Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at the devaluing of frequent flyer miles, Hyatt's new boost, and Vacasa next round of layoffs.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, May 10. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The U.S. government is investigating whether airlines have devalued frequent flyer miles, which would make booking reward tickets more difficult for customers, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra said at a hearing his agency has found some evidence of airlines and credit card companies devaluing points and miles. Chopra added the bureau found that airlines have sold inflated points to consumers while credit card issuers receive those same points at a lower price. 

The Department of Transportation announced last December it would investigate.  

Another issue is whether loyalty programs of the biggest U.S. airlines have grown so big that smaller carriers can’t compete. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledged that would represent a competition concern. Buttigieg said the agency had not reached any conclusions.

Next, Hyatt received a boost from a surge in business travel as well as its loyalty program and all-inclusive resorts, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

Hyatt executives said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call that they saw revenue from transient business travelers increase from last year. The company also registered a 22% increase in loyalty program members. In addition, O’Neill notes Hyatt’s 2021 move to buy Apple Leisure Group seems to be paying off as Hyatt saw bookings surge at its all-inclusive resorts. 

Finally, the CEO of vacation rental operator Vacasa has told employees the company would suffer another round of layoffs, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. 

CEO Rob Greyber sent a letter to staff stating Vacasa would experience a “significant restructuring” amid another difficult year for the vacation rental market. The letter didn’t say how many employees would be laid off. Schaal notes this is Vacasa’s fourth round of layoffs since Greyber took over as CEO in September 2022. 

Producer/Presenter: Jane Alexander

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Tags: hyatt, loyalty, skift podcast, vacasa

Photo credit: Planes flying while the sun sets. Pixabay from Pexels

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