Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks closer at California’s junk fee crackdown, U.S. airline pilot shortage, and Florida’s short-term rental squeeze.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, September 15. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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California is looking to crack down on so-called junk fees at hotel and short-term rentals. The state’s legislators have passed two bills that could impact how California’s hotels and short-term rentals inform consumers about those fees, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Senate Bill 537 would prohibit businesses that sell lodging for up to 30 days in California from displaying room rates that don’t include all fees or charges, except for government-mandated taxes. Senate Bill 478 would block California businesses from advertising prices without including mandatory fees or charges, with some exceptions.
The bills are on the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, who has yet to take a position on them. While the California Hotel & Lodging Association has expressed support for the final version of the bills, Expedia Group and Airbnb both raised concerns about it.
Next, Florida has seen an enormous boom in vacation rentals in recent years. But the state’s short-term rental industry is facing a profit squeeze with soaring labor and construction costs, writes Short-Term Rental Reporter Srividya Kalyanaraman.
Kalyanaraman writes that while Florida has always been a formidable destination for vacation rentals, it’s becoming more unaffordable for visitors and residents. She adds the main factor behind Florida’s soaring inflation is the high cost of housing. The surging cost of housing and growing economic divide between out-of-state investors and Florida residents has been blamed for pricing locals out.
Kalyanaraman cited Miami as one Florida city that’s seen an enormous demand for short-term rentals. However, an executive at real estate developer Newgard Development Group said despite the demand, it’s getting more expensive to build properties with lenders tightening big construction loans. In addition, the state has experienced a shortage of labor needed to maintain and service those rentals.
Finally, despite the recent boom in air travel in the U.S., the country’s aviation industry is still suffering from a pilot shortage. Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden turns to Ask Skift, our artificial intelligence chatbot, for answers why.
Jorden notes concerns about pilot shortages are nothing new, with thousands of U.S. pilots approaching mandatory retirement age. But major carriers made the problem worse by encouraging staff to retire early or accept voluntary leave to help avoid massive layoffs during the pandemic. Officials at budget carrier Allegiant Air said U.S. airlines are short 17,000 pilots this year. That number could double by 2032.
In addition, Edward Russell, editor of Skift publication Airline Weekly, reported regional airlines have been the hardest hit by pilot shortage. Crews are leaving regional carriers for jobs at major airlines faster than the regionals have been able to replace the departed staff.