Boeing’s Guilty Plea, Airbnb’s Olympics Pitch and Questioning Carbon Offsets

Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at Boeing’s guilty plea, Airbnb’s Olympics tourism angle, and the trouble with carbon offsets.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, July 9, and here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today. 

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Episode Notes

Boeing will accept a guilty plea deal from the Department of Justice over charges the planemaker misled federal authorities on certain aspects of the 737 Max 8, which has been involved in fatal crashes. Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi lists three takeaways from Boeing’s deal with the Justice Department. 

Boeing will have to pay a more than $240 million criminal offense fine and invest at least $455 million in compliance and safety programs. The planemaker will be on probation for three years, during which it would need to install an independent monitor to oversee its compliance and safety.

In addition, Boeing wouldn’t have any protection from any ongoing or future federal investigations. 

Next, Airbnb has unveiled a new ad urging travelers heading to Paris for the Olympics to avoid hotels to discover the true essence of the French capital, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Airbnb’s ad features a family of four dealing with common tourist come-ons outside of a hotel before the hotel collapses. The hotel gives way to an Airbnb, and afterwards, the family views an artist painting on a canvas and a couple dining, among other sights. The narrator then urges travelers to stay where the locals live instead of the touristy part of the city.

Finally, the effectiveness of carbon offsets has been a contentious issue in the travel industry. Research Analyst Robin Gilbert-Jones explores the reasons carbon offsets are controversial and how they can be effectively evaluated. 

Travel brands are increasingly turning to carbon offsets — considered a way for companies to compensate for their own emissions by reducing them elsewhere — to help reduce the industry’s massive carbon footprint. However, Gilbert-Jones notes the carbon offset market has been described as the “wild west.” And one carbon credit may look like another but be much less effective at reducing CO2, which leads companies to seek out the cheapest credits available. 

Gilbert-Jones listed five recognized ways to measure the quality of a carbon offset, including verifiability. Verifiability means a legitimate third party can verify claims of carbon avoidance in offset projects. 

Producer/Presenter: Jose Marmolejos

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