Skift Take

In coronavirus-related travel stories this work, Skift covered the criticism of cruise line practices during the no-sail pause, Travelport's rescue deal, tips for hoteliers on how to treat their employees, and Airbnb's considerations about going public.

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.


Cruise Lines’ Booking Practices in a Pandemic Are ‘Astonishing’: CDC Official: Cruise lines have been selling tickets for cruises all spring and summer long, despite it now being quite clear they were not ready to safely resume sailing. What gives?

Travelport Strikes Deal With Creditors That For Now Could Save It From Bankruptcy: The existence of the deal, previously unreported, should reassure anyone about the travel tech company’s near-term stability.

Introducing the Skift Health Score: Assessing the Viability of 100 Public Travel Companies Each Month: How are the global travel companies weathering the once-in-a-century coronavirus storm and what are their prospects for recovery? The new Skift Health Score has the quantified answer through a well-vetted unique score. Dig in.

United and American Air CEOs Ask European Governments to Loosen Restrictions on Transatlantic Travel: This reeks of desperation. What the CEOs are suggesting likely would be a logistical nightmare. How about the United States gets Covid-19 under control, and then the governments can figure out a solution?

Airbnb Mulls Trendy, Non-Traditional Way to Take Itself Public: Special purpose acquisition company, direct listing or an initial public offering — Airbnb’s choice mostly matters to big-name investors and employees, past and present. But nothing is ever certain about a stock market listing — especially during a pandemic.

Coronavirus Crushed Online Travel Strategies: With many pet projects and strategic imperatives off the table, the name of the game in the travel business for now, and the next year or so, is survival — and momentum coming into a coronavirus recovery.

The Latest Corporate Travel Agency Invention? ‘The Journey Manager:’ This travel management on steroids approach could backfire with yet another new title that will certainly confuse legacy players. By underlining all the complexities of travel, corporate clients may start to question if it’s worth all the effort.

Pandemic Spurs American Airlines to Make Long-Needed Changes to Coastal Strategy in U.S.: When an airline makes billions of dollars in profits, it can afford to keep some unprofitable routes for strategic reasons. But not anymore.

A Pandemic Tip for Hotel Brands: Treat Your Workers the Way You Treat Guests: If your consumer-facing experience is cutting edge Mac, but your back end is a dusty PC, you have a problem. Now more than ever as workers return to the job, hospitality brands need to ensure that the experiences, both physical and digital, that employees have are as strong as the consumer experience.

United Execs Predict Airlines Will Only See Half the Demand Until a Vaccine Arrives: After revealing some rough earnings on Tuesday night, United is trying to weather the storm of the pandemic. But executives said it’s going to be hard — really hard until a vaccine is widely available.

IHG Bets on Ultra-Luxury Even in This Economy by Expanding Regent Hotels: IHG’s commitment to expand the Regent brand to as many as 50 properties globally signals that the ultra-luxury sector, despite a catastrophic loss of business during the pandemic, is still seen as a durable place to invest.

Online Family Travel Club Launched by Wall Street Journal Alums Unbowed by Pandemic: Two journalists have soft-launched a family travel brand called The Expedition. It feels very much born in this moment, given that it’s a subscription-based, indie social network.

The Last-Minute, On-Demand Business Trip Finds New Acceptance in Corp Travel: Don’t be surprised to see some travel managers throw cost out of the window when safety, connectivity, and flexibility take center stage.


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Tags: airlines, coronavirus, hotels, online travel

Photo credit: Sunset over the Pacific as seen on the Nieuw Amsterdam on October 2, 2018. Cruise lines have been criticized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for their lack of preparation of crew and passenger safety during the sailing pause. Doug /

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