Airbnb Adds Instant Booking For Last-Minute Trips To L.A., San Francisco

airbnb.instantjpgUsually when you book a place to stay on Airbnb, there’s a certain courtship period between the renter and the rentee — a back and forth about how to pick up the keys, some questions to make sure you’re not handing your apartment over to an orgy organizer or serial killer. But sometimes you just need a place to stay, and fast. To serve those spontaneous customers, Airbnb is adding instant booking in some cities.

Starting in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with more cities available eventually, renters using either the iOs or Android mobile app will see an option labeled: “Need a place for tonight or tomorrow,” the company said in an announcement today.

Clicking on that will open local listings that have immediate availability ,in an effort to simplify things by basically cutting out the pre-approval process. This won’t be a default option applied to any renter’s listing, it seems, as the host will have to set it specifically to automatically approve guests based on certain criteria they decide on.

“While being instantly bookable isn’t a fit for every host, it presents a great opportunity for hosts who don’t mind last minute guests,” the company writes.

Though you might not be the type to live on the edge and open up your home to illegal ferret breeding operations, Airbnb says it’s seen an uptick in hosts willing to offer up instant bookable listings, from 35,000 at the end of 2013 to 90,000 now.

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