Airbnb to pay $6 million to settle allegations of misleading consumers on prices

Airbnb will pay $6 million to settle a case where the accommodation booking stood accused of “double ticketing,” a rarely cited criminal offence under the federal Competition Act. 

Arthur Lin of Vancouver, BC has succeeded in having his claim against Airbnb certified as a national class action lawsuit in January 2020, but Airbnb appealed the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.

The parties agreed to settle the matter in November 2021[1]Lin v. Airbnb, Inc., 2021 FC 1260 (CanLII), <>, and the appellate court allowed the parties to dismiss the appeal last month[2]Airbnb, Inc. v. Lin, 2022 FCA 3 (CanLII), <>, retrieved on 2022-02-09

The plaintiff’s law firm Evolink Law Group announced Tuesday that The Federal Court has approved the notice of settlement approval.

The plaintiff had contended the service fee that Airbnb charges to guests breaches the double ticketing provision, because what the customer pays at the end of the transaction is higher than the price initially displayed on the website.

Lin had claimed that he booked a seven-day stay in Japan in May of 2016 on Airbnb with a displayed price tag of $109 a night. 

But when he booked the service, he was directed to a payment page showing $855 for the seven nights, which works out to $122.14 a night.

All individuals residing in Canada other than Quebec who used Airbnb to book accommodation  from October 31, 2015 to June 25, 2019 are eligible to claim a maximum of $45 from the settlement.

Airbnb settled a similar lawsuit in Quebec over double ticketing for $3 million.

The short-term accommodation platform does not admit any of the unlawful conduct alleged in the case.

Airbnb’s Canadian website now displays the full price, including service and cleaning fees, when searching for accommodation.

References   [ + ]

1. Lin v. Airbnb, Inc., 2021 FC 1260 (CanLII), <>
2. Airbnb, Inc. v. Lin, 2022 FCA 3 (CanLII), <>, retrieved on 2022-02-09