With the newly implemented change, when a trip organizer requests to book a listing that allows for split payments, the reservation is marked as “awaiting payment,” which acts like a hold. The organizer’s portion of the payment is charged to their card and then the remaining members of the group have 72 hours to log on to Airbnb and pay their part. The payments can be split with up to 16 people on a single reservation. Airbnb also says that, even before booking, organizers can now put reservations on hold for group trips for up to 72 hours.
Airbnb’s ability to split payments is a result of the company acquiring social payments startup Tilt earlier this year, perhaps prompted by the fact that the feature has consistently been one of the top requested for the platform over the past year.
Splitting payments not only solves a lot of user problems, but potentially opens up new ways for users to book: it avoids the headache of chasing after others for cash, and also allows for organizers to consider pricier listings that might have not been options if the entire cost fell to one person. Not all listings will be eligible for split payments, but Airbnb’s permanent rollout should make group trips much easier for an organizer’s well-being — and their wallet.