Booking revenue cut in half as COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect travel industry

Jessica Wong

Booking Holdings Inc. continued to struggle with the decline of the travel industry in the first three months of 2021, as revenue was cut in half from a year ago.

Booking
BKNG,
-1.89%,
a collection of online travel and experience web sites formerly known as Priceline, reported Wednesday first-quarter losses of $55 million, or $1.34 a share, on revenue of $1.14 billion, a sharp decrease from $2.29 billion in net revenue in the same period a year ago, when the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning. After adjusting for tax impacts and other factors, Booking’s losses ballooned to $5.26 a

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As the summer travel outlook improves, added fees are making a comeback

Jessica Wong

Ready or not, travel fees are poised to make a comeback this summer.

Some of them were inevitable. For example, last month most major airlines began reinstating penalty charges for some ticket changes. Yeah, I know – what took them so long?

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Other fees may come as a surprise. If you’re visiting the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, for example, you will have to pay a $30 fee for its Visitors Protection Plan. It covers medical expenses and a medical evacuation – whether

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Business travel is back to about 50% of pre-Covid levels

Jessica Wong

Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta told CNBC on Wednesday there are reasons to be optimistic about the recovery of corporate travel following a prolonged coronavirus-related slowdown.

“This is as good as I’ve felt since the pandemic started in terms of where we are and what I see in forward-looking trends and bookings in the business,” Nassetta said in an interview on “Closing Bell.”

Leisure travel has been propelling the industry’s recovery so far, and Nassetta said he expects to see record numbers in that category this summer. However, a return of business travelers is crucial for a complete rebound in the

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TSA warns of longer airport wait times as travel ramps up

Jessica Wong

WASHINGTON — With a growing number of people returning to the skies, Transportation Security Administration officials are preparing for a busy summer, boosting efforts to hire more officers and using new technology to improve the screening process, the agency’s acting administrator told lawmakers Wednesday.

“Like all of us, TSA faced tremendous challenges over the past year with the ongoing global pandemic,” acting TSA administrator Darby LaJoye said during a subcommittee hearing on the agency’s budget and operations. “Air travel came to a near-standstill, and operational agility and the resilience of our workforce and the strength of our partnerships was tested

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Napoleon on St. Helena: the man keeping his spirit alive

Jessica Wong

(CNN) — In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between South America and Africa, lies the island of St. Helena.

Sitting 1,200 miles west of Windhoek, in Namibia, it’s one of the most remote places in the world: a 46 square mile island of dazzling cliff walks, breath-catching drives, and swirling flax plants rippling in the ocean-whipped wind.

With a population of under 5,000, sometimes it feels like there are more dolphins in the ocean around the island than Saints, as the islanders are called.

Yet despite its remoteness, St. Helena is known all over the world for its most

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