Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Southwest's reactions to activist funds, the proof in the pudding for hotel wellness, and California's new cruise fee mandates.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, June 13, 2024. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Activist fund Elliott Investment Management has called for a major shakeup at the top of Southwest Airlines after recently taking a $2 billion stake in the carrier. However, Southwest CEO Bob Jordan has no plans to resign, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi.  

Jordan said at a Politico event on Wednesday that he would consider Elliott’s feedback, adding that Southwest is ready to adapt its business model. Maharishi reports Elliott has been calling for Jordan and Chairman Gary Kelly to step down due to Southwest’s recent struggles. The carrier has yet to turn a profit this year. 

Next, hotel companies’ investments in wellness have grown enormously in recent years. Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill takes a look at emerging trends in hotel wellness.

A report from consulting firm RLA Global revealed hotels with wellness offerings saw healthy growth in 2023. So-called upper upscale hotels performed best in wellness last year compared to luxury and upscale segments. In addition, a report from investment bank Truist found that spa treatment revenue per occupied room was up at least 30% relative to 2019 levels. 

Finally, cruise lines are expected to disclose all mandatory fees and taxes to U.S. consumers starting July 1 to comply with California’s junk fee law, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill last October banning junk fees. The law applies to all businesses with offices or customers in the Golden State. Consumers can sue companies allegedly breaking the law for at least $1,000 in damages. 

Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line all plan to meet the requirements of the new law. Habtemariam reports total prices won’t change — only the advertised prices shown upfront on cruise company channels will. 

Producer/Presenter: Jane Alexander

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Tags: california, cruise lines, skift daily briefing, skift podcast, southwest, southwest airlines, wellness

Photo credit: Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines President and CEO, speaking on stage at Skift Aviation Forum in Fort Worth, TX, November 2023. Skift

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