California’s Bullet Train Hangs on Funding From a Democratic Congress

Jim Maurer

Trains in San Francisco, California, on May 27, 2017. The state is facing a very expensive high-speed rail project that needs more funding. Jim Maurer

Skift Take: High-speed rail in the U.S. feels impossible. Tracks are garbage in the Northeast, Wisconsin rejected its funding, Florida just now made a baby step, and the price tag on all this is shocking. But zipping from San Francisco down to Los Angeles comfortably is too sweet a dream to give up on.

— Sarah Enelow-Snyder

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Ryan Wolkov

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Corporate Travel Demand Remains Strong: Industry CEOs

Marriott International CEO Arne Sorensen. Corporate travel growth has been a boon for Marriott as it moves to slash commissions on meetings.

Skift Take: Corporate travel continues to grow as the global economy hums along immune to the geopolitical issues cropping up around the world. How long can it last? And will increasing hotel rates eat away at the increased spending made by corporations?

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Ryan Wolkov

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U.S. Issues New Requirements for Russian Planes in Airspace Spat

Aeroflot and two other Russian airlines will have to share more information with the U.S. government. Pictured is an Aeroflot Airbus aircraft.

Skift Take: The State Department just closed the books on the last long-running airline-related diplomatic saga in Washington — Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Now, apparently, the government is turning its attention to a feud with Russia about so-called overflight rights.

— Brian Sumers

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Ryan Wolkov

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Self-Driving Cars, Electric Vehicles, and the Future of Hitting the Road

A Tesla at a hotel charging station. Electric vehicles are changing the anatomy of the road trip, but driverless cars will be even more impactful.

Skift Take: The sharing economy hardly puts a dent in the fact that most American road trips occur with owned cars. But look out for brands adapting to electric vehicles before driverless cars change things completely.

— Sarah Enelow-Snyder

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Ryan Wolkov

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Why It Takes So Long for Some Airlines to Pay Compensation Required by European Law

Iberia is one of many European airlines that must comply with regulations governing compensation to travelers. Pictured is an Iberia Airbus A330 in Madrid.

Skift Take: We’d love to see major airlines be more proactive when they owe compensation to customers required by European law. When they make a mistake, they should fess up.

— Brian Sumers

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Ryan Wolkov

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How Much Technology Is Too Much For Events?

Web Summit

Two attendees take a selfie at the Web Summit. Planners are still figuring out how much technology is too much. Web Summit

Skift Take: Event planners know technology can enhance the attendee experience if deployed appropriately. How much technology is too much, though, remains an open question.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Ryan Wolkov

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South Africa’s Biggest Hotel Operator Tsogo Sun Faces Hurdles

Southern Sun Elaneni & Maharani in Durban is one of the properties owned by Tsogo Sun, South Africa’s biggest hotel and casino operator. The company is slowing its investments.

Skift Take: Tsogo Sun, which owns luxury properties in seven African countries including Nigeria and the Seychelles, may have hit the limit of its ability to do financial contortions for awhile.

— Sean O’Neill

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Ryan Wolkov

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U.S. Intends to Loosen Rules for Supersonic Jet Travel

British Airways’ Concorde flew commercial passengers until 2003. But a new supersonic service may take flight within years.

Skift Take: Boom! Supersonic flights just got one step closer to becoming a reality again, thanks to news that U.S. regulations about them are coming up for review with an intent to loosen them.

— Sean O’Neill

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Ryan Wolkov

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United Airlines CEO on Dropping NRA Discount: ‘It Was Personal’

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz defended the carrier’s decision to drop an NRA discount after the daughter of a United captain died in a school shooting.

Skift Take: It’s so rare that any big corporation takes a stance that might anger a slice of consumers. United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz should be commended for following his conscience.

— Brian Sumers

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Ryan Wolkov

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Yelp Targets Google Employees in New Antitrust Drive

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, who appeared on 60 Minutes on May 20, 2018, is stepping up efforts to get regulators to clamp down on Google’s business practices.

Skift Take: Yelp’s efforts to see tighter regulation of Google’s business practices could have more success this time around than several years ago, when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission dropped the ball. European Union regulators have really cast the previous U.S. effort in a shameful light, and the Trump administration may be more sympathetic than the previous administration.

— Dennis Schaal

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Ryan Wolkov

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