Name: Trey Urbahn
Title: Chief strategy officer
Company, city: TAP Air Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal
Number of employees: Approximately 7,800 airline employees, with another 4,000-plus at ground handling, maintenance and regional subsidiaries
Recent project: Transforming TAP from a stodgy, state-owned airline to a private, innovative, profitable airline capable of competing globally
First job: I rotated stock on supermarket shelves for a pet food company in college.
Little-known fact about you: I commute weekly from my home in Connecticut to Lisbon. Before that, I did the same to São Paulo. In the past 12 years, I’ve flown more than 5 million miles and spent more than 1,000 nights commuting to and from work.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? Airlines fly with a lot of unused capacity in wide-body airplanes. Some, like TAP, use a container with stairway access to provide a crew rest facility with up to seven bunks. Similar concepts will develop for passenger use.
Best career advice you’ve received: Airlines are a passion; do it because you love the business. If you want to get rich, work on Wall Street.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? The airline business is about serving people or serving someone who does. Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers, who ultimately provide for your bottom line.
Trey Urbahn as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: Traveling to the island of Fernando do Noronha off the coast of Brazil, a spectacular, undeveloped island with the best beaches in the world.
One travel tip you cannot live without: I always bring my own pillow, noise-cancelling headphones and an iPad with movies, or an ebook.
Best advice for business travelers: Fly to Europe via Lisbon on TAP. Our business-class and economy-plus fares are consistently lower, and you can stop over in one of the great undiscovered cities for free.
About TAP Air Portugal
What can travelers expect from TAP Air Portugal in 2018?
In 2017 TAP installed state-of-the-art lie-flat seats in seven of its newer Airbus A330-200s. In 2018 we will be the launch carrier for the new Airbus A300-900neo, taking delivery of 19 by the end of 2019. These aircraft, featuring breakthrough airspace cabin interiors, will provide new market growth. TAP will also introduce the highly efficient Airbus A321neo LR, featuring fully lie-flat businessclass seats in addition to premium-economy and economy seating. These aircraft will allow TAP to open new, thinner markets too small for the 300-seat A330neo, including the Eastern United States and northeast Brazil. The 53 new Airbus A330s, A320s and A321neos on order will simultaneously improve the efficiency of our fleet and improve our product.
Tell our readers about the stopover program, which recently expanded from three to five nights.
The program is a remarkable success, with more than 80,000 travelers from the Americas experiencing a stopover in the last few years. As TAP flies to more than 65 destinations throughout Europe and Africa, this is a great way to have travelers consider our global network and offer a heck of a deal, as Americans clamor to see Lisbon, Porto and the rest of the country. Travelers can spend up to five nights in Lisbon or Porto with no additional airfare, and there are also hotel discounts (or a free night for those booked in business class), free wine with meals at participating restaurants, shopping discounts at a major department store and great experiences such as walking tours or complimentary museum entry.
What can premium travelers expect from their TAP Air Portugal experience?
By 2020 all our long-haul aircraft will be brand-new or recently reconfigured, providing a consistent product across the fleet. We’ve recruited six Michelin-starred Portuguese chefs to bring their individual touches to our food in business and economy, and we’re introducing new Portuguese wines to our award-winning onboard selection. Our premium travelers can expect the “new TAP” with a renewed commitment to deliver a superb flying experience. We will continue to be the price leader for customers flying between the United States and Europe.
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla is opening its acclaimed doors Oct. 22 to celebrate its fifth and most exciting season. The resort will introduce new programming including culinary, fitness and music.
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
Seabourn recently announced the name of its second new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship: Seabourn Pursuit. The name reflects the passion of expedition travelers to seek out and explore natural wonders and destinations through activities around the globe.
Though the Chicago area has been my home for decades, the view from the Water Tower Suite on the 26th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago made me gasp. I had admired Chicago’s dramatic skyline many times, but never from this angle. Through expansive windows, the skyscrapers of 900 N. Michigan Ave. and the John Hancock Center, now named 875 North Michigan Avenue, rose to my right. Far below, the landmark Chicago Water Tower nestled in a ring of trees. One of the few survivors of the Great Chicago Fire, a turning point in the city’s history being remembered on its 150th anniversary in 2021, the Gothic Revival relic resembled a fairy-tale castle in a children’s playset.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
President Biden signed H.R. 2278, bipartisan legislation to designate a September 11th National Memorial Trail. The trail route will link the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York; the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia; and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In April 2021, I was skimming Facebook when an ad for a blind-folded dining experience popped up on my newsfeed. The event was hosted through a company called Fever that offers fun, interactive events in major cities and virtually for people to enjoy. Intrigued, I clicked the link to learn more. The description made the event sound exciting and mysterious. When I give someone a present for their birthday, the holidays or a wedding, I like to give the gift of an experience that the recipient can learn something from. My boyfriend’s 30th birthday was in June, when the event was to be hosted, so I thought this would be a great surprise for him.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Austin, Texas, with us.