Name: Ed Bastian
Title: Chief executive officer
Company, city: Delta Air Lines; Atlanta, Ga.
Number of employees: 80,000
Recent project: Notable ongoing projects include closing a joint venture with Aeromexico and launching an expanded partnership with Korean Air, launching a major enhancement and expansion of our facilities at LAX, embarking on a major terminal project at New York-LaGuardia, and paying more than $1 billion in profit-sharing to our employees for the third year in a row.
First job: Working on a road crew in upstate New York
Little-known fact about you: I was once the official accountant for the MTV Music Awards and briefly appeared on the show.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? The next few years provide an opportunity to remake the customer experience on the ground. We are making substantial investments in airport facilities across our system, particularly in New York and Los Angeles, allowing us to rethink how to provide world-class service and improve efficiency. Airlines compete on service for the first time in decades, which is only going to increase — a great development for anyone who travels.
Best career advice you’ve received: Follow your heart — which I did when I returned to Delta to lead the company’s restructuring. It involved a 50 percent pay cut, but it was the right thing, going back to the company and people I love.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Don’t be too cautious. Sometimes we need to embrace our instincts; and if that means attempting something ambitious or even audacious, don’t be afraid to try.
Ed Bastian as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: The best thing about my travels today is the opportunity to talk to Delta employees and customers and get their feedback. My first travel memory is my first trip on an airplane when I was 25. I had no idea then that one day I would lead one of the world’s largest airlines.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Bring a charger for your phone and tablet. We have power outlets in our airports and on board, but they can’t help you without a charger.
Best advice for business travelers: It’s worth developing a relationship with your favorite airline. The obvious benefits come from loyalty programs, but you’ll find you’re seeing the same people as you interact with the airline. Delta people love knowing our best customers by name and see them as part of the family.
About Delta Air Lines
What is the design philosophy behind Delta’s new uniforms? The philosophy was to have comfortable and functional uniforms with a contemporary design that makes Delta people look great. Our employees were a big part of the design process.
Delta’s newest widebody flagship aircraft will be the Airbus A350-900; what can our readers look forward to? The A350 is a game changer for Delta’s international service. The aircraft will be loaded with amenities including high-speed WiFi, free in-flight entertainment throughout the plane, the new private Delta One suite and other advances in the customer experience. The range of the aircraft will allow us to serve cities nonstop from the United States, particularly in Asia, that we can’t operate today. It also will fly more efficiently, with a reduced impact on the environment and a lower cost.
What does the future hold for U.S. carriers in terms of flights to the Gulf? We’re optimistic the new administration will take steps to hold the Gulf carriers accountable to the rules of the Open Skies agreement. Open Skies is based on the idea that competition is fair and equal, and unfortunately the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar violated those agreements with $50 billion in direct subsidies to their state-owned airlines. This has already driven U.S. airlines out of Middle Eastern markets and India, and it will only get worse as the Gulf airlines expand.
What can premium travelers expect from the Delta One experience? We were honored when Delta One recently won the coveted Crystal Cabin Award. Delta One is a luxury experience with a sliding door in each suite that provides a level of privacy we’ve never offered before, bringing the business-class cabin to a new level.
People need a “chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air.” This is a sentiment we all likely share, as does the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The EC included that phrase when it released its plan to help reopen Europe following the COVID-19 global pandemic. While most EU borders remain closed to international travel until at least mid-June, the EC’s plan starts with inter-Europe travel, and are non-binding recommendations and guidelines. European countries still have the final decision, so travelers are advised to check the restrictions of the countries they plan to visit. According to the EC, “blanket restrictions of free movement are replaced by targeted measures.”
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
The cruise industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
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.
One of Barcelona’s newest luxury hotels is located at the corner of modernity and tradition. As the name indicates, The Corner Hotel is situated on a flat corner in Barcelona’s L’Eixample neighborhood, a vast area of the city full of Modernist buildings and grid-like avenues.
MMGY Global Launches Travel Safety Barometer to Track U.S. Travelers’ Perception During Reopening Phase of Pandemic
MMGY Global launched its new Travel Safety Barometer, a sentiment tracking tool created for the travel and tourism industry to track American travelers’ perceptions of safety when it comes to specific travel behaviors as the country begins to reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed by MMGY’s Travel Intelligence research and insights division, the barometer is an information resource for business and leisure travelers and the travel industry.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
United Airlines opened a Club lounge inside Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in November 2019. The lounge, near gate C7 in the airport’s new terminal, seats 95 guests and offers free WiFi, and ample power outlets and USB ports. COVID-19 may temporarily affect the lounge’s operating hours and procedures.