after them. Actually, if you're paying its worse than maiding.

I love couchsurfing too and don't throw down that many rules when hosting but I do make sure any incoming guests show up with their own blanket/sleeping bag/pillow should they need them.

A guy I stayed with in Germany even went so far as to set up a shower fund for all the hot water his guests consumed. It was by donation and could either be done in person or after via paypal. Thought that was a little extreme but then I don't pay for utilities ... then again he was hosting like 24/7 and since he hosted me I'm certainly not complaining. Definitely still the best way to travel - cheaper than the cheapest hostel and you instantly make new friends and get tipped off on the cooler, more out-of-the-way places to see. I wonder if Airbed & Breakfast will prove useful on the friendship side of things or if the paying part will set up a natural divide between host & guest...
posted by mannequito at 7:21 PM on August 11, 2008


I'm seeing listings in my area for $100 and up. Sure, they're in San Francisco, but I can get a motel room for that much, plus privacy, parking, unlimited cable TV, and free continental breakfast. I'm really not seeing the appeal here.

Marginally related, one of my favorite things about Maximumrockandroll used to have listings for bands looking for floorspace and punks looking to host. I always thought that was the perfect way to build the community that MMR always strove for.
posted by lekvar at 7:23 PM on August 11, 2008


Wait, so (thrift + prudence + common sense) = Greed

no no, one formula had a "+" the other a "-"

IOW, thrift and prudence is the opposite of greed.
posted by stbalbach at 7:41 PM on August 11, 2008


Awesome! I can't wait to see what my girlfriend says when she finds out I've signed us up.
posted by Eideteker at 7:42 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


why.com
posted by humannaire at 7:48 PM on August 11, 2008


I just tried to sign up for this listing my awesome room futon for 2 million a night and it wouldn't let me. I really think that room is worth much more than $3000 a night, which is the limit, and I also am a little squeamish about taking payments through paypal.
posted by katinka-katinka at 8:05 PM on August 11, 2008


no no, one formula had a "+" the other a "-"

IOW, thrift and prudence is the opposite of greed.


...

(AirBed = CouchSurfing + greed)

(Couchsurfing = AirBed - (thrift + prudence + common sense))


Couchsurfing = Couchsurfing + greed - (thrift + prudence + common sense)


by subtracting Couchsurfing from both sides:

0 = 0 + greed - (thrift + prudence + common sense)

and by adding (thrift + prudence + common sense) to both sides:

(thrift + prudence + common sense) = greed

Math: don't fail at it. Also, don't be the guy who tries to rent out his futon for $90 a night.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:06 PM on August 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


St. Paul has several "only $500 a night during the Republican Convention!" listings.
posted by TheClonusHorror at 8:12 PM on August 11, 2008


This is a lawsuit waiting to happen under the anti-discrimination laws. Lotsa luck.
posted by Slap Factory at 8:14 PM on August 11, 2008


StayAtHomeAndEatMayonnaise.com
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:44 PM on August 11, 2008


Brilliant. Thanks for this post scottreynen.

And cool info about CouchSurfing too.

Adding to the info: The Top 5 couchsurfing websites

CouchSurfing Wiki
posted by nickyskye at 8:51 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is a lawsuit waiting to happen under the anti-discrimination laws. Lotsa luck.

You're saying Joe Sixpack can't decide who does and doesn't sleep in his home? Yeah, right.
posted by jayder at 8:57 PM on August 11, 2008


Having had to help family members with bed bug issues, I've taken a whole new view to this sort of thing. Bed bugs are f'ing scary!
posted by maxpower at 9:04 PM on August 11, 2008


I have relatives going into debt paying $150 (cheapest hotel) to be near a hospital while taking care of other sick relative. They found a summer dorm for $40/night but once the students come back, they might be out of luck. Craigslist and a cheap sublet is their next bet.
This could be very handy if it caught on.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 9:35 PM on August 11, 2008


Nice, uh, homage to the Flickr colour scheme there.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:40 AM on August 12, 2008


And I wonder how this works with tax, landlords etc? Cos if you're taking payment, there will be a lot of laws that wuill suddenly apply, no?
posted by Happy Dave at 2:48 AM on August 12, 2008


Wow. The last 10 (at least) pages are entirely DNC and RNC related.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:16 AM on August 12, 2008


You're saying Joe Sixpack can't decide who does and doesn't sleep in his home? Yeah, right.

Joe SixPack absolutely can. Until he puts out his shingle and advertises as a hotel, which is what this service makes him into--then he's bound by federal anti-discrimination statutes. Not that it really matters, since it'll never get to that point... it's probably just a matter of weeks before someone tries this and gets crucified by local zoning/hotelier/tax statutes.
posted by Mayor West at 5:31 AM on August 12, 2008


advertises as a hotel, which is what this service makes him into

In my (limited) experience, there's a surprising amount of commerce you can conduct in your own home without falling under the purview of business law, so I'm skeptical of this. Does anyone have any links to the relevant laws here?
posted by scottreynen at 6:01 AM on August 12, 2008


If you don't want to wash people sheets but still want to make money from spare space there's always Park at My House
posted by MrMerlot at 6:38 AM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


HotPatatta: I'm with you on the awesomeness of couchsurfing, and its being a community and way to stay with new friends. If you're ever getting stressed about the hosting and related costs, please please don't give up in total; instead, become one of the people who's more selective about who and when they host. On CS, also, you're welcome to say "sorry, can't do it," for whatever reason you want.

Most people, but not all, realize that being a good guest is as important as being a good host.


I've been hosting CouchSurfers for free .. 15 people a month
...Sheesh. That's a lifestyle.

Heh. I know a guy here in Tokyo who has six to nine people staying in his apartment every night. Lemme tell you, this is not something typical to do in Japan! He did end up starting to ask for donations to cover utilities, and has a computer he bought just for guests that's also on a "please help support this" basis. He is a great host, and still dedicates a lot of time to his work and his own personal life.
posted by whatzit at 7:34 AM on August 12, 2008


This reminds me...whatever happened to the whole "renting out lodgings" thing that used to be so big...I don't hear about that much anymore; does it still even happen?
posted by Deathalicious at 8:50 AM on August 12, 2008


We're listed both on Couchsurfing and here. I figure the folks from AB&B are probably less, uh, "road worn" than CSers. My wife and I have CSed all over the planet and always had an awesome time. We love to host, too. But if someone who is slightly skeeved by the notion of a free couch wants to plunk down 20 bucks a night to sleep on our sofa bed and play Rock Band- Hey, man.

When in Rome.
posted by GilloD at 9:09 AM on August 12, 2008


Joe SixPack absolutely can. Until he puts out his shingle and advertises as a hotel,

I don't think the Fair Housing Act applies if you're renting out a room in a single family home that you also reside in. But IANAL and there could be stronger state or local laws.
posted by meta_eli at 2:29 PM on August 12, 2008


The Fair Housing Act does not apply if you're renting out a room in a single family home that you also reside in.
posted by applemeat at 5:29 AM on August 13, 2008


I said this was a lawsuit waiting to happen, not that Joe Sixpack was going to get sued under the FHA. (Note that Joe Sixpack could get sued under state or local laws and would also find himself in headaches with local zoning or code enforcement.)

When I wrote about the potential for a lawsuit, I had Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com, LLC in mind. Everybody who posts on the internet should read it.

Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer. Seriously, you couldn't begin to afford my rates.
posted by Slap Factory at 10:59 AM on August 15, 2008


Thanks for posting this, Slap Factory. I always enjoy reading interesting legal cases...at some point I might actually make an AskMe about that...
posted by Deathalicious at 1:05 PM on August 15, 2008


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