So, here’s an idea for airbnb.
Saturday afternoon found me lazing on a pebble-y beach in Brighton with the wife, watching the sun play hide and seek behind fast moving clouds. It was our first real break away from London since we moved four months ago, and I was savouring every moment of it. At some point the wind started to pick up, and I picked up my phone to check on the weather.
Really? Edge? I thought I was on 4G, but evidently I had strayed a bit too far from the reservation. And it was barely an E. Yahoo! was struggling to load the weather — that bad of an E.
The services of a satellite map showing the current cloud cover and wind direction rendered unavailable, I decided not to take my chances of being caught in a potential downpour and headed back to the sheltered confines of a bedroom in a stranger’s house. Our airbnb for the weekend, ie.
The room was beautiful, but the same could not be said for the connectivity. But, I suppose that’s the entire point of taking time away from life as usual? I digress. As I struggled to latch on to a working signal inside the room a neat idea popped into my head:
What if airbnb provided WiFi to all their users?
Think about it. You get off the plane or train in a foreign city and you’re roaming on your data plan. Which means you’ve most probably turned it off to save money. You open up your airbnb app, which knows you are in your destination city because you have a reservation, and you get an option to connect to their WiFi. Press a button, and they take care of whatever usernames and passwords and thingamagic that needs to happen, and — voila! — you are connected to a WiFi network. You can then do the things you need to urgently do — getting direction to, or in contact with — your airbnb host. And this stays on until you get on your transport back.
Now, that would be awesome. The convenience of automatically getting connected in a city I am visiting without trying to find free WiFi is something I would gladly pay for. Better yet, if it were free, I would become an airbnb customer for life.
Not that I am not already.