In January 2018, a federal court ruled in favor of Airbnb in a lawsuit filed by Aimco involving its tenants illegally subletting their rented spaces on Airbnb. The court defended Airbnb under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which does not hold Internet based services liable for the actions of their users. Instead the tenants are believed to be held responsible for illegally subletting their spaces without attaining prior consent from their landlords.
In February 2011, Airbnb announced its millionth night booked. In January 2012, the company announced its five millionth night booked. In June 2012, Airbnb announced 10 million nights booked, doubling business in the previous five months. Of these bookings, 75% of the business came from markets outside of the continental United States.
The rigidity can also cause drama at the airport, where it can produce uneven customer service, as agents may close out flights before connecting passengers arrive. Isom said he understands the criticism, but said in many cases keeping operational integrity helps more customers. American has 6,700 daily flights, and sometimes it’s easier to put passengers on the next one, rather than hold doors open.
Hugo Martin covers the travel industries, including airlines and theme parks, and writes the weekly Travel Briefcase column for the Business section. A native Californian, Martin was part of the Metro staff that won three Pulitzer Prizes in 1993, 1995 and 1998. He was also on the Travel section staff that won the Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers in 2008. He is an avid outdoorsman, gardener and Lakers fan.
Airbnb is an American home rental platform based in San Francisco that lets people list, find, and rent short-term lodging in 65,000 cities and more than 191 countries across the globe. Founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, it has done more than any other company to change the way people find places to stay away from home. In recent years, Airbnb has evolved its peer-to-peer model to give hosts the tech tools they need to run a seamless, sophisticated operation. More than 40% of Airbnb listings are now available via Instant Book, allowing guests to make reservations much as they would a hotel booking, and a new check-in tool automatically feeds arrival instructions to them via the app. The company has also expanded into Business Travel Ready listings, which offer travelers a designated work space, guaranteed Wi-Fi, and more. Now valued at $31 billion, the company is also helping travelers explore the world outside their rentals. In 2016, Airbnb launched Trips, a service that lures travelers out of their rentals for local tours and adventures in 20 countries and 30 cities around the globe. And in an effort to address humanitarian issues, Airbnb launched an Open Homes program in 2017 that allows hosts to offer housing to refugees, displaced travelers, and those seeking shelter after disasters.
Airbnb has grown significantly over the last 3 years. To support demand, the company uses 200 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances for its application, memcache, and search servers. Within Amazon EC2, Airbnb is using Elastic Load Balancing, which automatically distributes incoming traffic between multiple Amazon EC2 instances. To easily process and analyze 50 Gigabytes of data daily, Airbnb uses Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR). Airbnb is also using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to house backups and static files, including 10 terabytes of user pictures. To monitor all of its server resources, Airbnb uses Amazon CloudWatch, which allows the company to easily supervise all of its Amazon EC2 assets through the AWS Management Console, Command Line Tools, or a Web services API.
One year later, there were 15 people working from Chesky and Gebbia's loft apartment on Rausch Street in San Francisco. To make room for employees, Brian Chesky gave up his bedroom and lived at lodging booked via the Airbnb service until the company moved into its first office space. In April 2009, the company received $600,000 in seed money from Sequoia Capital and, in November 2010, raised $7.2 million in financing from Greylock Partners and, again, from Sequoia Capital, in a Series A round, then announcing that out of 700,000 nights booked, 80% had occurred in the previous six months.