Skift Take

In coronavirus-related travel stories this week, Skift covered a controversial surcharge, the uneven pace of a travel recovery, Expedia looking to pay off private equity investors, and United and Choice Hotels job cuts.

Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering the impact of coronavirus by connecting the dots across the travel industry. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.


What a New Surcharge From Singapore Airlines Could Mean for Other Carriers: It used to be just the European carriers that made bold statements like this against legacy distribution giants. Not anymore.

The Coming Apocalypse for U.S. Airline Labor: The travel recovery may be starting, but it may not be enough to save thousands of U.S. airline jobs. Unless Congress acts to extend payroll protections, mass layoffs could start on October 1.

Vacation Rental Brand Vrbo Emerges as Expedia Star With Pandemic-Era Bookings: Vrbo has been in the right place(s) at the right time, somewhat reversing a very challenged 2019. Is the changed trajectory a momentary blip in the throes of a pandemic, or will it be sustainable?

A Rare Travel Winner This Summer Weighs 10 Tons, Gets 18 Miles to the Gallon:
With international travel still difficult, and social distancing likely to continue for a while, RVs are an increasingly popular vacation option that allow travelers to go away but still feel the safety of home.

Choice Hotels Goes Deeper on U.S. Job Cuts Amid Longer Recovery Expectations: Choice Hotels’ permanent job cuts show even companies that rely more on the rapidly recovering drive-to, leisure travel segment aren’t immune to coronavirus’ negative business impact.

Expedia to Deliver Early Payday to Private Equity Investors: It’s no accident that Expedia Group disclosed improved booking trends on Monday, and then announced a senior notes offering to refinance the company’s private equity debt a day later. Hey, whether you are a homeowner or a giant online travel company, a good refinancing deal can be smart and hard to resist.

Is This the End of the Single Meeting Business Trip?:
Nothing says you care about a client like traveling a long way to see them. But post-Covid, a culmination of trends could force companies to think of new ways to make them feel special.

The Travel Sector Is Retooling Back-Office Payments in Response to the Crisis:
The travel sector’s slo-mo refund process has infuriated everyone. So the crisis is upending the dull business of how money is sent among travel companies, resellers, tech vendors, and financial institutions.

United Airlines Warns 36,000 Workers They Could Be Laid Off or Furloughed: Since March, United Airlines has been the first U.S. carrier to sound the alarm on almost every major issue facing the airline industry. That is also the case here. Look for other global network airlines to make similar announcements in the coming weeks.

Hopes Dashed for a Quick U.S. Airline Recovery Amid Coronavirus Spikes: The messaging about the U.S. airline recovery includes some, shall we say, irrational exuberance. Sure, some people will always want or need to fly. But many more want to manage their risk, and that’s hard to do when the United States can’t control a raging pandemic.

New Booking Data Shows Lopsided Global Recovery Frustrating Travel Outfits: You can’t really talk about a global recovery for the travel sector overall. Regions are out of sync, reveals new data from Travelport. Companies are affected differently, depending on their market exposure.

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Tags: airlines, business travel, coronavirus, online travel, roundups, travel recovery

Photo credit: Singapore Airlines is leveling a surcharge for certain bookings. 272828

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