Airbnb adds urgent safety support in 11 new languages


Angela Lang/CNET

Renting from Airbnb just got a bit safer for some customers who’s primary language isn’t English.

Airbnb’s urgent support line, through which the company’s crisis support team helps guests and hosts navigate unsafe situations, had previously been available to users who listed their primary language as English. It is now available to users who list Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Korean, Dutch, Spanish, Malay, German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian.

Safety issues stemming from an Airbnb visit are rare, the company wrote in a blog post detailing the expansion of service.

The step is the latest of several the company has taken since drawing some scrutiny concerning safety on the platform over the last couple of years.

Airbnb debuted the urgent support line earlier this year. It is available within the Airbnb app’s safety center from 24 hours before check in to 24 hours after check out. It promises access within 30 seconds to a crisis support team who are trained to help deescalate dangerous situations, according to the blog post. In certain locations, the safety center can connect users to local emergency services, which can be useful for travelers in foreign countries.

After a shooting killed five people at an Airbnb on Halloween in 2019, Airbnb promised to verify 100% of the properties listed on their platform. Verification included checking that photos, addresses, and listing details were accurate and that properties were up to standards for cleanliness, safety, and amenities provided.

Airbnb has also imposed restrictions on some reservations of one or two nights around certain holidays. The company says that unauthorized parties were down 49% on Halloween and 51% on New Year’s Eve.

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