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Quest Means Business
US Stocks Fall as Corporate Angst Grows; Cineworld Stock Plunges 58 Percent on Report of Pending Bankruptcy; U.N.: 250 People Killed Or Injured In Afghanistan In Recent Weeks; Finnish P.M. Takes Drug Test After Dancing Video Leaks. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired August 19, 2022 - 15:00 ET
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RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: It is another "Summer Friday" for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We are out and about and it is a glorious afternoon at John
F. Kennedy Airport, where better for the #AVGeeks to be in, but the TWA Hotel. We've got a lot to tell you about that.
First though, the markets and how they are trading. A down, down day for the market, off one percent for the Dow Jones. The broader market have been
all over the place at the moment with the S&P and the NASDAQ, but the markets are down and they are down for good reason.
The main events of the day as US stocks are sinking, its corporate worries that is driving the fall and also of course, a dose of reality.
Cineworld shares have tanked. Reports say that company is heading for bankruptcy.
And living, breathing piece of aviation history that is still giving people a good night's sleep. We are at the TWA Hotel as part of our "Summer
Fridays" in New York.
We all live in New York. It is Friday. It is the 19th of August, right in the middle of the month, so to speak. I'm Richard Quest and I mean
Good evening from JFK and the TWA Hotel. It is "Summer Fridays." We are here because it's an icon of aviation past. It has a hotel for today, but
it reminisces somewhat gloriously about the beacons of the past and looks forward to the future and it is the perfect setting for us to talk about
the summer season.
Just look at that shot of the famous building, the Gold Wing Building. We will tell you about it in a moment and give you a full tour of the complex
including the pool on the roof where you can see the planes and the runways, in a moment.
US stocks are down across the board, have a look at the host of corporate worries the NASDAQ is off two percent, the Dow is off one percent. It is an
There are talks of Wayfair has got layoffs with its slow, slow sales. Meme stock Bed, Bath and Beyond is down. Ryan Cohen apparently has decided he
doesn't like it after all.
So Rahel Solomon is here. Rahel, we've had several good sessions, a lot of ground has been made. So, why all of a sudden, should the market go down in
such a dramatic way and these stocks fall so badly?
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, I think to your point, in some ways, you know, we've got this slew of corporate news that
certainly wasn't good in terms of Cineworld, the second largest movie chain in the world. Reports being that it is considering a bankruptcy. The Bed,
Bath and Beyond story which Ryan Cohen point, you mentioned out, Richard, is an important point, but Bed, Bath and Beyond itself is having a whole
host of issues in terms of sales and really hemorrhaging cash, and then that Wayfair news.
So there are certainly some more timely corporate news, but on the other hand, it's the same old story. I mean, we were still dealing with the same
headwinds, both globally and locally here in the US. You have aggressive Central Banks. You have inflation, which may be peaking on the top line in
terms of energy, but in terms of components, still accelerating.
And we're not out of this yet, and if anyone perhaps thought we were, because as you pointed out, we had started to see some weeks of green,
right? I mean, the S&P by the way, up nine percent over the last month, perhaps that was more of a head fake, or perhaps the story is a bit more
nuanced than we initially thought, because it appears that the same headwinds that we have been dealing with certainly all year remain.
QUEST: Right. And we're also seeing inversions in the yield curve, which is, I know, we sort of talk about somewhat on this program, but as long as
we're seeing increasing inversions, and other lengths or the durations inverting, we've got months of this to go.
SOLOMON: I mean, absolutely, because I think, again, those headwinds are still there, right. I mean, even in terms of central banking policy, right,
I mean we are just at the beginning of taking that medicine, the first interest rate hike here in the US at least was in March, so we're about
what -- five months away from that.
SOLOMON: Monetary policy, just in general, takes at least nine to 18 months to start to see that impact. So, we're just at the beginning of the
process, Richard. And so while we all like, of course, to get more positive news and to feel more positive, we're just sort of just in the beginning of
QUEST: Rahel Solomon, thank you. Have a good weekend. Thank you.
Well, Cineworld stocks, Rahel was talking about there. The stocks down some 58 percent. "The Wall Street Journal" says the company is about to file for
bankruptcy after disappointing summer sales, blamed on a limited slate of films, in other words, they are saying, "Hey, we ain't got the films to
show you, therefore." Paul La Monica is with me.
Paul, listen, first of all, to what the CEO told me, when we interviewed him a couple of months ago. The CEO, sort of -- well, he didn't sort -- he
admitted things were difficult.
Listen to what he says and you take it from there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOOKY GREIDINGER, CEO, CINEWORLD: I think one thing that we got from COVID and our industry really suffered a lot as everybody knows, but the one
positive thing that we got from COVID was that the studios had time to experiment around the window that was such a big issue, and I think to
everyone is now clear that the best way to maximize an income from a movie, for movies from a certain of course, degree of box office, to maximize it,
you need to go first to the cinemas, then go to the other platforms, and this is the way to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So Paul, what's your understanding of the situation now?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I think Richard that even though as the Cineworld CEO said, the studios have recognized that movie
theaters are still important, you can't just put everything up on streaming, that companies like Disney and Paramount, our parent company,
which owns Warner Brothers, they are all still trying to figure out what movies do make sense for the big blockbuster experience and what maybe
could go to streaming, and I think that there are only a handful of movies that people will really flock to see on opening weekend, and this dearth of
blockbusters is hurting a company likes Cineworld which owns Regal; AMC, which has taken on a life of its own as a meme stock, you know, it shares
are struggling today, because of these reports.
You have Cinemark, a similar named company that is another theater chain owner in the US, they're down today. IMAX is down.
I think investors recognize that the movie theater business is challenged because you can only have so many movies like "Spider-Man" and like "Thor,"
those Marvel movies that people are going to really go see opening weekend. And will they go see them again? That's another question.
QUEST: Right, but you know, you don't have of course, the policy that our own CEO, David Zaslav has brought in at Warner Brothers-Discovery, which is
one that says they canceled "Bat-Girl" for example, but some movies are made for the big screen and they must be made for the big screen with
attendant budgets, rather than for the streaming services, that has some way, if you will, to sort of to flesh out and fall out.
LA MONICA: Yes. I think you are definitely right there, Richard. There are clearly will still be event driven movies that people will want to see in a
communal atmosphere. And I think that for the most part, most film goers are no longer as worried about the pandemic.
You know, obviously, many of the movie theater chains, some of them still have people wearing masks, others not so much, but clearly, we have a
scenario we are all so pressed for time, there are so many other entertainment options that are out there. Even if movies are debuting only
in theaters at first, you still have a lot of event-driven TV shows that are on streaming platforms, on cable networks that people may choose, you
know, "Hey, I don't want to necessarily go see this new blockbuster movie this weekend. I'm going to stay home instead and binge watch an entire
season of a new show over an eight-hour period."
So people are just pressed for time and there is only so many hours in the day to watch TV shows and then go to a movie.
QUEST: Paul La Monica, who could manage to find more hours in the day. Paul, thank you.
Now here at the TWA Hotel, well, there are remnants all around us when travel was glamorous, when you put your Sunday best on, you enjoyed going
QUEST: So, after the break, we will look at exactly what is here at the TWA Hotel.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, in a moment.
QUEST: The building is just iconic, and its history is illustrious, as much as magnificent, TWA -- Trans World Airlines was of course one of the
world's great carriers, a top class airline. Celebrities, businessmen in those days, ladies in large hats, and then it went out of business. It
could not compete, which is why the decision to take the famous flight center terminal and turn it into a full service hotel has been so
QUEST (voice over): To arrive at this hotel is to step back to another era when flying was glamorous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many new conveniences.
QUEST (voice over): Stepping on a plane meant wearing your Sunday best --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautifully efficient, too.
QUEST (voice over): At the center was one of the pioneer great carriers, Trans World Airlines.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New ideas, new terminals across the country.
QUEST (voice over): TWA finally failed in 2001 and the building was abandoned and has remained empty for years. That is until, the hotel
investor Tyler Morse decided to realize his dream and ambition.
TYLER MORSE, CEO, MCR HOTELS: It is a jewel box and I've loved it for decades. It sat dark for 20 years, the opportunity to bring it back to life
was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My wife calls this building our third child.
QUEST (voice over): When the Flight Center opened in 1962, Kennedy was still called Idlewild. The building was a masterpiece from the great
architect, Eero Saarinen. It was designed like a bird.
MORSE: We restored it back to exactly as it was in 1962, so the swooping arch here, this is the largest column-less volume in the world. There's
only four points of contact with the ground. It is 65,000 square feet. There are two piers in the back and two piers in the front.
QUEST: Could you economically build something like this today and justify the sheer amount of space that it has taken and the cost of doing it?
MORSE: Never. Not a chance. You could not build this building today. You couldn't get the permits to build this building today.
QUEST: How many times did you think I really want to buy that building? I want to buy that building -- before you actually executed and bought?
MORSE: For years. For years. Well, I had to win an RFP with the Port Authority, a Request For Proposal, so it is a very complex project. I dealt
with 22 government agencies on this project. Everybody from the FAA, the Secretary of the Interior, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,
the City of New York, all of the community boards, it is a byzantine project, but this building deserves it.
QUEST (voice over): And so began the herculean task of bringing the bird back to life.
MORSE: It was like someone turned the lights out and left their cup of coffee on the desk.
QUEST: And were there still papers from the time?
MORSE: Sure. Oh, yes. We have --
QUEST: Tickets and --
MORSE: Ticket jackets. We have found the old beer cans from when they constructed the site. There were a lot of people drinking on the job.
QUEST (voice over): The hotel's owners even tracked down a plane that had flown for TWA. That was before being bought by drug smugglers.
MORSE: Welcome to Kearney.
QUEST: It's bigger than a -- I mean, it's quite a generous space.
MORSE: Quite good size, right? I mean, this is first class all the way.
QUEST: And in the old -- and of course, there would be the old bed as well, the bunk beds and all those sort of things for the really long stuff.
MORSE: Yes. Well, this is -- you had the chateaubriand in these seats, and the finest champagne.
QUEST (voice over): And yet they dwindled away. This classic salami slicing, sell off these routes, then sell off these routes, and refinance
this and do this, but you felt there was an inevitability of the demise?
MORSE: Yes. I mean, TWA was the airline of the Pope. Both Paul VI and John Paul II exclusively flew TWA. The Beatles flew TWA, but they could not
translate into the modern age.
QUEST: Could TWA have survived?
MORSE: No, TWA would never have survived. After 1978, and airline deregulation, you could compete on price. But for 50 years prior to that,
people had been competing on service. The way you compete on service is the quality of the food, the quality of the champagne, the quality of the
And now all of a sudden, you had to compete on price. They couldn't make that cultural mind shift, so everybody went out of business.
QUEST: And they didn't --
MORSE: Delta, American, United, TWA, Pan Am, everybody went out of business.
QUEST: TWA hasn't flown for years, and for those longing for the days of elegance in the air and friendly service, don't despair. Here, the memories
QUEST: Now to the heart, it's next to Terminal 5, the Jet Blue terminal here at Kennedy. For Kennedy itself, Kennedy is one of those airports
people love to hate and I don't know why, because it's one of my favorites in the world, and at the moment, huge amounts of money are being spent here
to expand and improve the terminals, or take the infrastructure.
So terminal -- in fact, Terminal One, for example, which is up not that old, has got nine and a half billion dollars' worth of investment. That's
sort of internationals, the Lufthansa's, the Air France's, the Air Swiss'.
You've then got Terminal Four already broken ground, which will consolidate Delta's operations. That's a one and a half billion dollar project.
Terminal Six is even more, which is adding new spots for wide-bodied planes, and then Terminal Eight, which is the American Airlines terminal,
it has got about half a billion going into it, and British Airways will be moving into that.
With me now. Tom Lowry, editor-in-chief of "Skift." Always good to have you, Tom.
TOM LOWRY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "SKIFT": Thank you for having me, Richard.
QUEST: Now, when we look here, what do you make of the hotel?
LOWRY: It's such a revered space. I mean, it's where aviation geeks come to genuflect. There's a reason that, Skift, my company had our first in-person
event back from the pandemic here last September. It was a wonderful event and the folks here were great hosts.
QUEST: So we look at travel at the moment and how we are now in the summer season. It has been a really bad season so far. Lots of people traveling,
but the misery index has been very high. Was that inevitable?
LOWRY: I think so based on the fact that, you know, the airline industry, the airport industry is suffering from a labor shortage, and just the sort
of pent up demand for leisure travel just collided with each other.
I think the challenge now, is how do the airlines sort of market themselves to win back the damage from their reputations for this summer or from, you
know, from the chaos standpoint?
QUEST: But what is fascinating is, and your research and "Skift's" excellent researchers, people want to travel, they want to travel long
distance, they want to go abroad, they want to go and see.
LOWRY: Right, absolutely. So that's a good -- that's a good sign for the travel industry. I think the airlines need to figure out just how to
control and become more reliable and control their operations in a better way and more efficiently.
QUEST: Is all of these traveling consistent with sustainability? I mean -- and we're not just talking about reusing towels, I am talking about real
sustainability. Is the industry still on the back foot?
LOWRY: So far, I think, I think so. But there's been a lot of promises that were made during the pandemic about greener travel and how they get there
and they've set some goals for themselves.
I think the issue is that travelers themselves don't know how to travel sustainably, how to travel greener. You know, other than not buying a
plastic bottle or not using housekeeping in a hotel every day. So I think, it is incumbent upon the industry, the hotels, the airlines, the
destinations to teach the traveler how to travel more sustainably.
QUEST: I was in a hotel recently in a country where they said we're not going -- for sustainable reasons, we are not going to service the room
QUEST: I can't see how that -- I mean, I understand they are not changing my sheets, or my towels but they're just dusting down and running the vac
around. I mean --
LOWRY: Right. Some -- you know, there could be some backlash to that because some guests would require that and might find that necessary as
QUEST: All right, what's your favorite airport?
LOWRY: What's my favorite airport?
QUEST: Favorite airport. Give me something.
LOWRY: I fell in love with Changi. When "Skift" had an event in Singapore, so, I'm a sucker for fountains.
QUEST: I have to say that, yes --
LOWRY: I shouldn't say that standing in JFK.
QUEST: Well, no, I think you're allowed to do that. Because I think the battle between Hong Kong with HKIA and Changi. Would you say overall, the
industry is in good health?
LOWRY: I think so. I mean, you know our event, our annual event is coming up in a few weeks here in New York, and, you know, we're reimagining this -
- the theme of the event. So I feel like there's a lot of optimism about how the industry can be better coming out of the pandemic.
A lot of promises were made, and we're going to hold them accountable to that. So it's going to be fun to watch.
QUEST: And I'm so glad you came out here to us and great out here --
QUEST: Thank you.
LOWRY: Thank you so much for having me, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you very much.
The plane behind me is a constellation. It's a magnificent aircraft, parts of history of aviation, and there is one here for you to go and explore and
have a drink on board.
MORSE: This plane flew for TWA for about five years, and then in the 60s was an Alaskan bush plane, and then the Alaskan guys sold it to a bunch of
South American drug dealers, and they used it to run drugs in the 70s and 80s because it flies low and slow.
They even put a door on the backside of it so they can air drop weed into the swamps of Miami. And now, we turned it into a cocktail bar.
You want to go out on the wing?
QUEST: And we're on the wing.
MORSE: Have you been on an airplane wing before? You have?
QUEST: Actually, this is my second wing in a week.
MORSE: Wow. There you go.
QUEST: It is simply very well done the way they put the constellation in, the bar is done, and I think largely as a result of Tyler Morse, who is the
owner of the company that did all of this and his obsessional nature to get it right and his #AvGeek characteristics, they have done a very favorable
and good job of recreating a wonderful bit of history.
We are at TWA Hotel for our "Summer Friday." It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Good to have you with us on board. Welcome aboard.
QUEST: Hello. There is a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS on this "Summer Friday" coming to you this afternoon and this evening.
We're going to be at the office that's testing the four-day work week and see how that's going two months on.
And remember Finnair's non-reclining business class seat? Well finally, we've got a chance to try it out. What's it like to recline in a non-
reclining seat? It is better than you think. So stay with us for that.
First though, the news headlines because wherever we are, whatever we're doing, this is CNN and here, the news comes first.
Another big story out of Somalia, that terrorist group al-Shabaab is claiming responsibility for an attack on an upscale hotel in Mogadishu.
They say three simultaneous explosions were followed by heavy gunfire. At least two security officials have been injured. When we get more
information, we'll bring it to you.
The head of the UN is urging wealthy nations to open their wallets and their hearts to help countries bearing the brunt of the global food crisis.
Antonio Guterres made the comments during a visit to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, where he praised the UN-backed deal between Kyiv and Moscow
has reconnected the grain supplies to the world market.
A member of the so-called Beatles ISIS terrorist now has been sentenced to life in prison in the US for the kidnapping and murder of four Americans in
El Shafee Elsheikh was arrested in 2018. The former British citizen was found guilty earlier this year for his role in hostage taking and the
beheading of aid workers and journalists.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says 250 people have been killed or injured in the past few weeks. It makes the August the deadliest month
of civilian casualties so far this year.
It includes 21 people who were killed in that explosion at a mosque in Kabul on Wednesday. The UN mission is calling on the Taliban authorities to
take concrete steps to prevent all forms of terrorism.
And the Finnish Prime Minister says she has now taken a drug test following the leaked video showing her dancing with friends, which caused a political
ruckus. Sanna Marin acknowledged, she partied in a boisterous way. She has denied taking drugs, and says she is taking the accusations against her
seriously. Her critics accuse her of behaving unbecoming of a Prime Minister.
Now it's a Friday in the summer and in London, it's particularly quiet in this Friday. And not just because of summer Fridays. Bus stops and tube
stations quiet because of a strike. London underground workers are on strike, the tube was ground to a halt. There's been a national rail strike
on Saturday and it's a strike over higher pay and conditions. Well, we now know post-pandemic, that one alternative to working in the office is
working from home WFH, whether it's a summer Friday or because of a strike.
It's given whole new research to this idea of always productive, working four days and taking a -- having a four-day working week and gifting off
the fifth day. Well, you -- one company in the U.K.'s two months into that trial. CNN's Clare Sebastian has been speaking to the company to find out
how it's going.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Red means don't disturb this traffic light system just one of the ways this London P.R. firm is
trying to squeeze five days work into four.
SAMANTHA LOSEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, UNITY: That was the single most transformative thing for us. People put the light on red, you have to
SEBASTIAN: Seventy companies across the U.K. are now more than two months into this experiment, moving staff to a four day week, but keeping their
pay the same in the hopes that they get the same amount of work done as before. Here in Unity, there are now clear limits on meeting times and
strict handovers required so that half the team can get Monday's off and half get Fridays.
SEBASTIAN (on camera): Why did you take part in this experiment?
LOSEY: It was really, really simple. In fact, we were in the middle of pandemic, I was so afraid for myself, but also for the team that we were
just burning out really, really quickly. And I started thinking about ways to help with this.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): It was a rocky start.
LOSEY: We miss things. People didn't sort of communicate well with each other, things got dropped and it felt like what have I done.
SEBASTIAN (on camera): Those guys over there have (INAUDIBLE)
SEBASTIAN (voice over): For the team though those early challenges were worth it.
LOSEY: I'm really, really enjoying it. I think my mental health is honestly so much better. Feel like my better friend on my 50s. I feel like I have
more space to be there for my friends and be there for my family.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Critics though have previously argued the four-day week would end up raising costs for business, especially public services
SEBASTIAN (on camera): Is this going to be a sort of perk for the elite? Do you think?
JOE O'CONNOR, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, 4 DAY WORK WEEK GLOBAL: No, I don't believe so. This isn't going to happen all at once. But we believe that we
are at the beginning. Even though the five-day workweek in the nine to five is the most common work arrangement today. It's not the only work
arrangement. So different versions of reduced work time will need to be put in place for different sectors of the economy.
SEBASTIAN: (voice over): Here at Unity, they say there's another advantage. It's helping attract talent.
LOSEY: Recruitment was really difficult. And now we're absolutely inundated. I guess we get more offers every week from people coming to us
than we could ever possibly use.
SEBASTIAN (on camera): The people actually working less or are they just sort of packing it into the four days and the evenings and weekends and
working secretly? Is it really working less time?
LOSEY: Definitely, definitely. I think the only person who's doing all of those things is me. And that I am, I'm secretly working every weekend. It's
not even secret. And like Saturday, Sunday.
SEBASTIAN: She admits it's still too early to know if staff will continue to produce the needed work in less time. But the hope is it could become
permanent. And maybe one day the boss will get a day off too. Clare Sebastian CNN, London.
QUEST: Why am I not surprised? It's the bosses ending up. Anyway, think about it. Cancellations and delays, higher inflation, higher ticket prices.
It's a wonder that we all want to go away at all but we do. We are well prepared to spend the money when we go away despite the challenges. The
outgoing chief executive of Tripadvisor, one of my favorite Web sites. Tripadvisor is with us next. It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight. We're at
the TWA hotel, summer Friday.
QUEST: Challenging summer by -- in all parts of the world when it comes to travel. The U.S. transportation secretary has described the level of
cancellations as unacceptable. According to FlightAware, the US airlines have canceled 40,000 flights since the beginning of June. And Pete
Buttigieg the transport secretary says that passengers deserve transparency but people are still traveling.
Stephen Kaufer is Tripadvisor's cofounder and recently departed chief executive. But it's great to have you with us. Because if there's one
person who -- I mean, Tripadvisor is, if you like the backbone for what is happening today in a sense, in many ways in the industry because of your
reviews and the way people use the site. So people want to travel. But what is it? What is it that the -- what's the biggest problem they're facing do
STEPHEN KAUFER, COFOUNDER, TRIPADVISOR: Well, thank you, Richard, for those kind words. Yes, with over a billion reviews, Tripadvisor is still powering
an incredible amount of travel that's going on. And the one thing that COVID really has taught so many people is how valuable that travel
experience is. People were cooped up in now they're getting out. And it's really great to see we're seeing this is -- the big global recovery.
And not withstanding those airline delays, notwithstanding some of the higher prices, people want to get out and see the world.
QUEST: So, if we assume for the purpose of this next question that these things sort themselves out. The industry gets back on -- get itself back up
to numbers. What do you see as the trend as we go into 23? All right. We've spent our bucket list. We've done our things that we said we'd want to do.
We're now back to normal. Does business travel come back to -- will come back to where it was? But we've learned the value of seeing each other
KAUFER: Yes, I think we have. And I don't think everyone will have checked off all of their bucket list items by the time 22 -- 2022 is over. So,
leisure travel will continue to grow. We're seeing great numbers in the second half of this year already. Business travel will return. That is my
prediction. Not yet to the full degree in 2023. But as, you know, as a pundit, as an industry observer, we do feel the need to make those business
connections may not be quite as frequent.
That's our prediction for 2023. Business travel will rebound but not all the way back up. The airlines still sort these things out. The
cancellations will go down. Prices will come back to normal. The wait lines will return. It's -- it's painful to go through with those as you say will
QUEST: On this issue of sustainability, everybody talks about it. But when people actually have to do something about it, they're not quite as easy. I
mean, it's the old thing here, you know, I think about in Europe. Well, don't go on an EasyJet flight to southern Spain or Ryanair flight to
Eastern wherever, in the U.S. don't go to Florida for spring break, drag around the corner.
People want that. It's one of those things of NIMBY, everybody else should do it just not me yet.
KAUFER: Yes. So there's a lot of different ways that individuals can act to help do better by way of the planet. Certainly, how far, how many trips
they take, how far they go. That is one component. Your own personal carbon footprint in terms of how much meat do you eat as another simple example,
all of that weighs into it? And I don't think the answer I've never been a proponent of the answer to the climate change problems being stopped all of
X or Y or Z, but a balance amongst the many different things.
QUEST: One thought, this is going to be -- over the years of Tripadvisor, what's the one thing you've learned about what people seek? When they
travel? What is it they go for?
KAUFER: People love to have a trip that make memories. They love to be able to come home and share their trip. And that's going throughout all the
generations. But when you talk about the new trends, new things that are more pronounced now than they were, say, five or 10 years ago, I would call
out the bespoke experience when you are in the destination. So, of course you have to fly to get there or drive.
Of course, you want to stay in a great hotel because that's part of the experience. But would you also be interested in a cooking class held by or
taught by chefs at a local or the region labor? Is it a private tour that really gives you the background to a museum or an archaeological site or a
castle or any part or is that trip revolving around the experience of hiking up a mountain, of taking a trail that no one's ever gone on before?
Those are all things that are different than shopping along with the group tour of the Vatican with 50 other people as you go room to room, but what
we see is people craving more bespoke experience.
QUEST: Quick question, which is your favorite airport? You can define that any way you wish, sir.
KAUFER: I -- I am -- I've probably been through -- perhaps I've been through Heathrow more than any other airport. I wouldn't call it my
favorite. I have had the pleasure of being in Singapore's airport, which is really quite stunning. But been blessed by being able to be an
international traveler. That's gotten a sample of men.
QUEST: You know, I think you've made a very good point. You made an excellent point. That one's favorite airport tends to be the one one uses
most, because you're most familiar with it. It's good to see you, sir. I wish you well and we will talk more as we move forward. Thank you for
Now here. The TWA hotel reopened it is. The brainchild in a sense of Thailand laws, the man who owns the company that owns the hotel. But the
hotel owner -- but the hotel company has many more hotels than this. They are distinctive, some are flagged Hilton or Marriott. But the hotel
industry itself is bracing itself for growth. Tayler Morse himself at the height of the pandemic, at the worst possible moment said buy every hotel
what isn't nailed down.
TYLER MORSE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MCR HOTELS: So we call them the bespoke hotels within our company and each one's different. Each one has a
different product, a different value proposition. Some are the pool deck. Some are great rooms. Some are extended stay. Products, some are boutique
products. We have the Highline Hotel in Manhattan, which is a converted Episcopalian seminary that we turned into a hotel.
And it's got a fabulous garden and we parked in 1959 Leyland red London double-decker bus in the front garden. So now we have a bar on the lower
level that only holds 12 people. And then we have an open top on the top so you get a whole new perspective on the garden and a new perspective on
QUEST: Look at the company itself because you've got -- you are - besides #AvGeek. You are a contrarian. You bought at the beginning of the pandemic.
MORSE: In the third week of COVID I turned to our team and said let's buy all the hotels that we can market sentiment is flowing out. There's blood
in the streets, and we bought 60 hotels.
QUEST: And just what sort of hotels did you buy?
MORSE: Oh, big ones, little ones and everything in between. We bought the Sheraton New York. It's almost 2000 keys on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. We
bought a hotel in Tampa, with a pool deck where we have parties for 3000 people every weekend. And we have Snoop Dogg and P-Diddy and Shaq come and
DJ on the weekend's, Deadmaus, Diplo.
QUEST: What is your concept for the group? How would you knit them together in a -- in a conceptual sense rather than just simply saying, I own a bunch
MORSE: Well, they're all very different. Each one needs to make sense in its market segment, and its product. And the customers need to want to go
there. Because they think there's good value. They think it's an interesting product. I always envision the conversation that you have. If
you're staying in one of our hotels and you're going to dinner with a friend and your friend says, where are you staying?
You say I'm staying at X hotel, comma, and then what you answer. And it's great, because it's very kitschy. It's very unique. It has a pool. I had a
great hamburger. The cocktails were amazing. What do you say about that?
QUEST: What you don't want is what I had recently, which is where you say where you're staying and you feel you have to justify. I'm staying at X,
but it's very well positioned.
QUEST: Because you could see the look on the other person's face.
MORSE: Yes, yes. I want to stay out of the middle ground.
QUEST: Are you a hotelier or an investor? And I think there's a very big difference between the two.
MORSE: There's a big invent -- there's a big difference. I'm an investor. I actually don't subscribe to the word hotelier. This is a business. This is
not an avocation. If you want to be a priest, go to the Catholic Church. That's an avocation. This is a business and we need to have a consistent,
terrific product that people love and are willing to pay for.
QUEST: Is this the last hotel that you would sell, this one? If you had to start selling up? Is this the last to go?
MORSE: This is a special hotel. But we're economic animals.
QUEST: An economic animal. Let's see how much of an animal he is if he ever had to sell this place. This was a labor of love. And you can see it right
the way through. Now one of the great things of course, about the hotel is the rooftop pool. This is me when I came here last year with my husband
Chris. And I'll spare his brushes. But that's me. You can see you're in the pool. And you can look out over the runway and watch the planes. It is
quite an achievement.
MORSE: Infinity Edge pools are generally not legal in the state of New York, because you need five feet on all four sides for the firemen to pull
people out of the water with a backboard. So I was sitting with my wife in a jacuzzi in a New York State pool one time and the jacuzzi was spilling
over into the pool and I called my pool consultant, I said how can they do this but you're telling me I can't do an infinity edge pool?
And he said, oh, well that's not a pool. That's a spa. Oh, so what's the spot? The water has to recycle through the body every 20 minutes instead of
every two hours. So this is the world's largest spot.
QUEST: You're messianic, aren't you about this place?
QUEST: I mean, you really -- you've broken every rule of investing.
MORSE: You got to when you love something
QUEST: Anytime now, Finnair should be landing here at Kennedy from its flights from Stockholm. I think the Helsinki one has already arrived. The
passengers flying over on the A350 is an A330s. We'll be enjoying the new business class. Remember, the controversial seat, the one that doesn't
QUEST (voice over): When it comes to finding space at the front of the airline cabin, it's a very crowded market. And in this modern age of
flying, there aren't too many ways to stand out. So their head of Finnair has made a business class bet instead of a seat that reclines. He's
offering one that deliberately doesn't.
TOPI MANNER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FINNAIR: With cushions you can, you know, make yourself comfortable in the seating position. When you get the
leg rest up, then you get full 180 degrees sleeping experience. It's beautiful. You need to try it.
QUEST (on camera): Yes. I'm looking forward to trying it. It's not the sleeping bit that I'm thinking of because I'm, you know, you're going to be
flat regardless. It's that when you want to read or eat? That sort of gentle recline just this far back, not all the way but just enough to be in
the lounging position while you're doing it. How do you do that on a fixed show where it will (INAUDIBLE)
MANNER: No, no, no, no, no, that is not the way it works. I mean, first of all, it's designed beautifully. So it -- you can, you know, adjust your
position with pillows. And the beauty of the seat is that there is no mechanism, there's no motor, and it weighs less. So, it's very sustainable
QUEST: What a bit of luck. On my way back from Stockholm in Sweden where I was filming last week I noticed there was a Finnair air nonstop flight
Stockholm to New York. And it has the new seat. I can try it out. This idea that it doesn't recline has made people think it doesn't turn into a bed.
MANNER: Yes. I think some people seem to get confused like there's no recline function, how can I sleep?
QUEST: But you say it goes into bed.
MANNER: It goes into bed. Yes.
QUEST: So this is the seat, a cocoon if you will. But of course the revolutionary thing is the seat doesn't recline. What does that mean? Yes,
it will go into a bed. Of course I can go that way. But when I'm just sitting here lounging, watching television, there's no button to go, to
your lounge a bit. Is it going to work when I'm in the air?
QUEST (voice over): Eight hours of flying awaits me. Time to lean back, stretch out.
QUEST (on camera): So what do I think of the Finnair lounge suite? I think once you get over the conceptual idea that it doesn't recline it's
Absolutely brilliant. There is a lot more room to actually get comfortable in many different positions.
QUEST: It's problem if it doesn't recline and if you can get over, that you'll like it. Probably some people (INAUDIBLE)
QUEST: It really was extremely comfortable. One of the most comfortable I've been on and there was no recline. Summer Fridays are not over yet.
We're in the middle of August, next week's summer Friday. We're going from the AvGeek to the Met. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Do they know what
they've got themselves in for? We'll have the old masters, we'll have the impressionists, we'll have me. Try not to do any damage.
Summer Friday's live from the Met on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We will have a profitable moment after the break.
QUEST: Very refreshing. They call this drink. The jet fuel. Non-alcoholic version, of course on our broadcasting day. But anyway, the jet fuel, so
we'll have that while we have tonight's profitable moment. I actually flew out of this building. Back in 1989 I was a correspondent for another
network and I was flying from New York to San Francisco to cover the then San Francisco earthquake of that year.
So, I remember what this place was like. Admittedly, it was TWA's latter days, things were bad. I also flew Pan Am in its dying days. I flew them up
from the Caribbean once and there's nothing really quite -- I mean, it's really very sad when you fly an airline that is in its last days. But no
airline has a right to fly. And if you can't compete competitively, well then you have to go. And that's what happened with TWA, Pan Am, BCAW.
All those great old names of yesteryear. But let's not be too morbid about it because they have been replaced by some great airlines. Those that are
truly breaking boundaries. For example, next month we're going Air New Zealand from Auckland to New York non-stop and we'll be on it and we'll be
on Qantas when it goes Sydney to New York or London. The aviation industry is in difficult days at the moment.
But we should not ignore the fact that they fly millions of people, tens of millions of miles every day safely. That's worth a summer Friday.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest at the JFK TWA Hotel. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's
profitable. I'll see you on Monday. Cheers.