Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at airline passenger complaints, Dubai’s ascendency, and Indian tourists’ interest in African nations.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, December 15. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Major U.S. airlines have made improvements this year on cancellation rates. However, the industry has seen an enormous increase in passenger complaints, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

Consumer complaints against airlines in the first five months of 2023 topped 2022 levels during the same timeframe, according to a report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, with data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Maharishi notes the DOT received so many complaints it had to delay the release of the data. U.S. travelers made more than 38,000 complaints, according to the report

Roughly 35% of consumer complaints pertained to flight issues, whether they be cancellations, delays or missed connections. 

Next, Middle East Reporter Josh Corder takes a look at Dubai, host of the Skift Global Forum East conference. The city has completed its journey from a “dot in the desert” to a global hub, believes one local tourism executive.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism, said at the Forum on Thursday the city’s expat residents are truly global citizens. Kazim attributed Dubai’s growth to the city’s entrepreneurial spirit. He also expressed optimism that Dubai will see further tourism growth, noting it views 2023 as its tourism benchmark.

The CEO acknowledged that staffing remains an issue after many hotels and airlines downsized during the pandemic. 

Finally, destinations throughout Africa are ramping up their efforts to lure travelers from India, the world’s largest outbound travel market, writes Reporter Harriet Akinyi. 

Akinyi reports Kenya in particular is heavily targeting Indian travelers. Kenya attracted the most Indian visitors among all African countries in the first eight months of 2013. The Kenya Tourism Board recently welcomed more than 150 Indian tour operators for a conference that one Kenyan official said would help drum up interest in the country.  

Akinyi also cited South Africa, Rwanda and Uganda — among others — as African nations increasing their efforts to welcome Indian visitors. South Africa’s Tourism Minister has called for visa requirements for Indian — as well as Chinese — nationals to be eased or eliminated. 

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Tags: africa, consumers, dot, dubai, kenya, skift podcast

Photo credit: A Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Dallas Love Field airport. Edward Russell / Skift

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