Community activist claims her Airbnb booking was declined because she’s black after a white friend’s identical request was accepted
- Ruth Ibegbuna, from Bradford in Yorkshire, tried to book the apartment in Spain
- She was confident of getting it because she has an ‘excellent’ five star rating
- Other Twitter users wrote to her to say they too had been racially discriminated
Ruth Ibegbuna, (pictured) from Bradford in West Yorkshire, tried to book the apartment in Spain for a weekend
A black woman claims she was racially discriminated against after her Airbnb booking was declined before her white friends’s identical request was accepted.
Ruth Ibegbuna, from Bradford in West Yorkshire, tried to book the apartment in Spain for a weekend.
She was confident of getting it because she has an ‘excellent’ five star rating but the host then contacted her and told her the request was not successful.
Ms Ibegbuna then got a white friend to apply for the same weekend and hers was approved.
It is not known if she had a profile picture of herself on her Airbnb account.
She tweeted: ‘An Airbnb host in Spain has declined my week-long booking of her apartment despite all my excellent reviews from previous hosts.
‘Asked a white friend to try for same dates and it’s suddenly available after all.’
It was retweeted 693 times, and had 2,600 likes, forcing Airbnb to offer her support.
The company wrote that it does ‘not condone discrimination in any way’ before another tweet asked Ms Ibegbuna to get in touch so it can investigate further.
Ms Ibegbuna is the founder of companies RECLAIM Project and The Roots Programme which focus on social action and youth leadership.
Other Twitter users wrote to her to say they too had been racially discriminated against by Airbnb hosts.
It was retweeted 693 times, and had 2,600 likes, forcing Airbnb to offer her support
Omar Latif wrote: ‘I’ve had this when booking in France via Airbnb as well.’
Sheni Ravji-Smith added: ‘Grrr – know how awful this is, have had a similar thing with a rental, but only realised the problem when I turned up to book in.
‘Airbnb should be removing the individual from their books, to stand by their discrimination policy – put actions behind the words.’
Sophie Roberts responded: ‘So sorry you’ve been treated like that. Glad Airbnb have been so quick to respond, and I hope you find somewhere much more welcoming to stay.’
The Airbnb website states that respect and inclusion is at the forefront of its non-discrimination policy.
A company statement reads: ‘We welcome guests of all backgrounds with authentic hospitality and open minds. Joining Airbnb, as a host or guest, means becoming part of a community of inclusion.
‘Bias, prejudice, racism, and hatred have no place on our platform or in our community.
‘While hosts are required to follow all applicable laws that prohibit discrimination based on such factors as race, religion, national origin, and others listed below, we commit to do more than comply with the minimum requirements established by law.’
An Airbnb spokesperson said: ‘We are actively investigating this report and providing the user with our support.
‘Discrimination has no place on Airbnb, goes against everything we stand for and we take action on issues are brought to our attention, including removing users from our community.’
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