Shortly after moving to San Francisco in October 2007, roommates and former schoolmates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia could not afford the rent for their loft apartment. Chesky and Gebbia came up with the idea of putting an air mattress in their living room and turning it into a bed and breakfast. The goal at first was just "to make a few bucks". In February 2008, Nathan Blecharczyk, Chesky's former roommate, joined as the Chief Technology Officer and the third co-founder of the new venture, which they named AirBed & Breakfast. They put together a website which offered short-term living quarters, breakfast, and a unique business networking opportunity for those who were unable to book a hotel in the saturated market. The site Airbedandbreakfast.com officially launched on August 11, 2008. The founders had their first customers in town in the summer of 2008, during the Industrial Design Conference held by Industrial Designers Society of America, where travelers had a hard time finding lodging in the city.
In February 2015, Amsterdam implemented a cooperative effort with Airbnb that incorporated a tourist tax on rentals and Airbnb's agreement to ensure potential hosts are made aware of required rules and regulations. London passed an amendment to its housing legislation in March 2015 allowing short-term rentals of up to three months a year.
Though affiliated with the Admirals Club and staffed by many of the same employees, the Flagship Lounge is a separate lounge specifically designed for customers flying in First Class and Business Class on international flights and transcontinental domestic flights, as well as AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Platinum, as well as Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire frequent flyers. As of January 2018, Flagship Lounges are located at four airports: Chicago-O'Hare, Miami International, Los Angeles and New York-JFK.
Hosts provide prices and other details for their rental or event listings. Pricing is determined by the host, with recommendations from Airbnb. Hosts may be required to report income and pay income taxes on income received via Airbnb. In the US, homeowners who refinance their mortgages with some agencies are able to count income they earn from Airbnb rentals on their refinance loan applications.