There has been an interesting development – thousands of people around the world have been booking Airbnbs in Ukraine, even though they have no intention of going to the war-torn country. The reason: It’s a fast way to get cash donations to Ukrainian locals.
The grassroots movement started on the platform last week. Yesterday Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky tweeted about the trend: “In 48 hours, 61,402 nights have been booked in Ukraine. That’s $1.9M going to hosts in need,” he wrote.
“Such a cool idea from our community. Thank you”. Airbnb.org is also funding short term housing for up to 100,000 people fleeing Ukraine. They support refugee guests regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, or how they identify.
You can help by offering temporary stays for free or at a discount through Airbnb.org or donating to fund stays. It's not looking good With events unfolding in Ukraine, there has been a rapid response in terms of travel restrictions across the EU region, involving the closure of EU airspace, EU travel bans for specific people and a clampdown on second passport applications.
On Sunday 27 February, Europe and Canada closed their airspace to Russian planes, as reported by AP News. This decision led to a New York-bound flight from Moscow having to turn around after an “eight-hour flight to nowhere”, as reported by The Independent.
Despite U.S. airspace not being closed to the flight at that point, the fact that it had to pass through Canada (after Finland, Sweden, Norway and Greenland) meant that the pilot had no choice but to turn back–there likely wouldn’t have been enough fuel to reach JFK airport in New York if the plane was re-routed.
On Monday 28 February, Russia announced the closure of its airspace to 36 countries, including those in the EU, as well as others, as reported by Reuters. The world is closing At the State of the Union, President Joe Biden announced the closure of U.S.
airspace to Russian airlines, as reported by Bloomberg. All Rail, an alliance of independent passenger rail companies across Europe issued a press release asking that the rail sector take as decisive action as the airline industry and stop operating freight and passenger trains in and out of Russia.
The war in Eastern Europe isn’t really only between Ukraine and Russia. The vast majority of the planet has shown support for Ukraine — with several countries supplying the Ukrainian underdog with weapons. As Germany swears to bolster its military efficacy in response to a volatile Putin, more of Europe than just Ukraine may find themselves in the crosshairs of the Russian Bear.
That’s something to consider before emptying your credit card rewards (or bank account) on a bucket list trip to Europe. However, as Greg Pearson, chief executive of risk management company FocusPoint International, told The Washington Post, anyone with travel to a country even bordering Ukraine may want to postpone their trip.