U.S. hotels spin travel demand into gold as airlines struggle

By Gigi Zamora

(Reuters) - Staff shortages, airport chaos and higher fuel costs have caused earnings at U.S. airlines like JetBlue Airways to land below analysts' expectations while hotel chains including Marriott International are reporting double-digit profit growth.

Despite cutbacks in other categories due to recession worries, consumers eager to travel after the pandemic continue to book flights and hotels. Hotels have been able to turn this demand into increased profitability far more effectively than airlines.

David Tarsh, spokesperson for travel data analytics company Forward Keys, said the problems faced by airlines and airports are harder to resolve than those in the lodging industry.

"In the case of labor in hospitality, your shortage is probably more with less-skilled workers than in the case of the aviation industry," he said. "If you're short of cabin crew and you're short of security people in the airport, you can't just increase wages and suddenly fill these roles. People also need to be trained."