Name: Marc Ferguson
Title: General manager, Delta Sky Club Experience
Company, city: Delta Air Lines; Atlanta, Ga.
Number of employees: More than 80,000
Recent project: Launch of our third Asanda Spa Lounge, in our Delta Sky Club at ATL
First job: Retail manager at Federated Department Stores (Rich’s, now Macy’s)
Little-known fact about you: I swam in the U.S. Olympic Trial in 1988 in Austin, Texas.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? Customization is revolutionizing the travel industry, especially in the lounge space. We enable guests to craft their own experience — they can socialize, be productive or relax, whatever they prefer. We’ve created different areas and experiences in the Club that allow them to do so.
Best career advice you’ve received: I believe I heard it at my first job: Love what you do and it’s never a job. That’s followed me through every career choice I’ve made.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? I always tell those starting at Delta Air Lines to explore as many departments as they can. That variety of experience gives them a unique perspective when it comes to understanding the company, allowing them greater impact on the customer experience.
Marc Ferguson as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: About eight years ago, I went on a safari in Kenya that was amazing and inspiring.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Do your homework and learn about the destination. Leave flexibility in your schedule for unexpected opportunities.
Best advice for business travelers: Stay hydrated and pack light.
About Delta Air Lines
What has recently been announced with Delta Sky Club? What can travelers expect from the new Delta Sky Clubs coming in 2019? We recently launched our third Asanda Spa Lounge, in our Club in ATL’s Terminal E. Guests appreciate this amenity, also offered at JFK and SEA. Along with light massages and facials, guests can purchase products with a credit card or Sky Miles. One of the more unique spa offerings, developed in partnership with Dr. Deepak Chopra, is a meditation experience designed for travelers.
Earlier this year, we launched a partnership with renowned French pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Club goers at JFK can enjoy his famous macarons and chocolates — so far, it’s a hit. In 2019 we will open Delta Sky Clubs in Austin and Phoenix, incorporating local food and art into the spaces.
Tell our readers about the food and beverage offerings available at Delta Sky Clubs. We’ve moved our food and beverage approach to focus on fresh, local and healthy. Our new SkyBowl is a fresh, seasonally rotated build-a-bowl experience available in 20 Clubs. Guests can choose the ingredients they’d like for their meals and make it as healthy or as indulgent as they’d like. All the Clubs focus on both seasonal food items and flavors from around the world. To provide another example, in Seattle we worked with local chef Ethan Stowell to craft a menu and offerings unique and specific to the city.
CLEAR members with a Delta Sky Club membership can use their fingerprints to enter some clubs now. Tell us about this and other new technology coming to the Clubs. At Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., and at Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta International Airport, those enrolled in the CLEAR program can use biometric check-in, so they can use their fingerprints to enter the Club and don’t have to look around for that boarding pass. This technology also enables ambassadors to better engage with guests and help with more complex needs. At the same time, it satisfies those looking for a seamless check-in experience. We also recently rolled out handheld devices so ambassadors can greet and check in guests at the door. We’re continuously working to use technology to enhance the customer experience and give our ambassadors more tools.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
The Airline Passenger Experience Association and SimpliFlying recognized United Airlines for providing a hospital-grade standard of cleanliness and safety during travel. Among the four largest U.S. carriers, United is the first to receive Diamond Certification, the highest in the new APEX Health Safety audit powered by SimpiliFlying.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
A couple of my friends and I decided to rent a house in the Camelback Mountain area of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains for New Year’s Eve. To find the perfect place, we used Vrbo.com; there were a bunch of properties to choose from, but, in the end, we decided to rent a place in The Village at Camelback.
The International Air Transport Association and Etihad Airways partnered to launch the IATA Travel Pass for passengers on the Gulf carrier. The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps passengers manage travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. It will be initially offered on select Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi in early 2021, with plans to extend the offer if successful.
Custom order your Volvo through the Overseas Delivery Program and receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and a personalized delivery at the Volvo Factory Delivery Experience in Gothenburg, Sweden. Your experience begins in Sweden with insurance and registration included, enabling you to drive your new Volvo throughout Scandinavia and Europe. Create the adventure of a lifetime with the program named Best Overseas Delivery four years running, and return home with the ultimate souvenir.
Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection recently debuted a complete redesign, now standing as a luxurious, modern mountain resort in Telluride, Colorado. At 10,540 feet, the ski-in/ski-out retreat boasts new social spaces, a refreshed lobby, a new boutique, a collection of new guest experiences and amenities, and wellness offerings. Additionally, Madeline features a collaboration with Olympian Gus Kenworthy, who helped create the hotel’s Recovery Ski Lounge.