Name: Yil Surehan
Title: Vice president, airline business development
Company, city: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; Washington, D.C.
Number of employees: 1,700
Recent project: I lead a team of seven people dedicated to attracting new and expanded business to our two airports, Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International, and we’ve been focused on growing air service out of Dulles.
First job: I worked in a pet store at age 13 and worked my way through high school, college and grad school.
Little-known fact about you: Just like the movie, I am a teenager trapped in his father’s body!
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? We need to look at travelers as customers as opposed to passengers and review how we can further eliminate inefficiencies from the process. The use of technology to provide a seamless flow to the experience will continue at the forefront.
Best career advice you’ve received: If you do what you like, it won’t feel like work. Money will come later.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Give yourself a sound educational foundation and continue to learn every single day.
AS A TRAVELER
Favorite travel memory or story: I’ve traveled a lot, and no matter what, nothing beats the feeling of coming home, opening the door and being tackled by your kids and dog. It’s the best feeling ever.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Remember, something may go wrong, so always keep an extra day’s worth of clothes with you.
Best advice for business travelers: Try our two airports — you’ll be surprised by all the new amenities. Also, become a frequent user of two airlines and two hotels and enjoy the perks of their loyalty programs.
ABOUT YOUR BRAND
United Airlines and TAP Air Portugal launched new service from Washington Dulles. What other routes recently launched, and what is upcoming? Alitalia began service to Rome in May, and EgyptAir followed in June with service to Cairo. TAP Air Portugal’s Lisbon route also launched in June. United launched 10 routes this year, including service to Tel Aviv, and already announced four new routes for spring 2020. Cabo Verde will launch service to Cape Verde Island in December, and SWISS is launching service to Zürich in March 2020.
Tell us about the biometric testing and other new technology in use at the airport. Airlines were given a Customs and Border Patrol mandate to develop biometric screening for people leaving the country, which is an expensive proposition. Our CEO tasked us with finding a cheaper way to do this than what was currently available, and thus our VeriScan system was developed. Using commercially available hardware and proprietary software, it takes two seconds or less to compare a passenger’s information to the CBP database and process the passenger. This is offered to all international airlines serving Dulles International, and we work with other airports via purchasing agreements.
Biometrics are here: We’ve boarded an Airbus A380 in 20 minutes. There has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction because it speeds up the process and makes it easier. It’s a seamless customer experience.
Construction on the Silver Line, connecting Dulles and the D.C. Metro, has an expected completion date of 2020. Tell us about the project and its progress. Every major international airport has rail options to city center, and finally we will have it in summer 2020. The single-seat ride will connect travelers from Dulles International to Metro Center in 56 minutes, making the airport commute incredibly easy for customers and employees.
Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a light breeze dancing on your face, and views so beautiful you begin to think it is a simulation. The United Kingdom is teeming with unique accommodations that will please your eyes. Check out these stays with stunning views on your next U.K. adventure.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
AdventureWomen, the travel company specializing in adventure tours for women, announced a partnership with African Wildlife Foundation. The organization supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife through education, community development and sustainability projects. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will host a women’s safari to Zimbabwe in May 2022.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, where innovative wellness and balanced indulgence come together in one extraordinary beachfront setting, recently partnered with First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support to children and families of first responders. This partnership formed the Carillon Cares: Summer of Heroes offers, including a donation to the foundation for each stay booked, which supports giving back to those who fought on the front lines during the pandemic.
Although much changed in the past year, Cancún still has the joie de vivre we need right now after months of cabin fever — even with safety measures in place. In fact, the first half of 2021 may be a good time to rediscover Mexico’s home-grown Caribbean resort town in a slower, more relaxed mode that contrasts its rollicking “spring break” reputation of old. One place to take in Cancún at its best is JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, a mile up from the convergence of night clubs, chain restaurants, souvenir emporiums and shopping malls along Avenida Kukulkan.
June marks Pride Month, largely credited to bisexual activist Brenda Howard who organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade in 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots. The parade eventually become the New York City Pride March, leading to Pride Month and similar parades and marches around the world.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Haven Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, an all-suite, adults-only, all-inclusive oceanfront resort, announces a new experience suited for epicurean travelers: The Chef’s Table. At Haven’s fine-dining restaurant Olios Mediterranean, The Chef’s Table offers the best seats in the house, right in front of the chef’s working station and open, top-of-the-line kitchen. And the actual table is beautiful in its own right: made from reclaimed wood and complemented by a turquoise glass chandelier.