Good morning from Skift. It's Thursday, June 9, in New York City. Here's what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.
Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast discusses the possible pilot shortage in the United States, Denver’s emergence as a travel tech hub, and LGBTQ-friendly travel certification programs.
The CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have all acknowledged their regional affiliates are struggling to hire pilots. However, the biggest pilot union in the U.S. believes there’s no pilot shortage amidst a wave of curtailed flight schedules, reports Contributor Ted Reed.
Air Line Pilots Association President Joe DePete said earlier this week that the U.S. is producing a record number of pilots, with the organization citing figures from the Federal Aviation Administration that it believes indicate a surplus of available pilots. ALPA added that training backlogs were driving major airlines, including American and Southwest Airlines, to significantly reduce their summer schedules.
However, Regional Airline Association CEO Faye Malarkey Black refuted DePete’s statements, arguing that the pilot shortage is real. American CEO Robert Isom said earlier this month that the carrier has grounded 100 regional jets at its American Eagle affiliates due to a lack of pilots.
We head to Denver next. The Mile High City is rapidly becoming home to a cluster of travel technology companies, especially those focused on short-term rental properties, writes Travel Tech Reporter Tim Mullaney in this week’s Travel Tech Briefing.
Justin Miller, the CEO of a startup named Showcase, is one entrepreneur attracted to the city that his company views as a travel technology hub. Miller, who had been based in San Francisco, said being in Denver provides Showcase access to industry brainpower to partner with and share best practices. He added the presence of short-term rental companies in Colorado’s capital is a boon for Showcase, which helps short-rental owners prepare their properties to be rented.
Finally, more travel companies are developing or growing certified LGBTQ-friendly hotel programs to appeal to consumers in the lucrative market. However, such certifications often aren’t necessary for LGBTQ travelers, reports Editorial Assistant Rashaad Jorden.
Darren Burn, the CEO of tour operator Out of Office, believes that hotels need more a certain certification to show they’re friendly to LGBTQ visitors. He said hotels can only earn that accolade if they can successfully demonstrate that all LGBTQ guests felt welcome there, which would result in positive word of mouth for those companies. Close to 70 percent of LGBTQ travelers have said they tend to stay at hotels they consider welcoming.
However, hospitality provider Sonders and Beach views official certification as a way to help LGBTQ travelers find friendly accommodation. It partnered with international certification body RINA to launch the QueerVadis program, which identifies and certifies hotels vowing to guarantee a safe environment for those in the community. Companies must pass a 60-point bar to obtain certification, as Sonders and Beach co-founder and CEO Alessio Virgili said that earning the label of LGBTQ friendly should require more than signing a code of ethics or holding an online webinar.
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