A few weeks ago, I was in the San Francisco Bay area training with SKYacademy to become a SkyAngel. I packed this training between a busy commercial trip at the beginning and a busy commercial trip immediately following (not a schedule I would actually recommend anyone doing). Commuting back to Ft Lauderdale after the training meant that I had to fly out of San Francisco, which also happens to be one of the first launch cities for Overnight; the mobile app that allows a user to book same night stays in verified hosts’ homes. And this led to the adventure that allowed me to see the Overnight App in real-time action. I discovered it’s definitely a cool travel tool, and this blog is going to be a play-by-play for you on how it works. It’s about how you can use the app to make your spontaneous travel life as a flight attendant or commitment-phobic traveler that much better. Download the app HERE and use the code: KARA_MULDER for a discount on your first stay. Enjoy!
It takes an hour and 20 minutes to ride from Oakland International Airport to San Francisco International Airport on BART— the loud, rickety public transportation staple that is so signature to The Bay. It’s a statement of fact that the West Coast will never catch up to the public transportation prowess of Europe. During my ride across The Bay, I was texting a friend who was kiting near The Golden Gate Bridge. “Stay! Come kite,” he implored. The temptation to kite always has a hook on my heart, and I began to concoct a plan so I could have more time in the city. It was possible for me to take the morning flight to Florida and still make it in time to work a red eye to Scandinavia the next evening. The thing is, hotel rooms in San Francisco are astronomically price. I could not drop $200 for a few hours of sleep.
I have been wanting try Overnight— the AirBnb meets “I-need-a-room-tonight” (i.e. Hotels Tonight but not) app— but haven’t had the opportunity, as the main cities that Overnight currently exists in are cities that I either live in (Los Angeles), go to for work (New York), or never visit (Austin, Texas). There are other cities that Overnight rooms and entire apartments are available in, but I’m just not in those cities that often (P.S. Can’t wait till Overnight is available on a global scale). But, Overnight is in San Francisco, and what I discovered is that I can be riding from East Bay to the other bay, while figuring out a place to stay, and not just any place to stay. Not in a hotel, but with a local!
Typically, if a traveler needs last minute or very short-term accommodation, hotels are the only way to go. Now with Overnight, that is changing. Travelers have great and affordable options. How it works to book a room with Overnight App is that you download the app to your mobile device, login, create a profile, and begin searching for available rooms in your area. I had already made my profile thanks to downloading the app months ago, but had to verify my credit card info. Then I was able to search for a place to stay.
I began looking at different rooms. Prices populated in the search ranged from about $40 up to $200. The options given via Overnight are similar to that which you would see on AirBnb. The user has the option to choose what style of accommodation they are looking for; private room, shared room, or entire apartment. I was looking for cheap. I found a couple of options and requested to book a $35 a night loft/private room with Brittany. Surrounded by suitcases, with the clicking of BART speeding me back to another airport, that’s when the countdown began.
Overnight uses a 10-minute countdown once a user requests to book with a host. The host has 10-minutes to respond with a ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ before the booking is confirmed or cancelled. Any time between those 10-minutes, the host can confirm or deny, and during the countdown, the host and user can message each other and communicate. I found the countdown process kind of exciting. I wasn’t sure what would happen; if I would stay in California that night or be sleeping on an airplane bound for Florida. All of this while I’m still going to the airport, watching the stops to make sure I would get the booking, or not get the booking, before I had to backtrack my BART steps.
After messaging with Brittany quickly over my possible arrival schedule, the booking request expired meaning I did not get the room. I took this as I was supposed to continue on BART, and then to SFO, and then on a plane that night, and then to Florida. No kiting for me that day.
Immediately after the booking request with Brittany expired, Overnight sent me a text telling saying that my credit card was not charged, and that I could visit a link to request another booking.
I decided to not request another booking this time, but I can’t wait to experience Overnight with an actual stay next time. I really like the spontaneity and instant access this app allows for travelers. It’s so perfect for me who often can’t decide whether to stay or to go. It’s so perfect for flight attendants or pilots who never know if they will make a non-rev flight.
Check it out and let me know your experience by commenting below.
Once again, you can download the app here and use the code KARA_MULDER for a discount on your first stay with Overnight.