Travel Industry Reacts to President Trump's Immigration Ban
It's been a wild two days for the travel industry in the wake of President Trump's travel ban. Airlines and airports are finding themselves on the front lines of the immediate executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days. Here's how some travel companies have responded:
Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky has gone to social media to stand against the travel ban and pledge "free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US". While it's unclear how Airbnb will implement this offer, Chesky has offered his direct assistance for any urgent housing needs:
New York City Taxis
In response to the ban, NY Taxi Workers Alliance called for a work stoppage at New York's JFK from 6pm to 7pm Saturday night, calling for drivers to stop and join the protests:
The work stoppage was impressively successful, as reflected in photos of empty cab lines:
Another protest is planned for 2pm Sunday afternoon in Battery Park City. If you're in NYC, this rally might significantly reduce the ride options across NYC:
Uber has felt über backlash from social media since yesterday evening's decision to turn off surge pricing and continue rides to JFK airport:
Social media users are using #DeleteUber to voice their anger with the company for — as one popular response put it — "breaking a strike to profit off of refugees". Uber has responded that this wasn't its intentions and reiterated its opposition to the travel bans:
Uber has now released a statement saying that it will compensate Uber drivers who are unable to return to the US because of the travel ban:
In response to the travel ban, Lyft has issued a statement that it stands "firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community." The company has pledged to donate $1 million over the next four years to the American Civil Liberties Union:
United Arab Emirates-based Emirates is feeling the effects of the travel ban. While the UAE is a Muslim-majority country, it's not one of the seven countries included in the travel ban. However, Emirates boats a diverse crew of 160 nationalities, including crew from the seven banned countries. In a statement to Reuters, Emirates has confirmed that its made "the necessary adjustments to our crewing, to comply with the latest requirements." The airline expects US flights to continue on schedule.
Similarly, Etihad expects to retain its current flight schedule. In a statement to Arabian Business, the airline has noted: "Our flight crews were unaffected and we have taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks."
Many airlines are waiving change fees for passengers affected by the travel ban.