Thousands Book Airbnbs In Ukraine With No Intention Of Staying There

As the Russian offensive in Ukraine intensifies, thousands of Airbnb users have booked rooms in the war-torn country, the Wallstreet Journal reported.

People around the world have raised almost $2 Million for Ukraine by renting AirBnB’s that they have no intention of staying in. The social media campaign to help Ukrainians began on March 2, according to the report.

This fundraising moves money relatively quickly to the hands of the Ukrainian people. Funds are moved from the renter to the host within 24 hours of the guest’s scheduled arrival, irrespective of whether they show up,  according to Airbnb’s help center.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote about the transactions in a tweet, saying, “People are booking Airbnbs in Ukraine they don’t intend to stay in just to help Hosts [sic].”

One screenshot from a Ukrainian Airbnb host included in Chesky’s quote-tweet read, “I’m Shocked!!!!!! I am grateful for your support!!!!!! I have no any [sic] words!!!!!!!!” Another message read, “[sic] Hope we will win and stop this horror… I promise to use your donation for charity and for free accommodation for those who lost their homes. Thank you.”

The latter statement from the host echoed the efforts of the CEO, who committed via Twitter to working with hosts to house 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Airbnb is not the only private sector actor moving to aid Ukraine. An American ammunition manufacturer has promised to send 1 million bullets to Ukraine. (RELATED: US Ammo Company To Send 1 Million Bullets To Ukraine)

The U.S. and Ukraine have continued to communicate as the war rages into its second week of combat. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently addressed U.S. lawmakers during a March 5 call about the Russian invasion.

Kellen McGovern Jones