Airline Travel
While US airline travel is recovering, it is still below pre-covid levels. According to TSA data, the number of passengers is still 14% below where it was in 2019 at this point in the year.

sam stribling's avatar
So my wife works in hospitality, specifically hotels but across all the large ones from $MAR to $IHG etc etc. what they are seeing is strong demand for leisure travel but business travel is still lagging hard.

I used to travel for work all the time but rarely do anymore. My personal hypothesis is business travel won’t recover until everyone is back in the office and I mean like 5 days a week. What I’ve come to find is “no one wants to fly a consultant to sit in their living room” lol that’s been my experience. I think business travel will pick back up but I think the old Sunday-Thursday travel life maybe changed forever due to hybrid work
Young Money Capital's avatar
@strib completely agreed and that is very tough for airlines as business travel is the highest margin.
StockOpine's avatar
Potentially, Airbnb $ABNB could benefit from this shift to hybrid work.
What is the vibe that your wife gets by working in the hospitality sector? Do they view Airbnb as a contender?
sam stribling's avatar
@stockopine I would say they used to view them as a direct competitor at the beginning but honestly as time has gone on it’s more of a different customer base (admittedly some overlap) but and again just as I’ve understood it talking to her. The view is now more like Airbnb is for large groups and families who all want to share communal space etc. there is still a large market, especially in high end, that wants privacy, room service, and other amenities that they can use and accumulate points etc with. They seem to be finding a way to coexist
sam stribling's avatar
@stockopine my info was old lol I just asked her again directly here is what she said:

Though not viewed as a direct competitor it is still a big threat. Seen as an OTA (online travel agent) but quality and fraud are always an issue with them, so we at least have a VERY strong value prop against them. I think Airbnb is more for the younger generation who doesn’t care, where our generation and our parents want that consistency and quality without fraud, and they have the Deep pockets to pay for it.
StockOpine's avatar
@strib I see. Airbnb management claims that they have so wide/diverse property types and across so many geographical areas that they can meet the needs of consumers. But the feeling I get is that high end customers need that ‘extra’ service they receive from luxury/business hotels.
sam stribling's avatar
@stockopine yes. That’s my understanding as well.
StockOpine's avatar
@strib thanks for the update and the insights provided. 👏🏻
Alex Biestek's avatar
I'm still waiting for that massive influx of air travel to erupt. Maybe next year?

@strib made a great point about business travel being changed due to hybrid work. Substituting a Zoom meeting for business travel saves a company/indivuduals time, energy, and most importantly, money.

I don't think business travel will completely get wiped out because nothing beats human to human interaction, but I believe it will never recover to what it once was.

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