How I got banned from the Airbnb Calendar API and how I recovered

May 17, 2016

I have developed an app called Milan Maison that – with other things – fetches user’s Airbnb calendars.

I just discovered – launching a simple rake on my remote server – the Airbnb Calendar API was giving me a 503 error (service unavailable).
So I tried accessing my calendar from the browser and all went nice and smooth. I also tried running the same command (open(url).read using open-uri) from a local machine and all went nice and smooth there too!
I thought “The game’s over…”. I also thought I could search the web for a solution and so I did.

This Q&A on StackOverflow solved the mistery.

It’s true, you can indeed get banned from APIs like Airbnb’s. But before you give up, try the righteous path, clearly state who you are and what you’re doing in the UserAgent (perhaps change it once in a while??) and provide contact information to give them a chance of a second thought.
I guess this works because the ban was likely to be on the UserAgent and not the IP address of my server…