Name: John Selden
Title: Airport general manager
Company, city: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Number of employees: 700 in the Department of Aviation; 63,000 employees throughout the airport
Recent project: The canopy on the south side of the airport will be finished by mid-September.
First job: I started a lawn mowing business with my friend when I was 14 years old on Long Island. Later, I attended flight training with the U.S. Navy in Pensacola, Florida.
Little-known fact about you: I’m left-handed and enjoy wake boarding.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? The market is ever-changing. Innovation is key. Time is money, and the customer’s perspective of airport travel is important to maintain a positive and timely experience. Our goal is to make the experience seamless, from flight check-in to ordering a snack in concessions. We seek to integrate biometrics into concessions and parking to increase the ease and speed of the customer experience while traveling.
Best career advice you’ve received: Figure out what you want to do while you are young enough to plan a course for your future. Set your career path early, and it will help you set yourself apart and excel. You will have a better chance of obtaining your dream job this way.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Stay persistent and focused. If you are in the aviation industry, it is cumulative; fully understand the process. You must be mobile and ready to relocate to have the best opportunity and training environment.
John Selden as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: I was in Operation Desert Storm, and we had been released to enjoy leisure time in Dubai. When we got off the ship, it was summer and so hot; we could not find a restaurant open. We later realized you had to go out at night as the temperature cooled, then businesses would open. My favorite travel location is Santoríni — simply beautiful.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Global Entry and CLEAR are “clear” winners. The best customer experience comes from using the latest tools for a seamless experience.
Best advice for business travelers: Pack light, only take what you need. Do not check bags. Fly with one airline to build the loyalty with that brand over time.
About Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Tell our readers more about the ATL Rewards program. What other programs and apps are available to make travel through the airport easier for passengers?
ATL Rewards is the way we reward our customers, offering great benefits for many goods and services in and around the airport. It is a program designed for business travelers. The more times travelers use the program, the more points they accumulate and the more perks they can receive.
The iFLYATL app will tell travelers which lot is open for parking, which terminals to go to for restaurants, and it can assist in navigation of the entire facility.
ATL is actively involved in community outreach. Tell us more.
It’s our goal to be a good neighbor, so we constantly interact with our surrounding community. Aerotropolis is heavily involved with how the property is developed around the airport. We support local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and surrounding colleges and offer internships in the aviation industry.
For 20 years ATL ranked as the world’s busiest airport. What will the ATL of the future look like?
ATL of the future is focused on the capacity to grow. A sixth runway and a new terminal are in discussions for the future. Access to and from the airport is important, as the region is ever-growing from north, south, east and west. We look forward to maintaining and growing our position as the economic engine for the region, which will increase growth for the area. We expect both domestic and international traffic to expand. We have 2,700 flights a day and expect to see huge growth in the e-commerce/ cargo sector for shipping goods. Eighty percent of the United States can be reached within two hours on a flight from ATL, a great selling point for businesses looking to relocate to Atlanta.
Less than five years ago the world’s first hybrid cruise ship, Hurtigruten Expeditions’ MS Roald Amundsen, set sail for Antarctica in November 2019 with 450 passengers. The battery-hybrid-powered ship, named for the first man to cross the continent and reach the South Pole, was built specifically for voyages in polar waters. Its battery-hybrid power reduces the ship’s consumption and CO2 emissions by 20 percent compared to equally sized ships.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) believes business travel is a fundamental force for good and brings the industry together to connect, innovate and set new standards. With members from across the globe, GBTA engages the many voices of business travel to build a collective future, providing a platform for buyers and suppliers to come together, connect with peers, grow their network and shape the future of the industry.
A few months ago, I flew Polaris business class on a United flight from Dulles (IAD) to Paris (CDG). It was only when I got to my hotel in Paris I realized that I didn’t have my iPad or its bag or accessories. Since I had been working on it in the restaurant in the Polaris lounge and then went directly to the gate, I knew I either left it propped up on my table when I packed up or in my business-class seat. But what was the best method to alert the airline about my careless mishap and (hopefully) retrieve it? With spotty data and WiFi, searching for information on my phone was frustrating and slow. Here’s what I learned from the anxiety-inducing experience (and unexpected ending) about what to do if you leave something behind on your flight:
Solmar Hotels & Resorts introduces Grand Solmar Pacific Dunes, previously known as Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The hotel renewed its name and image to highlight the property’s natural attributes while maintaining the quality of its services and experiences.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Specializing in bespoke adventures in some truly spectacular locations, Up Norway proves sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. Ideal for families and small groups, the newly launched Coastal, Rural and Urban Norway Journey takes travelers on an immersive, eight-day expedition embracing the concept of slow travel.
If fabulous food and beverages are a must-have for any weekend getaway, then look no further than the City of Brotherly Love. Whether your palate has a penchant for vibrant Latin American fare or cozy French cuisine, whether you're an oenophile looking to swirl, sniff and sip your way around the globe or you’d rather sample farm-to-glass cocktails, Philly’s got it all this fall. (With the exception of Bolo, which is a short taxi or Uber ride away and definitely worth the trip, the rest of these spots are all within walking distance of each other.)
IHG Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce the launch of a new mobile product feature for members: IHG Wi-Fi Auto Connect. This feature is now available exclusively in the IHG One Rewards mobile app for both iOS and Android users and will automatically connect IHG One Rewards members to WiFi upon arrival at more than 5,000 IHG hotels worldwide — no separate passwords or log-ins needed. This is in addition to the exciting benefits of being an IHG Business Edge member. IHG Business Edge provides small- and medium-sized businesses access to a user-friendly portal that displays comprehensive spending and savings data while providing the convenience of direct booking with a guaranteed discount.
From Santoríni to Dubai to New York, some hotels just have that “it” factor that draws visitors far and wide. For some hotels it’s their proximity to popular landmarks and attractions, for others it’s their amenities. But these hotels have something few can claim: a true room with a view.