Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Online Travel

Kayak and OpenTable Laid Off 80 Employees

2 months ago

Kayak and OpenTable, two Booking Holdings brands, laid off 80 employees, Skift has learned.

A screen grab from Kayak’s Sorry, Winston commercial. Source: Kayak

A spokesperson said that was less than 5% of their workforce.

“Like many other companies, we needed to make some difficult staffing changes as we sharpen our priorities,” the spokesperson said. “We continue to have ambitious plans for our meta brands and are doubling down on our core product focus.”

The employees affected were in the brands’ travel and shared services teams, the company said.

Kayak has several metasearch, or comparison shopping, brands, including Kayak, Momondo and Hotelscombined, among others. OpenTable is Bookings’ dining reservations platform.

Short-Term Rentals

Evolve Lays Off 14 Percent of Its Staff

6 months ago

Vacation rental property manager Evolve is laying off 14 percent of its staff — or 164 employees.

In a memo to employees, Evolve’s chief executive officer Brian Egan wrote “We are operating in a market that has become increasingly dynamic and volatile. Specifically, marketwide supply growth has considerably outpaced demand growth, which has led to average daily rates, bookings, and revenue per property coming in below our expectations,” he said. 

“This means we will be supporting fewer customers, and will generate less revenue than we planned heading into this year. As a result, we need to reduce the size of our team to align our organization and overall expense structure to this new market context.” The story was first reported by Short Term Rentalz.

Property manager Evolve’s office, as seen in 2017. Evolve

The Denver-based company announced a $100 million capital raise last February — Durable Capital Partners led the round. Evolve manages more than 30,000 vacation rentals, and it has raised $235 million. Evolve’s ​​basic plan charges a 10 percent commission and doesn’t include housekeeping or maintenance but does include all aspects of driving rental income as an on-ramp to marketing a property on major channels like Airbnb,, and Vrbo. Services include shooting professional photos, creating a listing, offering advice on rate-setting, and handling guest interactions.

Following the raise, in August, Evolve signed a contract with Hopper to add 24,000 homes to Hopper’s app. At the time Eric Schueller, Evolve’s senior vice president of revenue said his company seeks to get incremental bookings from Generation Z guests through the Hopper partnership, and not just shift bookings to Hopper from other distribution partners. Hopper’s guests skew younger than Evolve’s core customers, he added.


American Airlines Begins Layoffs in Corporate Travel Department

9 months ago

American Airlines’ restructuring of its global sales team will involve the departure of three experienced senior leaders, Skift has learned.

The reorganization impacts its U.S operations and includes a number of layoffs. Other global regions are set to follow, with the cuts coming just weeks ahead of its move to shift more of its airfares to direct retail channels, including its own website.

“… I want to let you know that we are going to be a more streamlined sales team going forward, doing much more focused and deliberate work in areas where customers need us, and operating with greater efficiency and effectiveness,” wrote Thomas Rajan, vice president of global sales, in an internal memo viewed by Skift.

According to the communication, three leaders will “transition out of their roles” due to the new structure. They are Michael Albers, interim managing director, central and southwest divisions and Canada; Louis de Joux, managing director, leisure and OTA; and Shane Hodges, managing director, sales Western division and Asia Pacific.

Jim Carter, the airline’s managing director of the Eastern Division, announced his retirement last week. In January this year, American Airlines announced chief customer officer Alison Taylor was retiring.

The memo said the airline would look at the “subsequent layers of the domestic sales organization to align with our new world of work and structure.”

Rajan wrote: “To be upfront with you, that will mean reductions across the team.” Regions including Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa, will also be affected.

“We’re continuously evaluating how best to serve our customers’ evolving preferences. For example, a big portion of them have shown us they want to interact directly with American. Others have needs to interact with us through intermediaries,” the memo, which was dated Feb. 16, added.

American Airlines told Skift that it emailed its corporate partners on Feb. 16,  announcing it was reorganizing its North American-based sales team “to give us the ability to more quickly adapt to this evolving marketplace. This structure also allows us to deliver simpler solutions to intermediaries as well as provide a heightened focus for our customers’ entire travel ecosystem.”

Its email added: “As a result of these changes, we’re also evaluating our account management structure and will have more information to share in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please continue to partner with your dedicated account manager.”

Short-Term Rentals

Airbnb Trims Recruiting Staff by 30 Percent

9 months ago

Airbnb reduced its recruiting staff by 30 percent — affecting perhaps a couple of dozen jobs — even as the company plans on increasing its overall workforce in 2023.

A spokesperson told Bloomberg that the layoffs came this week to align the size of Airbnb’s recruiting staff with the scale of projected hiring this year.

The firings impacted 0.4 percent of Airbnb’s roughly 6,800 workers, meaning there were roughly 27 job cuts.

In 2023, Airbnb expects to pump up its workforce 2 to 4 percent, compared with an 11 percent jump in 2022, according to Bloomberg.

Airbnb lopped off 25 percent of its workforce in early 2020 as the pandemic briefly shut down the vast majority of its business.

Under different circumstances, property manager Sonder announced this week it laid off 14 percent of its corporate staff, a move that reflect the uncertain state of the company, the company said.


Oyo Hits Reorg Button: Lays Off 600 Employees Across Tech and Product

1 year ago

Oyo, in preparation for its upcoming IPO in 2023, is doing a major reorg of its organizational structure and cost base. It has announced it is letting go of 600 employees out of a total of about 3700, mostly in its product and tech teams. From the company:

“Oyo is downsizing its product and engineering, corporate headquarters and the Oyo vacation homes teams, while it adds people to the partner relationship management and the business development teams. Oyo will downsize 10% of its 3700-employee base, which includes fresh hiring of 250 members and letting go of 600 employees…The downsizing in tech is also happening in teams which were developing pilots and proof of concepts such as in-app gaming, social content curation and patron-facilitated content. Additionally, members of projects which have now been successfully developed and deployed such as ‘Partner SaaS’ are being either let go or are being redeployed in core product & tech areas such as AI-driven pricing, ordering and payments.”

Exterior of an Oyo Hotel in London
Exterior of the Oyo Sino Hotel in the Shepherds Bush neighborhood of London.

OYO, as a part of its integration of various functions of its European vacation homes business progresses, is downsizing in some parts of the business to increase efficiency and harness synergies, the statement added. The startup has also reassessed its corporate headquarter base and is merging roles and flattening team structures.

Tags: india, ipo, layoffs, oyo

Short-Term Rentals

Property Manager AvantStay Lays Off 22 Percent of Workforce in Second Round of Cuts

1 year ago

In a second round of cuts since mid-year, property manager AvantStay laid off 144 staffers, about 22 percent of its workforce, according to a published report from Short Term Rentalz.

avantstay property in high tide charleston nc source avantstay
An Avantstay property in Isle of Palms by Charleston, South Carolina. Source: AvantStay.

This followed the Los Angeles-based vacation rental firm eliminating some 43 jobs around June 1.

In a letter to employees, AvantStay spun the latest round of layoffs as an issue of over-hiring and too rosy a forecast rather than slackened demand or any other underlying problems at the company.

However, at least one rival, public company Vacasa, reported softening demand for vacation rentals that began in the third quarter, which ended September 30.

AvantStay representatives didn’t respond to a Skift request for comment Wednesday.

Short-Term Rentals

AvantStay Says It Conducted 43 ‘Job Reductions’ in the Past 30 Days

1 year ago

Property manager AvantStay said Friday its employee roster was subject to 43 “job reductions” in the past 30 days.

The company argued that these weren’t layoffs because they came as part of a “gradual reorganization.” There actually was a net reduction of 19 employees over the last month because the company, which has around 600 staffers, also did hiring during the period, AvantStay said.

Skift earlier reported that AvantStay had fired around 80 employees, but AvantStay’s statement about 43 job reductions cast doubt on the original number. AvantStay, however, would only make statements about job reductions in the past 30 days.

avantstay property in high tide charleston nc source avantstay
Avantstay lists many upscale vacation homes for rental, including this property in Isle of Palms by Charleston, South Carolina. Source: AvantStay.

Avantstay said in December it managed more than 1,000 properties in more than 100 cities.

AvantStay founder and CEO Sean Breuner said: “As you know we recently hired a new COO and we executed a reorganization of our company to eliminate redundancies and introduce new executives. We have been and will continue to keep hiring as travel remains robust this summer (hopefully others seeing same).”

The company said it is not engaging in any fundraising at this time.

Several now-former AvantStay employees posted about the layoffs on various social media platforms. One said the company cited a looming recession, and investor losses as among reasons behind the job cuts.

The AvantStay layoffs follows the news earlier today that WanderJaunt, another property manager, ceased operations and told guests to leave booked properties if the stay went beyond June 30.

Founded in 2017 and based in Los Angeles, AvantStay manages properties and redecorates them with the aim of charging premium rates for owners.




Clear Filters