If you’re a new Airbnb user, you’ll receive an Airbnb verification code if you sign up using your phone number.

But ever wonder why does the Airbnb verification process need your phone number, and is Airbnb phone verification safe? And what happens if you sign up with Airbnb and verify by phone with an old number?

You’re about to book a stay with a complete stranger for a few days on an online platform that asks you for sensitive personal details. You should be curious.

This guide will look at why you need an Airbnb verified phone number, why the Airbnb verification code matters, and how to get an Airbnb verification code without revealing your actual phone number.

Why do I need an Airbnb verified phone number?

When you first sign up with Airbnb, you’ll be able to create an account by signing up with:

  1. Your phone number
  2. Your Facebook account
  3. Your Google account
  4. Your Apple ID
Airbnb login page
You can sign up with Airbnb using your phone number, Facebook, Google or Apple ID

Regardless of your choice, you’ll still need to provide a phone number before you can start making any reservations with Airbnb. Say I sign up using my Google account at first:

Regardless of how you choose to sign up, Airbnb always asks for a phone number

Airbnb won’t let me proceed unless I provide a verified phone number.

There are many reasons why you need an Airbnb verified phone number:

  • Airbnb wants to make sure that real people are using their services, not bots and fake accounts.
  • Airbnb uses it as an extra layer of identity verification to protect users.
  • Airbnb hosts need to communicate with potential guests, and a verified phone number offers a direct line of contact.
  • Some countries require Airbnb guests to provide contact details for immigration and security purposes, and Airbnb / Airbnb hosts are responsible for making sure that information is readily available
  • Airbnb can protect guests and hosts from potential harm by conducting stricter background checks with verified phone numbers

In short, you need an Airbnb verified phone number because Airbnb simply won’t let you use their services if you don’t have one.

Why do I need an Airbnb verification code?

After you provide Airbnb with a phone number, a verification code will be sent to you via text message.

An example of an Airbnb verification code

It’s exactly how most apps work today, but why do you even need a verification code in the first place?

That’s because anyone can try to sign up for an Airbnb account using your personal details. But they won’t succeed, because the Airbnb verification code only goes to your phone number.

And since you can only start using Airbnb with a verified phone number, this deters fake accounts from being created and protects existing users from fraud.

Is Airbnb phone verification safe?

But Airbnb isn’t just any social app. It’s an online platform where you book stays in guesthouses run by complete strangers.

If you use your actual phone number to receive an Airbnb verification code, hosts and guests that you make a booking with will be able to see it on your profile. They’ll still be able to see it even after you have finished your stay with them.

(image credit: Did You Know Facts) Alavia recounting her Airbnb nightmare on Twitter

That can take a very dangerous turn. In 2018, Alavia Khawaja, an Airbnb host in Texas, was harassed and stalked by her guest after she threw him out for invasion of privacy and theft. Airbnb’s Community Center is also rife with posts of guests and hosts sharing stories of creepy stalkers who took advantage of their phone numbers.

Airbnb host Annina3 on having to deal with creepy behaviour from a future guest

Airbnb phone verification might protect your identity from being stolen, but it’s leaving you wide open to a lot more potential harm.

How to get an Airbnb verification code without your phone number

You need that Airbnb verification code. But you also need to protect your online privacy.

To start using Airbnb without your phone number, you’ll need to provide a number that:

  • Isn’t yours
  • But still allows you to receive the Airbnb verification code
  • And also allows your host or guest to effortlessly keep in touch with you
  • And (ideally) lets you ditch it the moment you no longer need it, so potential stalkers get thrown off your trail

Receive Airbnb verification code with a second phone number

Because you need a disposable phone number that you can use for a while to receive calls and texts, temporary options like free online messaging services with generated numbers won’t work.

What you need is a fake phone number from a second phone number app. But before you download just any second phone number app, take note that:

  1. Numbers from the app should allow you to receive the Airbnb verification code
  2. Numbers you use should be disposable anytime you wish.
  3. The app you download should ideally provide you with multiple fake phone numbers and not just one
  4. The numbers you get should work for both calls and texts outside of the USA.

Verify Airbnb with a second phone number from Phoner

Phoner is one such second phone number app.

Phoner's second phone numbers can keep you safe on Airbnb

With an unlimited selection of phone numbers you can use immediately anywhere in the world without having to get a new SIM card, you can use Phoner’s second phone numbers to receive the Airbnb verification code and easily send calls and texts to your host or guest.

Because Phoner also doubles as a burner phone app, the numbers you get can be disposed of anytime you want. Keep them for as long as your Airbnb stay takes, and get rid of them after your trip ends.

Other things you should know about Airbnb phone verification

If you are planning to switch phone numbers soon, make sure to add the new phone number and get it verified before deleting your old phone number on Airbnb.

Some Airbnb users have also cited issues with Airbnb verification codes:

Airbnb verification codes sometimes fail to send, or are only partially received. 

If you encounter this problem, contact Airbnb support and ask for the “Trust and Safety” team

Have a safe and pleasant Airbnb experience

Airbnb has made travelling so much more fun and affordable, but you should also be careful to protect your phone number privacy on the app.

(Image Credit: Oberon Copeland @veryinformed.com on Unsplash) Airbnb has certainly revolutionised travel

Airbnb has privacy and security measures to protect users, but only you can be sure that your personal data is in safe hands. A second phone number is a great first step towards better phone number privacy.

And that’s all about Airbnb phone verification and the Airbnb verification code. For more information on how Airbnb handles user ID and verification, check out their Help Centre. Travel safely with Airbnb today!