The Most Highly Compensated Online Travel CEOs of 2018

TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer spoke at Skift Global Forum New York 2017 about the company’s future. A survey of compensation for last year found he was the most-compensated, though the company said it was a statistical fluke and not representative of a multi-year average.

Skift Take: TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer is ordinarily far from being the most-compensated CEO in online travel. This year represented an unusual payout for him. But Skift’s annual survey reveals that most online travel CEOs are often more handsomely compensated than what the top bosses in other industries receive, on average.

— Sean O’Neill

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Ryan Wolkov

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Do Airlines Overpromise With In-Flight Wi-Fi?

As on many airlines, the WiFi on United Airlines is not as reliable as customers would like. But United also streams movies and television programs from a server on the aircraft to passenger devices, and that system, pictured here, often is more reliable.

Skift Take: Travelers board an airplane and expect the Wi-Fi, which is often expensive, to work as it does at home. But it’s not as good as at home, and it may never be. Should airlines do a better job of communicating that to customers?

— Brian Sumers

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Ryan Wolkov

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C2 Refines Formula as Global Growth Beckons

A master class during this year’s C2 Montreal conference. The company has refined how it runs events to offer more experiences to attendees.

Skift Take: Designing a conference like a festival leads to some edges and messy experiences that challenge and confuse attendees. It will be fascinating to see how the concept fares as it is exported to a diverse range of global destinations.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Ryan Wolkov

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Airbnb CEO Says Company Will Ready for IPO in 2019

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky spoke at the Recode Code Conference.

Skift Take: Just as important as what was discussed on stage was what wasn’t: an update on Airbnb Plus, the upcoming luxury brand, the new superguest loyalty program, the near-merger with Tujia, and more. Oh, and whatever happened to that stakeholder report Chesky promised to release in March?

— Deanna Ting

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Hard-Hit Caribbean Islands Rebuild With Extreme Weather in Mind

Eden Rock St. Barths, pictured here, is one example of a Caribbean property that has taken future extreme weather into account as it renovates and rebuilds from last year’s hurricanes.

Skift Take: Caribbean destinations have to walk a thin line in the coming months by communicating that hotels and resorts are prepared for possible monster hurricanes while not mentioning the “H” word too much to scare off would-be visitors.

— Dan Peltier

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Delta CEO Dismisses Threat from Low-Cost Transatlantic Airlines

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said he is not concerned about discount airlines on transatlantic routes. Pictured is a Wow Air Airbus A321.

Skift Take: European and U.S. airlines years ago underestimated the threat posed by short-haul discount airlines. Since then legacy carriers have treated transatlantic low-cost-airlines as serious competitors. But there’s reason to believe the low-cost model may not be as appropriate for longer routes. Legacy carriers might be OK this time.

— Brian Sumers

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Visitor Spending at 2018 Super Bowl Surpassed Projections

Frigid Super Bowl LII brought $370 million in net new spending to the “Bold North” Twin Cities area, according to a report released Tuesday by Gov. Mark Dayton’s office and the local host committee.

Skift Take: Hotel chains did well in the Minneapolis area over the last Super Bowl, not only because overall spending surpassed projections but because only 13 percent of visitors used a peer-to-peer platform like Airbnb.

— Sarah Enelow-Snyder

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Why India’s MakeMyTrip Made Peace With Rapidly Growing Oyo

A view of The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, one of the many romantic vacation spots that are bookable via online travel agency MakeMyTrip. CEO Deep Kalra said he’s optimistic that the number of Indians booking hotels online may double within the next several years.

Skift Take: The decision by MakeMyTrip, India’s largest online travel agency, to start selling Oyo budget lodging is significant. The move recognizes that the heavily funded Oyo is no longer a rival marketplace and is instead primarily a supplier. Asset-light hotel chains need to wake up to Oyo’s rise.

— Sean O’Neill

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