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‘Find places to stay in Ukraine’: Airbnb error confuses British users

The skyline in Kyiv - where you can still rent an Airbnb  (AFP via Getty Images)
The skyline in Kyiv - where you can still rent an Airbnb (AFP via Getty Images)

British Airbnb users were surprised to see a message on the site reading “find stays in Ukraine” - prompting the company to clarify this was not a promotion they were running.

The accommodation service said a “rare technical error” led to the message being displayed on a prominent part of its website over the weekend.

Airbnb said on Tuesday that the mistake had been amended and that anybody who had clicked on the rogue link would not have been directed to options in Kyiv, Donetsk or Lviv.

“For a moment, a whole new holiday opened up to me,” said Diane from Yorkshire, who did not wish to give her surname. “Then I thought my ineptitude had taken me to the wrong site.”

Diane from Yorkshire was surprised to see Ukraine being offered as a destination (Airbnb / user submitted)
Diane from Yorkshire was surprised to see Ukraine being offered as a destination (Airbnb / user submitted)

However, this does not mean that it is impossible to stay in Ukraine if you want to.

A quick search by the reporter for Ukraine options in the first week of October revealed many results - mostly in the east of the country, although some pads in conflict-hit Ochakiv can be rented for as little as £8 per night.

And it appears it is not the first time that the country has popped up as a suggestion since Russia invaded in February 2022.

“My wife and I are trying to find our next digital nomad location in Europe. First result on Airbnb was Ukraine,” Kyle Rummens tweeted in April.

Dan wrote in June: “You can rent an Airbnb in Ukraine...take the train from Poland et voila! But at your own risks.”

Airbnb published a statement on Tuesday to say the link marked ‘Ukraine’, when clicked on, would direct to options in the UK.

"Airbnb is not currently running any promotions for stays in Ukraine,” the statement said.

“A rare technical error meant an incorrect country name was displayed on one of our pages. This issue has now been resolved.”