Name: Deborah Flint
Title: Chief executive officer
Company, city: Los Angeles World Airports; Los Angeles, California Number of employees: 3,700
Recent project: We painstakingly removed a pedestrian bridge to pave the way for our Automated People Mover and we broke ground on our Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility.
First job: I was an ice cream server at the Sweet Stop, but I actually lost money because of all the ice cream my little sister ate.
Little-known fact about you: I’m the biggest Golden State Warriors fan in Los Angeles.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? The future is the smart airport, where technology and travel intertwine. Developments will include biometric boarding, facial recognition during boarding and more. With biometrics, we boarded an Airbus A380 in 20 minutes. Travelers want to know and control their experience, and we’ve thus far seen a positive reaction to biometric testing.
Best career advice you’ve received: Be the best version of yourself you can be. When I started in this business, men were the standard in charge (and, frankly, they still are), so I learned to demonstrate why I should be in the room.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Be flexible. They are likely already flexible individuals, or they wouldn’t have chosen this field. Be a sponge, open to everything.
AS A TRAVELER
Favorite travel memory or story: As a teenager, we were returning from a trip to Africa and transited through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, where I realized just how amazing an airport could be. It served as lifelong inspiration.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Travel looking good — you don’t have to be dressed up, but you should look nice. On Fashion Fridays, we highlight the best-dressed airport passengers on our @FlyLAXAirport Instagram page.
Best advice for business travelers: Go to the airport early. Airports of today enable you to do more, and you should enjoy the experience.
ABOUT YOUR BRAND
Los Angeles World Airports recently broke ground on an Automated People Mover to connect travelers directly to terminals. Tell us about this historic project. We’re anticipating a mid-2023 opening for the Automated People Mover, which will radically transform the airport experience. It will reduce traffic and, when our Intermodal Center opens and rental cars are all located in one place, our airport will offer more mobility choices. There’s a tax measure to invest in rail across Los Angeles, and gates opening in our Tom Bradley international terminal will create smart concourses in mid-2020. With the World Cup in 2026 and the 2028 Olympics coming to Los Angeles, LAX will be showcased to the world.
How do you incorporate the spirit and culture of Los Angeles into the airport? As the entertainment capital of the world, our Grammy exhibition highlights that status. LA Originals in Terminal 1 is a hip, local brand with an airport outpost, and proceeds from the store benefit the Downtown Women’s Shelter. Our 100 Percent LA selfie walls are created by local artists.
What are your favorite amenities in the airport? A new Shop & Dine capability allows passengers to pre-order food through the website. This will expand to include more retail and dining spaces, and it allows for customization for our travelers. The flylax.com web- site offers real-time traffic and parking information.
Finnair recently launched direct service from LAX; what other new routes can travelers expect? Air Italy recently launched service to Milan. LAX is the epicenter for Pacific culture, and airlines would like to get more routes to Asia in place here; airlines with service to Vietnam and India want to come to Los Angeles.
Vail Resorts opted to close all 37 resorts early in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but the mountain resort operator also wanted to give back to the community in the face of this adversity. The excess perishable food from the various properties was donated to 30 local food banks, schools and community organizations in the communities where Vail Resorts employees live, work and play. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, juice, granola bars and more went to mountain communities from Colorado and Vermont to British Columbia.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
The airline industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations, route capacity reductions and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
IN A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND PARTNERSHIP, Singapore Airlines and AeroFarms, the leader in indoor vertical farming, launched a Farm-to-Plane initiative to bring the world’s freshest inflight produce to Singapore flights from Newark International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
While we may be physically restricted as to where we travel, that doesn’t stop the wandering spirit from feeling the need to explore. With the rise of virtual tourism, we can do just that — explore, but from home.
As a result of travel restrictions and drastic reductions in flights worldwide, Munich Airport is suffering from decreases in nearly every area of its operations. Take-offs and landings reached a low last week, with traffic plummeting to less than 10 percent of the number year over year. Passenger traffic is at 5 percent of last year’s level.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
For the next several weeks, we are compiling the thoughts and experiences of our staff, writers and readers about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a travel publication, we’ve all been affected during these difficult times, as have many of our clients, friends, partners and more.