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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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A flight attendant helping a mother and baby.

There is a significant trend happening right now on social media where women are calling out men for using “weaponized incompetence” as a way to avoid taking responsibility for their families.

Weaponized incompetence is when someone pretends they can't do a task correctly, so someone else ends up doing it instead. In families, this can create an unfair workload and reinforce traditional gender roles, leaving one person with more responsibility than they should have.

Obviously, there are many men out there who are pulling their own weight in their families, but those who live in the past and have no problem having their wives take on unnecessary burdens deserve to be called out.

Recently, a flight attendant on Reddit pointed out the unfair distribution of labor she sees when families take summer vacations. According to Yunghazel, she sees women doing all of the work with children on planes while the dads relax and enjoy the flight.


Some fathers even stay in first class while mom and the kids sit in coach.

“I am sick and tired of seeing the women doing all the work when she travels with her family,” she writes. “She is the one with the boarding passes, knows the seats, wrangles the children, and sits with them. Meanwhile, the husband/dad is sitting in a different row, kid-free, having the time of his life watching a movie.”

“The mom is taking care of the kids, has activities, snacks and does bathroom trips,” she continues. “Oh, and don’t even get me started on the ones who sit in First Class and leave their family in the back.”

She added that when she sees a father allowing his wife to relax on a flight, she will point it out. “I actually complimented one father who was amazing with his 3 kids and the mom was able to relax with a drink and assist as needed,” she wrote. “He was shocked when I told him it was a rare case and lovely to see. He said, ‘I’m just being a dad.’”

She finished the post by asking women to demand to be treated as equals when flying with their families. “Ladies, I am begging you. If you are going on a family vacation this summer, set some travel expectations on how you can tackle the plane ride with your partner so it’s an enjoyable experience. You do not have to do all the work. I hate to see it,” she concluded her post.

The post resonated with many women whose husbands who didn’t pull their own weight on trips.

“I hated trips when I was married and had young kids for this very reason. It was vacation for everyone but me. I spent the entire time minding kids, managing everything, making sure things were figured out, managing a man-baby's emotions and being denied enough sleep to function,” whoinvitedthesepeopl wrote.

“I had a mini meltdown a few years ago because my husband checked us in and sat both kids with me and himself in the aisle seat across,” Treelakerockcloud added. “So while he would be close the bulk of the plane parenting would fall on me. He said that’s because we ‘always did it this way.’”

Many gendered double standards are so deeply ingrained into American society that we have a difficult time noticing them, whether we’re the man hiding behind weaponized incompetence or the woman behaving as mothers have traditionally.

Only when people speak up and point out these forms of inequality will we begin to see some change. That’s why posts like Yunghazel’s are important. Sometimes, someone must point out the obvious to start a conversation that we’ve been waiting too long to have.

Coolest Airbnb ever? We sure think so.

If you're a Disney fan and find yourself around Abiquiu, New Mexico in the upcoming months, Airbnb has the perfect stay for you.

The company has created an eerily exact replica of the iconic house from Pixar’s “Up” in honor of the film’s 15th anniversary, and let’s just say…no details were spared in the making of this unique, whimsical and completely immersive experience.

The listing is perfectly written in the curmudgeonly voice of Carl Fredricksen, the movie’s main character, who praises Abiquiu as "the perfect place to head out on wilderness adventures. It’s far away from the big city, so hopefully you’ll get some peace and quiet, and maybe I’ll be able to leave my hearing aid on for once. It’s going to be a great setting to explore nature, and who knows, you might even see a ‘Snipe.’ Please enjoy your stay, but don’t blame me if the house lifts off and floats to Paradise Falls. If that happens, you’re on your own!"


It’s a fair warning, because with the help of 8000 balloons and a crane, the house actually does float mid air.

Check it out:

airbnb icons, airbnb

8000 balloons were used to recreate this iconic image.

Airbnb

There are even more breathtaking photos where that came from. It might be hard to believe these aren’t AI generated at first glance, but Teo Connor, Airbnb’s VP of design, assures us that it’s simply paying attention to the details.

“Everything has to be elevated and thought about through a design lens. Working with the exact Pantone colors of the film, creating a real bed you can feel comfortable in, to ensure that we’re creating these worlds that feel really magical, but a real experience,” he told creative community platform It’s Nice That.

pixar, disney

Carl writes "That’s Ellie and me at our wedding. I barely need a photo to remember that feeling. Thinking about her keeps me going."

Airbnb

airbnb, up airbnb, disney

This is almost an optical illusion.

Airbnb

up airbnb, airbnb icons, cool airbnbs

Guests will have the opportunity to fill their own adventure book.

Airbnb

Visitors can roam around the house and check out mementos from the movie, including photos of Carl and his wife Ellie, Russell’s backpack and even Dug's food bowl. Plus, the listing features other optional adventures like creating your own Adventure Book and stargazing on the lawn, all of which earn Junior Wilderness Explorer badges, another nod to the movie.

After a few of these excursions, guests come back to see the house floating—riding along is probably a safety hazard, after all.

This exhibit is part of Airbnb's “Icons” collection, promising one-of-a-kind experiences throughout the country as a way to “connect with people in new ways,” says Connor. That goes especially for Gen Zers who might not be as familiar with the platform. And honestly, what better way to do that than create more opportunities to engage with beloved television series and pop culture moments?

Other “Icons” adventures include a stay at Paris' Musée d’Orsay during the 2024 Olympic Games, a night in the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy, and a visit to the X-Men mansion in Westchester, New York. Previously, the team built its own Barbie Dreamhouse in Malibu, created a moss-covered home in the highlands for a Halloween-inspired stay with Shrek, and invited Ted Lasso fans to stay at his favorite pub in London’s Richmond.

If you want to book any of these experiences, be sure to sign up on the listing's Airbnb page. While some charge a fee, others (like the “Up” home) are free.

Submissions for this particular spot go until May 14. Airbnb will then select the winning guests and finalize bookings. You can sign up here. Good luck!

Photo by Taylor Heery on Unsplash

People are right to complain about being charged a cleaning fee and being asked to do chores.




In 2016, My husband and I started renting our basement apartment out as a short-term rental on Airbnb. We live in a college town and figured we'd get some guests during football game weekends and graduations. We didn't realize how many people come to our town to visit their college kids or check out the school, so we were pleasantly surprised by how regularly we were booked.

In 2019, we bought the house next door and now rent out both floors of the old house as separate units. We love being Airbnb hosts and have had a very successful run of it, with hundreds of 5-star reviews, Superhost status and lots of repeat guests.

We also don't charge a cleaning fee or make guests do check-out chores. In fact, we find both things rather loathsome.


What makes us good hosts is that we've been Airbnb guests for years. As a family of five that travels a lot, we've found far more value in Airbnbs than in hotels over the years. We love having a kitchen, living room and bedrooms and feeling like we have a "home" while traveling. We even spent a nomadic year staying at short-term rentals for a month at a time.

When you've experienced dozens of Airbnbs as a guest, you learn what guests appreciate and what they don't. You see what's annoying and unnecessary and what's to be expected in comparison to a hotel. We started taking mental notes long before we started our own rental about what we would want to do and not do if we ever had one and have implemented those things now that we do.

As guests, we know the pain of the cleaning fee, so we don't charge one.

via GIPHY

It helps that my husband has a flexible schedule and grew up helping with his parents' janitorial service, so most of the time he cleans the apartments himself. We could charge a cleaning fee for his time and labor, but even if we were paying for outside cleaners, we still wouldn't put a separate fee onto guest bookings. It makes far more sense to us to just wrap the cleaning fee into the per-night price.

From a host's perspective, the one-night stay is where the cleaning fee question hits the hardest. Whether someone stays one night or 10 nights, the cleaning cost is the same. But spreading the cost over 10 nights is a very different beast than adding it to one night, especially from a guest's perspective. On the host side, if we had to pay cleaners without passing that fee onto guests, we've barely make anything on one-night stays. But on the guest side, a $100 a night stay suddenly jumping to $150 because a cleaning fee was added is painful, and often a dealbreaker. You can see the conundrum.

The way we see it, and as other Airbnb hosts have found, wrapping cleaning costs into the base price comes out in the wash over time, as long as you have some longer-term stays mixed in with the one-nighters. And it's a much better experience for the guest not to get hit with sticker shock on the "final cost" screen, which is already eye-popping when service fees and taxes are added on.

(I will say, this may only ring true for smaller units. If you're renting a huge home, cleaning costs are going to be higher just because it takes longer to clean. But I still don't think the full cost should be passed onto guests as a separate fee.)

As for check-out chores—asking guests to do things like start laundry, sweep the floor, take out the trash, etc.—those have never made sense to us. Hosts should have enough switch-out linens that laundry doesn't have to be started prior to checking out, and none of those chores save enough time for the cleaning people to make it worth asking guests to do it. I can see taking out trash if there wasn't going to be another guest for a while, but usually you'd want to clean right away after a stay anyway just in case it does get booked last minute.

The only thing we ask guests to do is to start the dishwasher if they have dirty dishes (as a guest, I've never found that an unreasonable request), lock the door and have a safe trip home. Don't need to pull the sheets. Don't need to take out any garbage or recycling. Those things don't take that long, but that's just as much a reason not to ask guests to do it. Annoying your guests by asking them to do something extra isn't worth the tiny bit of time it might save the cleaning people.

And you know what? This approach works really well. Approximately 95% of guests leave the apartments clean and tidy anyway. In seven years, I can count on one hand how many problems we've had with guests leaving a mess. That's been a pleasant surprise, but I think part of the reason is that guest are simply reciprocating the respect and consideration we show them by not making them pay extra fees or do chores on their way out.

To be fair, it probably also helps that we aren't some big real estate tycoon buying up a bunch of apartments and turning them into short-term rentals run by impersonal management companies. People's complaints about how short-term rentals impact local housing economies are legitimate. We're more aligned with the original "sharing economy" model, renting out our home to guests who come through town. And in a small college town with a large university, there often aren't enough hotel rooms during busy weekends anyway, so it's been a bit of a win-win.

I think being right next door, having personal communication with our guests (but also leaving them their privacy), and not charging or asking anything extra of them makes them want to be respectful guests. From our perspective, both as guests and hosts, cleaning fees and check-out chores simply aren't worth it.

Pop Culture

Airbnb host finds unexpected benefits from not charging guests a cleaning fee

Host Rachel Boice went for a more "honest" approach with her listings—and saw major perks because of it.

@rachelrboice/TikTok

Many frustrated Airbnb customers have complained that the separate cleaning fee is a nuisance.

Airbnb defines its notorious cleaning fee as a “one-time charge” set by the host that helps them arrange anything from carpet shampoo to replenishing supplies to hiring an outside cleaning service—all in the name of ensuring guests have a “clean and tidy space.”

But as many frustrated Airbnb customers will tell you, this feature is viewed as more of a nuisance than a convenience. According to NerdWallet, the general price for a cleaning fee is around $75, but can vary greatly between listings, with some units having cleaning fees that are higher than the nightly rate (all while sometimes still being asked to do certain chores before checking out). And often none of these fees show up in the total price until right before the booking confirmation, leaving many travelers feeling confused and taken advantage of.

However, some hosts are opting to build cleaning fees into the overall price of their listings, mimicking the strategy of traditional hotels.

Rachel Boice runs two Airbnb properties in Georgia with her husband Parker—one being this fancy glass plane tiny house (seen below) that promises a perfect glamping experience.

@rachelrboice Welcome to The Tiny Glass House 🤎 #airbnbfinds #exploregeorgia #travelbucketlist #tinyhouse #glampingnotcamping #atlantageorgia #fyp ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

Like most Airbnb hosts, the Boice’s listing showed a nightly rate and separate cleaning fee. According to her interview with Insider, the original prices broke down to $89 nightly, and $40 for the cleaning fee.

But after noticing the negative response the separate fee got from potential customers, Rachel told Insider that she began charging a nightly rate that included the cleaning fee, totaling to $129 a night.

It’s a marketing strategy that more and more hosts are attempting in order to generate more bookings (people do love feeling like they’re getting a great deal) but Boice argued that the trend will also become more mainstream since the current Airbnb model “doesn’t feel honest.”

"We stay in Airbnbs a lot. I pretty much always pay a cleaning fee," Boice told Insider. "You're like: 'Why am I paying all of this money? This should just be built in for the cost.'"

Since combining costs, Rachel began noticing another unexpected perk beyond customer satisfaction: guests actually left her property cleaner than before they were charged a cleaning fee. Her hypothesis was that they assumed she would be handling the cleaning herself.

"I guess they're thinking, 'I'm not paying someone to clean this, so I'll leave it clean,'" she said.

This discovery echoes a similar anecdote given by another Airbnb host, who told NerdWallet guests who knew they were paying a cleaning fee would “sometimes leave the place looking like it’s been lived in and uncleaned for months.” So, it appears to be that being more transparent and lumping all fees into one overall price makes for a happier (and more considerate) customer.

These days, it’s hard to not be embittered by deceptive junk fees, which can seem to appear anywhere without warning—surprise overdraft charges, surcharges on credit cards, the never convenience “convenience charge” when purchasing event tickets. Junk fees are so rampant that certain measures are being taken to try to eliminate them outright in favor of more honest business approaches.

Speaking of a more honest approach—as of December 2022, AirBnb began updating its app and website so that guests can see a full price breakdown that shows a nightly rate, a cleaning fee, Airbnb service fee, discounts, and taxes before confirming their booking.

Guests can also activate a toggle function before searching for a destination, so that full prices will appear in search results—avoiding unwanted financial surprises.


This article originally appeared on 11.08.23