Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Monday, May 2, in New York City. Here's what you need to know about the business of travel today.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast discusses Airbnb’s new very flexible work policy, the food trucks that can make events and meetings safer, and United Airlines’ push to increase access for a new generation of pilots.

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Episode Notes

Airbnb announced last week that it’s permanently extending its work-from-anywhere policy, which its UK general manager Amanda Cupples indicated it would at Skift Forum Europe in March. That decision has Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons wondering what other companies will follow in Airbnb’s footsteps.

While prominent travel corporations have touted work-from-anywhere messages in their marketing over the past two years, few of them have publicly committed to going fully remote. Booking Holdings is one of the companies that hasn’t made the leap, with CEO Glenn Fogel acknowledging last year at Skift Global Forum that it was in no rush to offer its employees permanent remote work.

But with the lines between work and home continuing to blur, Parsons writes that Airbnb’s decision should drive other travel companies to adopt a fully remote workplace. He adds that corporations like Airbnb that are selling the dream of remote work to consumers worldwide need to live by their words.

Next, becoming a pilot has long been considered largely unattainable for many people of color and women, with those in the profession typically having a military or legacy connection to such a career. But a flight school launched by United Airlines last year is making significant strides in creating diverse groups of new pilots, writes Contributor Mary Ann Ha.

United said upon creating the United Aviate Academy, the first ever started by a major U.S. airline, it aimed to make the profession more accessible for communities typically underrepresented in the cockpit. The carrier has enjoyed success in that regard, with 80 percent of the academy’s first class last year being women or people of color. That figure is 30 percentage points higher than what United committed to upon its launch, and it’s essentially remained the same despite the academy adding more students. United has worked with groups including the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and Sisters of the Skies to help identify qualified candidates.

United spokesman Charles Hobart said he hopes the academy will help the carrier fill its pilot shortage, an issue CEO Scott Kirby said last month is plaguing the company. The airline aims to hire 10,000 pilots in the next 10 years, half of whom will be trained at the academy.

Finally, events industry executives believe they’ve found a safe choice for food and beverage as in-person events resume. What is it? Food trucks, reports Lisa Jade Hutchins, a writer for EventMB, a Skift brand.

Professional food trucks feature food handlers using personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves. They’ve seen a surge in demand due to the return of in-person events, with organizers viewing them as the safest catering option for large groups. Melissa Burdette, the senior director of events at Meeting Professionals International, said one reason food trucks are considered safe is because they involve less handling of food items and serving utensils compared to a traditional buffet.

Tags: airbnb, labor, meetings, meetingsiq, skift podcast, united airlines