The Business of Travel

rss

The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association


Congratulations to the 2017 GBTA Board of Directors Nominees

Please join us in congratulating the following members, who have been nominated to run for positions on the GBTA Board of Directors. Candidate platform statements will be sent to all GBTA Members in the coming weeks. The Board consists of thirteen (13) Members comprised of the President, Vice President, Immediate Past President/Chairman of the Board, President of the Chapter Presidents' Council, President and Vice President of the Allied Leadership Council, five (5) Direct Members elected at large, and two (2) Allied Members elected at large. The Executive Director & COO also serves as an ex officio Member of the Board. Below, please find a brief description of each position and, for each position, the corresponding list of nominated members:

President (1) – The President will preside at all meetings of the Board. This person exercises general supervisory control over the affairs of the Association. The President serves a term of two (2) years to begin at the close of GBTA Convention 2017 through the close of GBTA Convention 2019. All GBTA Direct Members may vote for these candidates.

The nominees for President are:

Christle Johnson, Vice President, Travel & Business Services, Johnson Downie LLC

Mark Ziegler, Senior Travel Manager, Global Travel Services, NetApp, Inc.

Vice President (1) - The Vice President presides at meetings of the Board of Directors and related committees if and when the President is not available. The Vice President is also a member of GBTA’s Finance and Budget Committee. Like the President, the Vice President serves a two-year term that begins at the close of GBTA Convention 2017 and runs through the close of GBTA Convention 2019. All GBTA Direct Members may vote for these candidates.

The nominees for Vice President are:

Rita Visser, Director, Global Travel Sourcing and GPO, Oracle

Allied Member at Large (1) – Allied Members at Large exercise the General Powers of the Association, as those powers are set forth in the Association’s Bylaws. Allied Members at Large serve a term of two years to begin at the close of GBTA Convention 2017 through the close of GBTA Convention 2019. All GBTA Allied Members may vote for these candidates.

The nominees for Allied Member at large are:

William (Billy) Bos, Associate Director of Worldwide Sales, Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Paul Tilstone, Managing Partner, Festive Road

Elections will be held Monday through Tuesday, July 17-18, 2017, at GBTA Convention 2017 in Boston. Absentee ballots will be available on June 2. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 16. All absentee ballots are due to Election Services Corp. (ESC) by July 11. Further instructions will be sent on how to request an absentee ballot in the coming weeks. Please also note, the deadline to register for Convention if you are planning to vote onsite is July 6.


GBTA's Legislative Summit Addresses Passenger Bill of Rights

GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick kicked off the 15th Annual GBTA Legislative Summit, an event that brings more than 100 travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key issues. McCormick discussed the importance of passenger rights in light of recent events with United Airlines and American Airlines.

In discussing the issues regarding passenger rights, McCormick pointed to GBTA’ Rules of the Road, introduced last year at the GBTA Legislative Summit. GBTA developed these Rules of the Road in order to make the global travel systems safer, more secure, and more reliable and a better place to conduct and facilitate business.

Prior to the event, GBTA conducted a lightning poll survey of a group of its buyer members:

  • 64 percent felt that the “Passenger Bill of Rights” does not adequately protect the business traveler.
  • 69 percent felt that the federal government, meaning the Department of Transportation or the Federal Trade Commission should conduct a review of the Contracts of Carriage for the airlines.
  • 69 percent also felt that the compensation cap for “involuntary bumping” should be increased.

McCormick then opened the discussion up to members who discussed the pros and cons of industry consolidation, the importance of customer service and whether the industry would prefer self-regulation over government regulations. The audience applauded the idea that the entire flying experience could be much more efficient for both the traveler and the travel provider.


GBTA Legislative Symposium Tackles FAA Reauthorization and ATC Reform

Holly Woodruff Lyons, Deputy General Counsel, House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Aviation, discussed committee efforts regarding the FAA Reauthorization Bill and modernizing infrastructure at the 15th Annual Legislative Summit, an event that brings more than 100 travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key issues.

Lyons told attendees that that main priority of the FAA Reauthorization bill was air traffic control reform, explaining that the committee is up against many barriers such as budget constraints, reductions in force, lack of order in Congress and the fact that there has been no stand-alone travel appropriations bill since 2006. However, she also said that it was possible to get the bill off the floor by August - a committee goal.

When talking about NextGen, she said that the committee hasn’t seen real game-changing results. She said that there have been pockets of success but overall no real progress on this.

Lyons stated that Chairman Shuster feels the only way for this to be a success is for this to be out of government control. Chairman Shuster has proposed the creation of a not-for-profit that would be responsible for air traffic control. Lyons outlined several aspects of the non-for-profit which included, being independent of the federal government, the creation of a nominated corporate board and all monies and revenue would be reinvested back into the governing entity to name a few of the parameters.

Stay tuned for a post in the near future on GBTA’s position on this issue.


FAA's Winsome Lenfert Talks PFCs and Airport Infrastructure at GBTA Legislative Summit

Winsome Lenfert, Deputy Associate Administrator for Airports, FAA spoke about passenger facility charges (PFCs) and funding for airport infrastructure at the 15th Annual Legislative Summit, an event that brings more than 100 travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key issues.

She told attendees that she has visited hundreds of airports across the country both in her role at the FAA and as business traveler and pilot herself. “When you have seen one airport, you have seen only one airport,” she told the crowd as she explained that all airports are different in their own way.  However, the commonalities of all airports are safety, security and upholding passenger needs.

Lenfert explained how the FAA is funded and authorized by Congress to keep the airways safe.  She explained that the FAA has lived through 23 short-term extensions, but it’s current authority expires on September 30, 2017.  Ideally, Congress will pass a long-term reauthorization before that date.  She told attendees how disruptive shut downs are to the FAA.

Lenfert said the passenger facilities charges are directed at enhancing safety, security, modernization of the system and the enhancement of competition.

While discussing PFCs, she explained how the money raised from those fees go to specific airport projections with airport terminals being the main recipient of funding dollars.

She also talked about the financial savings that have come from NextGen technology. She told attendees that the projected savings to airlines and passengers in 2030 will be $160 billion creating increased efficiencies for both airlines and their passengers.


CBP Previews Future of Biometric Exit at GBTA Legislative Summit

John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations for Customs and Border Protection provided an overview of the new biometric exit model at the 15th Annual GBTA Legislative Summit, an event that brings more than 100 travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key issues.

Wagner told attendees that the agency is deploying new technologies to verify travelers’ identities when arriving and departing the United States. He discussed several of those programs and technologies such as Global Entry.  

He also told attendees about the Atlanta Biometric Exit Experiment, which is in partnership with Delta Airlines. The Experiment is to see if CBP’s systems can compare images of travelers departing the United States via facial recognition against images previously provided from a passport or ID.

Wagner said the experiment was going well and hadn’t added to boarding times either. The camera is in the boarding area and only takes a couple of seconds to take the photo. Taking a picture is an easy process and one which is less imposing than providing fingerprints.

He concluded with ideas and concepts that might be borne from this program making it so much easier and more efficient for travelers to get through the airport system while still being able to maintain the highest level of security. The future looks bright for biometrics.


DHS' Steve Yonkers Updates GBTA Legislative Summit Attendees on Real ID

Steve Yonkers, Director of Identity and Credentialing, Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Policy, Screening Coordination Office spoke about REAL ID issues at the 15th Annual GBTA Legislative Summit, an event that brings more than 100 travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key issues.

Yonkers provided background on REAL ID, which was passed by Congress in 2005, and enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation. He said having a secure driver’s license and identification documents are vital components of national security. Yonkers explained to attendees that REAL ID will establish minimum standards for security.

It will only apply to entering a nuclear power plant, accessing Federal facilities and military bases and boarding regulated commercial aircraft.

Yonkers stressed that this does not create a national ID or database and that currently 26 states are in compliance.

GBTA will have a state-by-state update coming to the blog soon.


TSA Talks What's Next for PreCheck at GBTA Legislative Summit

Simone Davis, Executive DHS Liaison Officer, Transportation Security Administration spoke about TSA PreCheck at the 15th Annual GBTA Legislative Summit, an event that brings more than 100 travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key issues.

Davis discussed the intelligence driven risk-based security system with attendees. She stated that the majority of passengers are low risk so having them sign up for PreCheck allows TSA to know more about an individual passenger in order for them to move along more efficiently.

“The more info we have about a passenger, the easier it is to access risk.”

While discussing some of the program’s successes, Davis told attendees that nearly 97 percent of TSA PreCheck passengers wait 5 minutes or less in line at security. She stated that they are excited to have 30 airlines participating which equals about 95 percent of all air trips at 180+ airports. The program also now has 10.4 million participants.

She told attendees to expect non-U.S. based carriers to be joining in Q2. When asked what was next for PreCheck, Davis answered that they are hoping to expand engagement and loyalty programs; they are exploring new enrollment options and centers; they are hoping to increase airlines participation reaching more air travelers; and, that this summer they will be rolling out an enrollment center pop up tour.

Previous GBTA research has shown business travelers enrolled in TSA PreCheck report a significantly better air travel experience than their peers who have not.


Senator Klobuchar Highlights Importance of Travel & Tourism at GBTA Legislative Summit

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a strong supporter of the business travel industry spoke to a crowded room late Tuesday at the 15th Annual GBTA Legislative Summit, an event that brings more than 100 travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key issues.

Senator Klobuchar discussed how important tourism is to the United States. She complimented our attendees for their work and dedication on visa reform. She is concerned with the safety of our country but also wants to be mindful of the economic impact of the anti-immigrant talk as it will affect tourism. She said she continues to encourage her colleagues to think about the economic side of such rhetoric.

She also talked about how proud she is of the work that went into Brand USA, including its reauthorization extending until 2020. Brand USA’s mission is to encourage increased international visitation to the United States and to grow America’s share of the global travel market.

She also discussed the importance of infrastructure, the FAA reauthorization bill and the Cuba travel market.

She concluded with a brief Q & A session with GBTA members before joining GBTA's Executive Director Mike McCormick for a Facebook Live interview where she talked about the pending government shutdown, her priorities when it comes to infrastructure improvement and the FAA Reauthorization.


GBTA Unveils New Rules of the Road Logo at Legislative Summit

At GBTA’s Legislative Summit last year, we unveiled our new Rules of the Road to optimize business travel. GBTA mobilized its members to create this declaration of travel reform to guide industry, business leaders and policy makers in creating a travel ecosystem that fosters growth, jobs, safety and efficiency around the globe.

The Rules of the Road consists of eight guiding principles including safety and security, taxes, competition, fee clarity, communication, innovation, traveler experience and quality and connectivity. Together these principles will help to make the global travel systems safer, more secure, more reliable and a better place to conduct and facilitate business.

Since the launch, we have honored 11 Senators and Representatives who have been strong champions for business travelers and the business travel industry with GBTA’s inaugural Navigator Award. We showcased the new Rules in front of our nearly 7,000 attendees at Convention. We have worked tirelessly advocating in the United States and Europe to ensure policymakers consider these principles as they create laws and rules that impact the industry.

It is equally important that the Rules of the Road goes beyond just legislative action. Buyers, suppliers and the entire business travel community need to consider these principles and make sure any new policies and products are viewed through the lens of the Rules of the Road, ensuring the needs of the business traveler and travel professional are met.

Today, at this year’s Legislative Summit we unveil a new Rules of the Road logo, so that you can quickly identify new policies and products in support of - or against - the spirit of these important principles.

Follow me on Twitter and keep an eye on stories in our Daily News Brief accompanied by this logo to stay up to date on the ever-changing nature of business travel. Articles that highlight positive examples in support of the Rules will be accompanied by the green check logo:

 

Those that showcase negative examples that may go against one or more of the principles will have the red X icon next to them:

 

We’ll keep you in the know on whether or not companies and Congress are working in the best interest of the business travel community.


Thank You From GBTA

*The following message was originally sent as an email to GBTA Members.*

GBTA has more than 750 volunteers across 39 groups worldwide that actively contribute to the success of the association and the business travel industry. Our volunteers have continuously lent their time, talent and voice around the world in working to improve our industry.

April 23 – 29 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our global volunteers. This week is about celebrating your accomplishments and honoring you, our valued members who give their time. Volunteerism empowers individuals to take their passion and turn it into meaningful change.

As a volunteer myself, I have built long lasting relationships and have witnessed the impact and effects of your contributions. I’m very proud of each of your accomplishments and thank you for the time you invest into your association and the business travel industry.

While this week we take time to acknowledge your service, I look forward to seeing you at GBTA Convention 2017 in Boston where I hope to have the opportunity to thank you in person.