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.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.
CONSIDERING THAT JUST A LITTLE more than a century ago — 1910, to be exact — Miami’s population was only about 5,400 people, it’s easy to see why this South Florida hot spot has long been considered a boomtown. And the evolution continues to impress as the city gears up to welcome an array of new services, amenities and experiences.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Ethiopian Airlines added a daily non-stop between Brussels (BRU) and Addis Ababa (ADD). The carrier previously made stopovers in Vienna (VIE) three days a week, increasing the journey time from seven hours to nine.
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Last month, British Airways announced plans to offset carbon emissions from all its flights within the United Kingdom. The initiative begins next year and carbon emissions are offset via the United Nations’ carbon offsetting scheme, which invests in carbon reduction projects around the world, such as reforestation and rainforest protection.