This week’s podcast looks closer at three of this year’s more challenging Megatrends: fees, supplies, and climate.
Compelling discussions with travel industry leaders and creatives who are helping to shape the future of travel.
On our second episode exploring Skift’s Megatrends for 2024, Skift Editor-in-Chief Sarah Kopit is joined by Managing Editor Lex Harris, Airlines Editor and Reporter Gordon Smith, and Airline Weekly Senior Analyst Jay Shabat, to discuss our three most “problematic” Megatrends. They cover: the current uproar over Junk Fees, the continuing supply chain issues faced by the aviation sector, and the impacts of the burgeoning climate crisis on the business of travel.
Host: Sarah Kopit
Guests: Lex Harris, Gordon Smith, and Jay Shabat
Producer: Jose Marmolejos
Lex Harris discusses the megatrend on junk fees, highlighting how these hidden charges impede the free market by obscuring true costs, thus preventing informed consumer decisions. The conversation references President Biden’s stance on junk fees and how recent actions, including FTC regulations and California’s new law, indicate a shift from discussion to action. The impact of junk fees on hotel pricing transparency and the potential effects on short-term rentals are also explored.
Gordon Smith and Jay Shabbat tackle the supply chain nightmares haunting airlines. They note that while some issues like pilot shortages have improved, new problems persist, such as the Boeing Max 9’s temporary grounding. Interestingly, these supply constraints have paradoxically benefited airlines by driving up prices due to reduced seat availability. The conversation covers how supply chain issues impact everything from new aircraft deliveries to maintenance of older planes.
The discussion on climate change’s effect on travel highlights the limited role of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), which currently make up a tiny fraction of airlines’ fuel needs. Despite being a promising solution, SAFs face challenges in cost and availability. The podcast also touches on the potential for new technologies and the importance of various sectors, including startups and larger firms, working together to address climate-related challenges in aviation.
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Photo credit: A fan of a Rolls-Royce engine on an Airbus A350-800. Adobe