Let's Rank the AirPnP Listings in New Orleans During Mardi Gras
Meet the latest app spawned by the sharing economy: AirPnP, which lets users rent out their bathrooms to strangers in return for a small fee. Naturally, we at The Wire decided to rank the current listings on AirPnP.
Meet the latest app spawned by the sharing economy: AirPnP. Much like its namesake, AirBnB, AirPnP lets users rent out their bathrooms to strangers in return for a small fee.
Basically, individuals can create a listing for their bathroom, post it to AirPnP, and invite other AirPnP users to "rent" their lavatory facilities. In this case, the "rental" isn't so much an actual rental of the bathroom as it is paying someone to use their private toilet. So if I have an apartment near St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, I can post my bathroom on AirPnP and offer it to Mardi Gras parade attendees for whatever price I fancy.
A lot is left up to the renter – price, rate (all day versus per use), and access (do renters have to get buzzed into the building?) – and is hashed out in the listing's details. There are certain questions left unanswered, like "What happens if I take too long to poop?", but AirPnP lets users settle it among themselves. If there's significant beef, you could always leave a bad review. AirPnP simply hooks up people looking for a bathroom with people who have a bathroom.
Is it weird to pay money to urinate in a stranger's bathroom? Maybe. But you know what they say about desperate times– when you got to go, you got to go. And there's clearly demand for something like this.
AirPnP launched roughly two weeks ago, and according to cofounder Max Gaudin, the site has garnered "several thousands hits" each day it's been active. There's no real way to track usage because so many payments occur offline, he said, but it's become "a real business."
The app has listings in a few other locations (like the apparently illustrious Vetri Building in Somerville, NJ), and Gaudin said there are plans to expand AirPnP to overcrowded events like summer music festivals, but Mardi Gras presents the app its first true test. So naturally, we at The Wire decided to rank the current listings on AirPnP in New Orleans. This is service journalism at its finest.
The Evangeline Bar wins for simplicity. $5 gets you unlimited number one access to the toilet all day, and the bar is conveniently located right on St. Charles Ave. It's unclear whether or not the unlimited access includes number two, but if you're that desperate to defecate, we figure you're probably not fiddling around with an app. It is also "clean." That's probably clean-for-a-bar-bathroom clean, but were you expecting to pee like a king?
Wait, now that you mention it ...
Celebrity name-dropping! Surge pricing! The bathroom at the Pontchartrain Hotel is the luxury AirPnP listing. This is probably the classiest bathroom you're going to find on AirPnP during Mardi Gras, so paying $20 for all day access might be worth it to you. AirPnP user "Ipee Freely" (do you get it?) wrote that using the Pontchartrain restroom was "like an orgasm." Frankly, peeing anywhere Nic Cage has peed is a very tempting proposition, but the Pontchartrain comes up just short of first place because surge pricing a bathroom is a dick move.
Yes, they're port-a-potties. But it's for the children. The listing also boats a bevy of five star reviews – allegedly, there is food nearby. And, as the school points out, it's better than peeing on the street and facing the wrath of the law.
With a bit of digging, it turns out that Jason Williams is a lawyer in New Orleans running for City Councilor. We can't tell if using AirPnP for campaign advertising is genius or a tactic used only by someone desperate for votes. Regardless, it would appear that Williams is offering his firm's toilet free-of-charge. You can't beat that.
No frills in this listing. This "paradise" offers a simple toilet and a nice view. Plus, the renter seems like a quality dude: he uses expressions like "saunter" and "unleash your bowels." We're not sure what "hippie toilet paper" is, so that might be a bit of a risk, but hey, he lets you use the mirror. The $3 fee per use is a bit steep, but at least you can pay through Venmo, right? And if you're asking "What kind of person uses Venmo?", the answer is "The same kind of person who uses a stranger's bathroom they found using an internet app."
Sure, the art is nice, but look at the prices. $5 to pee? One time? Is there gold dust in the liquid soap? The promise that "sometimes my kitty likes to stick his paw under the door" is either tantalizing or terrifying, and the "Charmin Ultra Soft" toilet paper is a pleasant bonus, but probably still not worth the money. This is the listing for people looking for a bathroom experience. If you just want to take care of business, look elsewhere.
If you look past the fact that the listing uses a stock photo, this is actually not too bad of a setup. It's seemingly free, and you get to relieve yourself in a Church. Why not?
This is probably the scariest listing on AirPnP. There's no picture, it's an invitation to pee "with" someone, and the only thing the lister asks is that you share it on social media. Only the most desperate bathroom seekers should inquire. Proceed with caution.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.