Travel

Spirit is still a no-frills airlines that charges extra for everything. But it's trying to perceive how customers perceive it. Spirit AirlinesSkift Take: Focusing on reliability and customer satisfaction is the right move for Spirit, provided it can do it without increasing costs significantly. The airline's brand is not in strong shape, and it needs to be rehabilitated. — Brian SumersUntil recently, few airlines seemed to care so little about satisfying customers as Spirit Airlines. I...
Royal Caribbean Cruises said business in Asia has been struggling due to tensions between China and Korea. In this photo, Ovation of the Seas — one of the Royal Caribbean International ships that sails from China — is shown in Singapore. Royal Caribbean InternationalSkift Take: As cruise executives often say, having ships all over the world means some areas boom while others struggle. At the moment, China-Korea tensions are hurting Royal Caribbean's business in Asia, but other regions...
An Air Berlin aircraft. The carrier has reported increased losses. Andreas Wiese / Air BerlinSkift Take: For the moment shareholder Etihad is sticking by the struggling carrier. It will be hoping that Air Berlin can turn things around and not go the same way as Alitalia. — Patrick WhyteEtihad Airways PJSC plans to stand by Air Berlin Plc even after its German partner reported soaring operating losses as a strategic overhaul struggled to gain traction. Germany’s second-largest carrier is sh...
Airbnb and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing have signed a voluntary agreement to work toward curb racial discrimination on the Airbnb platform. Airbnb Skift Take: Whatever can be done to prevent discrimination and bias on the Airbnb platform is a good thing. Let's just hope this plan works toward that goal. — Deanna TingNearly a year after a California government agency filed a complaint alleging that Airbnb failed to prevent discrimination against African-Americ...
Las Vegas has rebounded following a shift away from generating gambling revenue. The Las Vegas strip is pictured here. Thomas Hawk / FlickrSkift Take: With gambling revenue in steady decline, meetings and events have become extremely important for Las Vegas resorts. — Andrew SheivachmanAfter the recession hit, companies and tourists shunned the country’s largest gambling hub. Now Las Vegas is on a winning streak. MGM Resorts International’s stock surged to a eight-year high Thursday after...
Tourists mill outside New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has offered free admission for over a century. Steven Pisano / FlickrSkift Take: Tourists like transparency. They markedly do not like paying $100 to get their family into The Met, only to discover later that they could have paid nothing. Then again, MoMA charges a mandatory $25 and its galleries are packed, so maybe fees don't turn people off as much as we think. — Sarah EnelowThe Metropolitan Museum of New York and the ...
Stronger compensation for bumped flyers on United Airlines is good for travelers, but it's likely no one will ever receive $10,000. United's Economy Plus seats are pictured here. United AirlinesSkift Take: The optics of United Airlines' revamped overbooking procedure are solid, but travelers shouldn't expect to ever receive such a big payout for giving up their seat. — Andrew SheivachmanThe world was horrified to watch a bloodied United passenger dragged off a jet in Chicago earlier...
Airbnb is launching a new search tool for finding its listings that it believes are appropriate for business travelers. Airbnb Skift Take: Why hasn't Airbnb rolled this out sooner? — Deanna TingSince debuting in 2008, Airbnb Inc. has marketed itself to adventurous vacationers looking for unique and cheap accommodations. Next week, the San Francisco-based travel upstart will get a bit more buttoned up. Airbnb plans to introduce a search tool on Monday designed for business travelers. The f...
For all the talk about its importance, mobile purchases remains a key pain point for many travel brands. Here's an image of the hotel and lodging website for Maven Hotel that was a 2017 IAC Award winner for HeBS Digital, a marketing shop. HeBS DigitalSkift Take: Many companies — especially in the hotel sector — aren't doing enough to encourage mobile purchases. — Jeremy KressmannWelcome back to the final edition of Skift’s “Digital Marketing News This Week” roundup....
Skift Take: It appears that the mystery buyer is a brand holding company that may not be focused on travel. If so: What a lost opportunity. — Sean O'NeillGains from the sale of the Fly.com domain name improved net income for travel deals publisher Travelzoo in the first quarter of 2017. The sale price of the domain was not specifically revealed. But Travelzoo executives disclosed today that, in the first months of this year, it received $2.89 million in cash proceeds from the sale of the Fly.c...
This week’s featured link: Lufthansa says not interested in taking over Alitalia – Financial Express The worst airline ever continues to live up to its name. Just about to run out of cash, the airline turned to its unions to agree to a plan that would include big cuts. The unions said no. So now Alitalia will go into reorganization once again. What’s going to happen? Well, apparently they’re going to sell the airline to the highest bidder. Lufthansa, one of the like...
After United's embarrassing April 9 incident in Chicago, Emirates created an ad mocking United. Now, United has canceled its interline agreement with Emirates and four other carriers. EmiratesSkift Take: Some of the airlines covered here come as a surprise, but it makes sense that United no longer wants to play nice with Qatar Airways and Emirates Airline. The good news? The changes won't affect many travelers. — Brian SumersUnited Airlines is canceling basic cooperation agreements with ...
From left is Gerald Lawless, chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council, and Olivier Jager, CEO and co-founder of ForwardKeys. SkiftSkift Take: Tune in to our first backstage podcast from Skift Forum Europe for insight on how the world is changing for travel — and how the industry is responding. — Hannah SampsonVolatility in the world — and the way the travel industry deals with it — was one of the big themes recently at the first ever Skift Forum Europe in London. Terror attacks,...
Skift Take: How does the essence of a restaurant persist over time? This week's New York Times review of 32-year-old Union Square Cafe's new location explains how to successfully preserve a classic. — Kristen HawleyEditor’s Note: In September we announced that Skift was expanding into food and drink with the addition of the Chefs+Tech weekly newsletter. We see this as a natural expansion of the Skift umbrella, bringing the big picture view on the future of dining out, being fa...
The Esplorio team has joined the IAG-backed accelerator, Hangar 51. The team includes Tim Fernando (CEO), Essa Saulat (CMO), and Sean Pham (CTO). Hangar 51Skift Take: International Airlines Group (owner of British Airways and Iberia) has invested in a couple of travel startups, while Paris-based RoomChecking makes a striking debut as a next-gen hotel operations startup — plus more news. — Sean O'NeillEach week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. The...
The Charmant Hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Aparium Hotel GroupSkift Take: Our New Luxury newsletter gives you unique insight into the changing world of high-end travel. — Jason Clampet The Skift New Luxury newsletter is our weekly newsletter focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector. We’ll keep in mind the needs of the specialist travel agents who sell...
The non-profit Freddie Awards are named after the late Sir Freddie Laker, who attracted fame (and a knighthood in the United Kingdom) for pioneering low-cost air travel across the Atlantic in the 1970s. Freddie AwardsSkift Take: Can 4.2 million flyers be wrong? Well, none of them have yet lost status in a U.S. airline program because of recent changes. So maybe some don't realize what's coming. — Sean O'NeillSkift doesn’t usually write about travel industry awards because there...
The Queens Night Market in New York City's Corona, Queens, neighborhood, with people waiting on line at Burmese Bites and other food vendor tents. The market showcases about 50 food vendors, many of them immigrants selling examples of cuisine from their home countries, and is modeled on traditional night markets found in Asia. Similar night markets are popping up in other cities around the U.S. Beth J. Harpaz / Associated PressSkift Take: Good food, day or night, is always a welcome draw wheth...
Expedia is looking to Trivago to spur more international growth. Trivago employees hail from more than 50 countries and pictured is a group of them on December 16, 2016. TrivagoSkift Take: Expedia isn't overlooking its core online travel agency brands such as Expedia.com and Hotels.com, but Trivago and HomeAway are clearly rising stars. Trivago hardly ever saw a TV commercial it didn't like but increased profits in Q1, and HomeAway is in the midst of a multi-year digital-booking transi...
Lyft is growing faster than expected, but isn't profitable yet. Lyft co-founders John Zimmer, left, and Logan Green speaking in 2013. JD Lasica / FlickrSkift Take: Lyft's growth shows that Uber still hasn't locked up the U.S. ridesharing market. The #DeleteUber backlash has certainly contributed to Lyft's gains. — Andrew SheivachmanLyft Inc.’s bookings and ridership surged in the first quarter, suggesting the company benefited from user defections and management turmoil ...
In this Thursday, June 2, 2016 photo, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz delivers remarks in New York. United Airlines has settled with David Dao, a physician who was dragged off a United flight on April 9, 2017. Richard Drew / Associated PressSkift Take: Was the settlement for $6 million? Perhaps $10 million? We don't know but whatever it was it would be spare change for United if it can manage to get the horrific publicity behind it. — Dennis SchaalA Kentucky doctor who was dragged off a ...
Southwest plans to stop overbooking its flights, as soon as May. Southwest AirlinesSkift Take: Overbooking has gotten a lot of attention in the past three weeks, but, most of the time, it's not a big deal. Airlines know passengers won't show up, so they sell a few more tickets than they have seats. What's the harm in that? Airlines might want to reduce the number of extra seats they sell, but they don't need to retire the practice. — Brian SumersSouthwest Airlines will no...
Online international bookings on flights to the U.S. have largely decreased in early 2017. Tourists in Chicago's Millenium Park mill around in this photo. erin m / FlickrSkift Take: While the growth in summer online travel spending will decline in the U.S. this year compared to 2016, it's not all doom and gloom for the U.S. travel industry. — Andrew SheivachmanHeaded into 2017, many in the U.S. travel industry expected another banner year of growth. Geopolitical events and economic reali...
Flight attendants and pilots at American Airlines had their hourly pay rise unilaterally in the middle of their contracts so wages would remain competitive with other airlines. Pictured is American CEO Doug Parker. Tony Gutierrez / Associated PressSkift Take: American Airlines CEO Doug Parker is playing the long game. Surprise pay hikes for pilots and flight attendants will cost roughly $350 million in 2018 and 2019. But if airlines truly want to avoid more customer service-related...
A Hilton hotel in Richmond, Va. The brand is making it easier for some loyalty members to share points within a limited circle. Steve Helber / Associated PressSkift Take: Hilton's Honors Loyalty program just got bit more powerful with new functionality that allows for pooling of points among parties of 11. — Grant MartinHilton, which overhauled its Honors Loyalty Program earlier this year, launched a new tool for members to share points this week. Called Points Pooling, the program al...
Passengers wait for information at a Lufthansa counter at the airport in Munich, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Travel management companies are trying to push innovation and improve business travel. Matthias Schrader / Associated PressSkift Take: Travel managers and buyers are looking for fresh solutions to improve quality of life for their travelers. New services are allowing them to do just that. — Andrew SheivachmanThe Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our weekly newsletter fo...
Asia has Open Skies agreements but they are not as liberal as in Europe, said Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group. Fernandes (left) is pictured with World Travel & Tourism Council CEO David Scowsill during a press conference in Bangkok on April 27, 2017. Dan Peltier / SkiftSkift Take: The low-cost, long haul model will come to Asia, says AirAsia's Tony Fernandes, if customers are willing to pay for it. Fernandes isn't shy about saying he's jealous about some of the moves Nor...
Soon after Dr David Dao was dragged off United Express flight 3411, the airline said it would be doing a full review of its policies and procedures and release a plan of action by April 30. Apparently nobody checked to see that April 30 was a Sunday this year, so it’s out early and in time for the news cycle to catch it. It’s a 10-point plan, though not all seem to be related to this one incident. Some are entirely expected, but some are surprising in that I can’t believe the...
Facebook is hoping to attract more airline advertisers with its newest product, Dynamic Ads for Travel for flights, which is geared toward mobile users. Pictured here are images from Cathay Pacific's Dynamic Ads for Travel. FacebookSkift Take: The bigger question here is this: Should airlines and their travel peers be investing more in social versus search? — Deanna TingJust as it did last May, Facebook is rolling out new Dynamic Ads for Travel on its platform as well as on its Instagram b...
Alaska Airlines is switching to a smaller plane, the Embraer E175, on some flights from Dallas Love Field. The company has been reaching out to customers who may be upset. Alaska AirlinesSkift Take: Alaska Airlines has always taken customer experience more seriously than other carriers, but historically, that's been easier, since Alaska has been smaller than its competitors. It's good to see Alaska still placing a major emphasis on customer satisfaction after its Virgin American acqui...
China and Myanmar will experience strong business travel growth in the next decade. A mall in Shanghai is pictured here. hans-johnson / FlickrSkift Take: While emerging economies in Asia and Africa will see the greatest business travel increase over the next decade, according to WTTC forecasts, the U.S. and China will remain the largest global business travel markets. — Andrew SheivachmanDespite the current climate of uncertainty surrounding business travel, the World Travel & Tourism Cou...
Wyndham is relying on its popular loyalty program, Wyndham Rewards, to boost its other businesses, which include timeshares and vacation rentals. Wyndham Hotel Group Skift Take: Wyndham might not have 30 hotel brands like Marriott, but it does have the world's largest timeshare business and a pretty robust vacation rental business, too. Leveraging the power of all three of its businesses just makes us wonder: Why haven't they tried to do this before? — Deanna TingWyndham Worldwide&...
United Airlines is making several changes in how it responds to customer complaints. Good Morning AmericaSkift Take: This has been a rough two and a half weeks for United, which was clearly caught off guard by the fallout from this now-famous April 9 incident. It will be some time before the airline regains its footing, but perhaps this report is a step in the right direction. — Brian SumersUnited Airlines will not remove passengers already seated on an airplane unless safety or security is ...
Skift Take: Tourists plan entire trips around food with increasing frequency. This has changed the idea of a restaurant as travelers seek immersive dining experiences outside of the traditional seated dinner. — Kristen HawleyDining is quickly becoming the main attraction for global travelers, far beyond the notion of a typical restaurant. At Skift Forum Europe in April, Ben Liebmann, chief operating officer of Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant and Camille Rumani, co-founder and chief operating of...
InterContinental Hotels Group has joined TripAdvisor Instant Booking. Pictured, a woman uses her phone at the InterContinental San Juan in Puerto Rico. InterContinental HotelsSkift Take: TripAdvisor is getting more sophisticated about prodding customers to book hotels on TripAdvisor or to more effectively refer them to partner sites. In an apparently modified strategy, TripAdvisor is finding religion in being agnostic about where its users book hotels. — Dennis SchaalIs TripAdvisor, with its ...
Buttermilk Once you’re done making your pancakes or baked goods, don’t let that extra buttermilk go sour. Whip it into homemade ranch dressing that tastes way better than the bottled stuff, like this version from Five Heart Home. With a big salad on its way, you can feel good about whatever baked goods you bought the buttermilk for in the first place.
Shown is the Tornado slide at Six Flags America's Hurricane Harbor Water Park in Maryland. Six Flags Entertainment wants to acquire more water parks near existing theme parks. Scott Ableman / FlickrSkift Take: Six Flags Entertainment is continuing to look for ways to bring visitors to its parks without shelling out a ton of money on expensive new construction. We'll be interested to see how many existing water parks the company can bring into the fold — and how crowds will respond. — H...
President Donald Trump speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 25, 2017, during the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's National Days of Remembrance ceremony. Trump plans to review national monument designations this week. Carolyn Kaster / Associated PressSkift Take: National parks and monuments are excellent tourism drivers in the American West. Exposing them to development not only hurts leisure visitation and preservation efforts, but repels meetings and conventions as we...
Ride-hailing company Gett, whose app is pictured here, is buying rival Juno to put up a stronger fight against Uber. SkiftSkift Take: Rivals are joining forces as Uber continues to face bad press. Is the ride-hailing giant getting nervous yet? — Hannah SampsonTwo small ride-hailing companies are combining in an effort to slow the march of Uber Technologies Inc. around the globe. Tel Aviv-based Gett Inc. said it’s paying $200 million to acquire Juno, a New York startup that endeared itself t...
An Alitalia plane waits on the tarmac of the Malpensa international airport, in Milan, Italy. Antonio Calanni / Associated PressSkift Take: We hate to say it, but the financially troubled flagship airline needs to be sold or allowed to fail. It has been given plenty of chances since 2008, and now its labor unions have rejected a government-brokered deal for about $2 billion in fresh investment from Etihad. — Sean O'NeillItaly’s economic development minister says that failin...
The house on SW Fourth Ave. which a tenant was leasing and running as a hostel on Airbnb. Neighbors complained, Airbnb pulled the property from its website, the tenant was evicted and the property owner was slapped with a $63,000 tax fraud bill. Al Diaz / Miami Herald via Associated PressSkift Take: This is exactly why it's so difficult to enact regulations on short-term rentals that essentially, well, keep everyone happy. — Deanna TingJose Gonzalez was walking his two sons to his car...
Travelers' voices cannot be ignored, said Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson this week. Pictured is Sorenson speaking at the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in Bangkok on April 26. World Travel & Tourism Council / FlickrSkift Take: Skift Take: For an industry that's historically averse to conflict, Sorenson's advice may be hard to put into action. But the industry will be complacent at its own peril. — Dan PeltierMarriott International CEO Arne Sorenson hasn’t he...
Are you on your way to a destination in west Wyoming and have to make a stop en-route? We have a perfect layover recommendation. Wondering what’s a layover? Layovers are small stops in between destinations, if someone is travelling afar to many places. There comes a time, when the traveler wants to stop and regain the energy and re-boost themselves for more adventure and fun the very next day. Jackson Hole has a lot of places and the en-routes to layover for the night or for the day, to get ba...
The audience at C2 Montreal. the best speakers today are those who know how to engage with their audiences, and balance cultural sensitivity with interactivity. Arianne Bergeron / C2 MontrealSkift Take: This is not your grandfather's keynote. Choosing the right speaker to engage an audience is more complex than ever before. And that's a good thing. — Deanna TingThe days of booking a famous name to deliver a canned speech full of platitudes to a conference or meeting are long gone ...
People visit the Egypt stand during the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, April 24, 2017. Kamran Jebreili / Associated PressSkift Take: Problem is, nobody trusts Egyptian officials. And when it comes to the country's tourism industry trusting their motives is even more difficult. — Jason ClampetEgypt’s tourism levels are still around a third of what they once were and, despite security concerns, Egypt’s tourism minister on Monday insis...
Skift Take: Travel providers looking to target Chinese travelers need to pay attention to what they want out of a booking experience. — Jeremy VargasTravel providers have been clamoring for a piece of the surge in Chinese travel that’s taken place in recent years—and there’s good reason why. China’s travel market is soon set to become the world’s largest source of international travelers. By 2020, close to 190 million people will partake in outbound travel from China, projected to sp...
Asia-Pacific benefits most from Chinese tourism. Pictured are Chinese tourists waiting to board a sightseeing boat at a pier at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand. Athit Perawongmetha / ReutersSkift Take: China's neighbors stand to benefit most from hundreds of millions of Chinese tourists. But as the past few months have shown, Chinese demand can shift rapidly and drastically impact local tourism economies in the process. — Dan PeltierThe Asia-Pacific region claims 90 percent of the...
A cruise is one of the most cost-effective ways to travel the world. If you wish to set off on a cruise right away, you can find a last minute cruise deal to take you to your dream destination. Here are some of the best cruise options that you can consider: 1. Panama Canal It is this ship canal that connects the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. An engineering marvel, cruising over the canal is a great experience. 2. Aruba It is a beautiful Caribbean island that is definitely worth a visit. T...
From left: Cocktail master Derek Brown, Megan Nadolski, Marriott's Global Design Manager, and Marc Graser, Editorial Director, Marriott Global Creative + Content Marketing, recording the first episode of the Behind the Design podcast for Marriott Traveler. More hotels are now looking into launching podcasts to engage and connect with potential guests. Marriott International Skift Take: That podcasts are popular is undeniable. But will these hotel-produced and curated podcast playlists actually ...
An Allegiant Air jet on the ground in Ogden, Utah. Allegiant may enter the hotel business, according to one investment analyst. Jim Urquhart / ReutersSkift Take: Most airlines prefer to focus on their core business — transporting passengers. But Allegiant executives have always thought outside-the-box, and historically that has been good for investors. Perhaps the airline is considering a new way to increase revenues? — Brian SumersIs Allegiant Air planning to enter the hotel business? Tha...