In Skift's top stories this week, Hawaiian Airlines is changing its distribution strategy, Sonder has a disappointing stock market debut, and Hilton unveils its plan to address the labor shortage in the hotel industry.
Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including on the impact of coronavirus. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.
Hawaiian Airlines Surprises With Breakaway Distribution Strategy: For years, a handful of large airline groups outside of the U.S. have slapped surcharges on airfare sold via legacy technology. Hawaiian is the first U.S.-based airline to add distribution surcharges.
Sonder Underwhelms in Public Debut: Sonder’s delayed stock market debut came to be, finally. Now with a $310 million injection of proceeds from private investors, and tapping into a $165 million credit line, the company can go about its business trying to build the next household name hospitality brand.
Hilton’s Latest Employee Benefit Leans Into the Labor Shortage Crisis: Hotels are struggling to hire workers, and analysts think a lot of the recruiting issues have to do with lower pay and unclear career advancement opportunities. Hilton’s new partnership can tackle both issues — if it gets enough employee participation.
Destination Canada’s Unique Status-Match Promotion With Air Canada Shows Promise: Destination Canada broke new ground by helping to pay for many U.S. elite status flyers to get matching status on Air Canada. The promotion was a noteworthy example of a destination marketing organization working with a travel tech company to target high-value customers.
Regional Pilot Shortage Slows the U.S. Airline Recovery: Airlines may be waving goodbye to the Omicron variant but they are just beginning to feel the fallout from the pandemic. U.S. carriers face a worsening shortage of pilots to fly small, regional jets, which is hampering their recovery and sending more travelers into the hands of budget competitors.
Cruise-Dependent Travel Agents Seek Alternatives After Another CDC Warning: Travel agents should’ve been expecting a development would arise making the sale of cruises difficult since the cruise industry has been so volatile since the start of the pandemic. It’s clear to many agents now to find ways to be less dependent o: n booking cruises.
2022 Travel Rebound Won’t Begin Until the Fall: New UN Tourism Data: Some tempered optimism and a reality check from the UNWTO, on the impact of Omicron and vaccine inequity on travel’s rebound.
Too Early to Tell if Pfizer Job Cuts Tied to More Virtual Meetings Will Be a Trend: The vaccine maker’s decision to axe client-facing sales roles, and increase the number of virtual meetings it has with customers, shouldn’t ring alarm bells among the travel industry just yet.
Airbnb’s Newest Influencer Is …. CEO Brian Chesky: Airbnb has been a savvy public relations practitioner throughout the years, and the volume of press releases the company churns out annually is legion. Brian Chesky’s yearlong digital nomad stint aligns with the company’s brand narrative and marketing strategy.
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Photo credit: In addition to changing its distribution strategy, Hawaiian Airlines is the first U.S.-based carrier to add distribution surcharges. Tomás Del Coro / Flickr