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Airbnb is standardizing the check-in process to make it way less confusing

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Everyone who’s booked on a stay on Airbnb likely has a check-in horror story: that one apartment nestled deep inside a confusing, labyrinthian complex, accessible by way of a hard-to-find lock box hidden inside a tall row of shrubbery with a key code buried in an email message you’re having trouble finding. Airbnb knows that its check-in process is inconsistent and, often, not ideal — at least when compared to a standard hotel. So the company is making a big effort to streamline the process and make it less confusing.

Airbnb is building its new process right into its app as an opt-in, step-by-step guide hosts can create using photos and text instructions. Because hosts aren’t always around to help you find your way into an apartment or house, they often rely on attaching some prewritten block of text in a message sent in-app or as an email. These instructions are typically inconsistent from host to host, and are really dependent on how thoughtful the host wants to be.

Now, given this new check-in process, Airbnb will urge hosts to follow its rubric and make detailed guides. The check-in guides will also be automatically saved offline within the app, so you can still access them without a data connection. The goal is to “cut down on the number of messages to respond to, copy-pasting or rewriting instructions for every guest,” Airbnb explains in a blog post. “Hosts can answer commonly asked questions once, then rest assured guests’ path to entry will be an easy one.” Airbnb says the new check-in features will arrive later this month for users, guests and hosts, every country the company operates.