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.
Vail Resorts opted to close all 37 resorts early in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but the mountain resort operator also wanted to give back to the community in the face of this adversity. The excess perishable food from the various properties was donated to 30 local food banks, schools and community organizations in the communities where Vail Resorts employees live, work and play. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, juice, granola bars and more went to mountain communities from Colorado and Vermont to British Columbia.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
The airline industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations, route capacity reductions and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
IN A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND PARTNERSHIP, Singapore Airlines and AeroFarms, the leader in indoor vertical farming, launched a Farm-to-Plane initiative to bring the world’s freshest inflight produce to Singapore flights from Newark International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
While we may be physically restricted as to where we travel, that doesn’t stop the wandering spirit from feeling the need to explore. With the rise of virtual tourism, we can do just that — explore, but from home.
As a result of travel restrictions and drastic reductions in flights worldwide, Munich Airport is suffering from decreases in nearly every area of its operations. Take-offs and landings reached a low last week, with traffic plummeting to less than 10 percent of the number year over year. Passenger traffic is at 5 percent of last year’s level.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
For the next several weeks, we are compiling the thoughts and experiences of our staff, writers and readers about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a travel publication, we’ve all been affected during these difficult times, as have many of our clients, friends, partners and more.