Name: Rob Gurney
Company, city: oneworld; New York, N.Y.
Number of employees: 25 at oneworld; 400,000 across our member airlines
Recent project: I started in this role October 2016, so I’m looking at the business with a fresh set of lenses, focused on how we can make our offerings more contemporary. Airlines have changed, and we need to better utilize our digital capabilities.
First job: My grandfather was an entrepreneur, and my first job was working in his betting shops.
Little-known fact about you: I’m an animal lover, a supporter of animal charities and also a surfer.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? A continuation of this constant pace of connecting people with technologies in enriching ways — less transactional and more genuine.
Best career advice you’ve received: Never underestimate the knowledge and capabilities you build throughout your career. Have a sense of confidence that you have quite a lot to offer, and enjoy what you are doing.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? No experience is wasted. The more skills you acquire, the more useful. If you want to be a CEO, you must have a broad understanding and knowledge base.
Rob Gurney as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: On a walking holiday in Italy, I saw a missing-dog photo with a phone number. I took a picture of the sign. While walking in a park later, I found the dog hiding under a bush. I carried the dog to safety, called its owners and reunited them.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Carry-on only! Unpack your shirts and steam them in the bathroom.
Best advice for business travelers: Same as above — carry-on only. And, of course, choose a oneworld member airline.
Oneworld turned 18 in 2017; what can we expect from the alliance in the lead-up to its 20th birthday? We’ll be looking at the value proposition of the alliance and our digital platforms and offerings as we enter our third decade. Simultaneously, we’re thinking about how to reflect the personality of the brand and if it can be reimagined. We want to deliver on what consumers value and make it seamless and rewarding. We are also assessing opportunities for smaller, regional airlines to join the alliance.
The alliance continues to win accolades. What makes oneworld an award-winning alliance? The quality of our member airlines is the biggest driver. All are heavily engaged in innovation, from American Airlines’ flagship dining to British Airways’ WiFi and Qantas’ Australia-to-U.K. non-stop flights. It’s all about getting the story out about the airlines.
What are the recent enhancements to oneworld events, the one-stop service for planning meetings and events? We are consistently building the quality of the alliance ecosystem, and the recent enhancements to oneworld events are an example of how we do so. We cut the passenger threshold to 50, and we improved incentives.
Tell our readers about the various ’round-the-world options. It’s a fabulous value for the money, and the single most successful fare for the alliance. We’re always looking at the product lines — can we add to them? We have a good suite of products, but we need to be more proactive to ensure our customers understand the options and ensure we understand what our customers need.
Once an abandoned 1923 constructed warehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, it took a creative group of designers, artists, musicians, chefs and business folks to transform a neglected, 100-year-old structure into one of Asheville’s most interesting and daring hotel projects.
Five Tips to Help Minimize Potential Travel Problems
Early on, pickleball had something to do with pickles. Pickles the dog, that is. In one story, the game was named for a family dog that ran off with the ball between sets.
Incentive travel has long been a way for organizations to drive sales and reward employees with opulent trips to exotic destinations. Today it encompasses even more.
JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco recently completed renovations of its entrances, lobby, culinary concepts and meeting space. This marks the final stage of the renovation, which began in 2021 with the revitalization of its 269 guestrooms and 45 suites.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
You know what you’re going to get at an Aman hotel, and also you don’t. Expect peerless service, obsessive attention to detail, architectural elegance worthy of a fashion magazine, a holistic approach to wellness and astounding levels of comfort. But each property is also intimately connected to its setting, and that’s where the surprises lie. For instance, finding yourself on your knees on a sidewalk in Luang Prabang handing out sticky rice to Buddhist monks at 5:30 a.m. isn’t something we expected.