Airbnb will not create an airline or "just another place on the internet where you can buy a plane ticket" - yet it has made a high profile appointment to help figure things out.
Fred Reid is joining the company as its global head of transportation, leaving a role as president for the last year of Cora Aircraft Program and Kitty Hawk.
He is perhaps best known as the first CEO of Virgin America in 2004 and then president of Bombardier division Flexjet between 2008 and 2012.
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The arrival of Reid at Airbnb comes two years on from when the company was first understood to be considering how it might tackle the part of a trip that it doesn't have a handle on: getting people to their hosts or experiences.
Endless speculation centered on whether it would buy an online travel agency, metasearch engine or even, bizarrely, launch its own airline.
But the apparent strategy now appears to be a much wider and cerebral one, not least with CEO Brian Chesky being firm this week with what he doesn't want to do.
He says: "We’re going to explore a broad range of ideas and partnerships that can make transportation better. We haven’t settled on exactly what those will look like. There is a tremendous opportunity to improve the transportation experience for everyone."
More than just a plane
Perhaps a clue to part of that strategy comes in noting what Reid has been doing for the last year.
At Cora he has overseen the development of "one of the most advanced autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft in the world".
But until such technology becomes the norm it is more likely that Reid will figure out how to provide the "getting there" element that Airbnb still lacks through more traditional means.
He says: "Whether in the air or on the ground, there are tremendous opportunities to create products and forge partnerships with other companies that make travel easier and even fun.
"Realizing those opportunities will take years and require constant experimentation, and I’m truly honored to have the chance to take on such an audacious challenge with this team."
Reid will report directly Chesky, rather than be part of its existing divisions such as Homes or Experiences.
Airbnb says it is "uniquely positioned" to work with other brands in the travel and tourism industry, touting how it could create "significant economic opportunities" for those it works with.
Another hint comes when it says the strategy could include offering partner brands "access to the Airbnb platform."
Back to the big picture rhetoric, Chesky says: "There was a time when getting on a plane was a magical trip of its own, but over the years, how you get to where you're going has become an experience we endure, not enjoy. We believe that needs to change."
Prior to creating Virgin America, Reid was at American Airlines for five years, Lufthansa for seven as its president and ending up at Delta for five years as president and chief operating officer until 2004.
* Check out this interview with Airbnb's president of homes, Greg Greeley, during The Phocuswright Conference 2018 in Los Angeles.
Executive Interview: Airbnb