How are FlipKey and Airbnb different?

FlipKey and Airbnb are very similar in functionality. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company that powers the vacation rental experience on TripAdvisor. The company works to provide its guests a seamless browsing and booking experience for travel accommodations around the globe. FlipKey also allows property owners to list their property to travelers for a profit on their site.

Airbnb is an online platform – accessible via mobile device app, tablet or computer - that allows users to list their properties as well as search for unique accommodations around the world. Hosts and homeowners can rent out their space, whether a room in their home or the entire unit, to guests.

What is the history of Airbnb and FlipKey?

About Airbnb

Airbnb is a privately owned company based in San Francisco, CA, which was founded in August 2008, by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. The company started as a way to help the co-founders pay rent by hosting guests on an airbed in their apartment – hence the name Airbnb. Their company mission is not only to make accessible renting out homes, apartments or extra rooms, but also to provide guests with interesting places to stay around the world while fostering a sense of belonging amongst their user community.

About FlipKey

FlipKey is headquartered in Boston, MA and was founded by Carl Query, Jeremiah Gall, and TJ Mahony in 2007. The company was soon acquired in August of 2008 by TripAdvisor, and now operates as one of their 25 different travel brands. The company strives to provide its users with an easy, safe and fun booking process and travel experience with the privacy and amenities of home.

What is the size and scale of each company?

FlipKey has more than 300,000 rentals in over 11,000 cities around the world and a database of 34,000 travelers who they reach, and Airbnb has more than 1,200,000 listings worldwide in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries.

For Guests

How do I make a booking on FlipKey and Airbnb?

On FlipKey, there are multiple ways to contact the property owner of a listing you are interested in: to send an email inquiry, fill out and submit the form on the right side of the property listing detailing your travel dates and any questions you may have, so that the owner can respond with a quote; if a phone number is provided on the listing description, call the owner directly to inquire; finally, with select listings labeled “Book on FlipKey”, users can book their stay instantly by entering their travel dates, payment information, and a message to the property owner.

On Airbnb, the process is similar: one can either request a booking from a host on their listing page, or use instant booking, which doesn’t require communication with hosts: only the input of arrival and departure dates, number of guests, and payment information. Airbnb also has its own mobile app that allows instant booking and search.

What kind of accommodation can be booked on Airbnb and FlipKey?

Airbnb offers both the reservation of an entire place, and a single or shared room, as well as accommodation in original spaces like castles, tree houses, igloos, wagons, and boats, in a addition to more traditional housing.

FlipKey offers similarly original accommodations with beach, apartment, home, boathouse, and villa listings, among others, available, except that they do not have shared room listings; only private rooms, and entire property rentals.

Does each site have ratings and reviews?

Listings on both Airbnb and FlipKey are reviewed on a 5-star system basis, which is visible on each listing page. Previous guests can rate their overall experience in each stay to more accurately describe the listing to future guests. Guests and hosts can both leave Airbnb reviews.

For Hosts

What does it cost to list on Airbnb and FlipKey

Airbnb has guest and listing fees. Guests pay the cost advertised on the listing plus a 6-12% guest service fee, a regressive fee dependent on the price of the listing, which goes directly to Airbnb. Hosts receive the listing price of their accommodation, minus a 3% host service fee.

Signing up for FlipKey, like Airbnb, is free. FlipKey has a processing fee of 3% per booking for owners, and guests pay a booking fee that ranges between 5-15% of the total rental cost.

How do I become a host on each site?

For Airbnb, users can register themselves as a host and choose to go through a verified ID process. Then hosts will need to create a detailed listing of the space for rent including photos, as well as set a checkout method and guidelines for who can book their space. Finally, hosts communicate with potential guests on the site and respond to inquiries in order to assist the booking process.

On FlipKey, owners can sign up for free here to list their properties. Becoming a member of the FlipKey community is free, and with the pay-per-booking plan, property owners merely need to keep their site listing and availability up to date, as well as respond to inquiries and accept reservation requests by potential guests.

How do I get in contact with Airbnb and FlipKey?


Airbnb Customer Service

Airbnb App

Airbnb Fees


FlipKey Phone: 1-877-FLIPKEY

FlipKey Contact Page

View Top Travel Destinations

San Francisco The Villages
New York City New Orleans
San Diego Fort Myers Beach
Seattle Chicago
Sarasota Cape Coral
Key West Nashville
Miami Beach Panama City Beach
Honolulu Gulf Shores
Las Vegas London
Myrtle Beach Fort Lauderdale
Savannah Boston
Amsterdam Los Angeles
Kissimee Paris
Palm Springs Miami
Daytona Beach Siesta Key
Portland Ocean City
Austin Gatlinburg
Santa Cruz Indian Shores