The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Compensation for Travel Buyers Up 5 Percent Year Over Year

The GBTA Foundation released its annual Compensation and Benefits study today that looks at salaries, bonuses, and benefits for U.S. travel buyers. In good news for travel buyers, salaries are up year over year increasing 5 percent to $110,000 for total pre-tax compensation in 2015. Median salaries are up, as well, increasing 6 percent to $103,000.


What Factors Impact Salary Level?
Average salary size is directly correlated to company spend size, however, there is a 30 percent increase in average salaries between those working at companies with an annual spend of less than $10 million ($82,000) and those at companies with an annual spend of $10 million to less than $50 million ($117,000).

The study shows GTP Certification holders earn 8 percent more than those without it. Their median incomes were also 17 percent higher.


Compensation rises with career level as well with the largest increases seen from experienced/entry level staff to manager (+37 percent) and director to executive (+37 percent). Not surprisingly, compensation also rises with education level. There is a much larger compensation increase between having an associate’s degree or less and a bachelor’s degree (+18 percent) compared to having a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree (+8 percent).

Salaries also vary by company type and region, with those working at a for-profit company ($111,000) earning higher average compensation than those at non-profit companies ($95,000). Those living in the Northeastern ($118,000) or Western ($114,000) regions of the United States earn more than those in the Midwest ($105,000) or South ($96,000).

Stay tuned for more info on benefits buyers receive and satisfaction levels with overall compensation packages.

Guest Post: Everything’s Amazing and No One is Happy

The following is a guest post in our GBTA Ladders Blog Series. The GBTA Ladders program is a unique mentor program designed to help develop the passion and skills of business travel professionals enabling them to help solve the major challenges facing business travel. A call for new mentors and mentees for the next round of the program closes today, so do not miss out.

GBTA Ladders Summit

GBTA Ladders Summit

Everything's Amazing and No One is Happy
By: Team Alchemy - Doug Payne, Senior Vice President of Sales at Altour mentored this group. Mentees: Ali Prejean, Marketing and Sales Support Specialist at Griffin Travel; Leanne Gallagher, Global Director of Business Travel Sales at Omni Hotels; Tyce Carmichael, Director of Marketing at Cornerstone Information Systems; and Tyiesha Thaxton, Sales Manager at Lansdowne Report

When we started our GBTA Ladders experience, our team decided that we wanted to identify a ‘problem’ with disruptive technology and come up with a viable solution. The product of our efforts was Alchemy Travel Technologies, which strives to help serve as the ‘hub’, via our mobile application, between providers, travelers, travel managers, and corporations. The three main advantages of our idea are information share between all parties, completely managing trips in a single application, and the amount of time and stress this can save you. We’d now like to put the focus on the last advantage.

Everything’s amazing right now and no one is happy.” – Louis C.K., American comedian, editor, writer, producer and actor

Not only did Louis C.K. make us laugh in the clip above, like only the best comedians can do, he made us think. We live in a world where we can access anything we desire through a couple taps of our fingertips.  It is almost impossible to imagine that 20 years ago, there were only 130 sites on the web, or that it has only been 8 years, less than a decade, since the iPhone transformed the way we interact with the internet.  Technology has not merely leaped, technology has surged.

We are now able to connect to everyone and everything – so much so that we now forget to exist in real time.  We have forgotten what it is like to simply be still.  Instead emails, web browsing and social media consume our down time.  Rather than pondering on information, we continue to absorb more, no matter how worthless the content.  We are on an information overload.

Technology is meant to simplify processes, allowing us as users to gain back a few moments of our time.  We also like to think it was meant to enhance your real life experience, not replace it.

Here’s a thought – why not try using the time we save from these innovations to engage thoughtfully with the world around us?

Take this short article for example - Mr. Maupin, a healthcare executive at Alvarez & Marsal, muses on his career path and how it might look different had he not taken the opportunity to talk to his seatmate on a flight home 30 years ago.  With all due respect to Mr. Maupin, his narrative takes place before a time when the thought of an hour without internet access sends most of us into apoplectic shock. We now tend to see the crowns of our fellow humans’ bowed heads far more frequently than their eyes. However, his point is still a valid one.

Have you missed out on an opportunity or a solution because you couldn’t put away your devices for 30 minutes? Do you remember a time when you took the time to just talk to someone and something amazing came from it?

So our challenge to our readers is to find the happy medium. Technology is great and can certainly be helpful. We are NOT suggesting we go back to the days of rotary phones or the pony express, but at what point does technology lose the utility of enabling us and start to disable other essential parts of truly living?

So are you up to the challenge? You can start by trying some of the ‘Bored and Brilliant’ series. We’d love to hear your feedback on some of the exercises.

Travel Apps: Baby Boomers vs. Millennials

A recent GBTA Foundation study released in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel surveyed more than 500 North American business travelers looking at business travelers’ booking behaviors and found some interesting differences when it comes to Baby Boomers (55+) and Millennials (18-34) and their use of travel apps.

While smart phones are practically universal among business travelers, adoption of travel apps is not. Less than half of the business travelers surveyed have downloaded airline (46 percent), hotel (45 percent), travel reservation (34 percent) or general travel (23 percent) apps.

When given a selection of purposes for travel apps, business travelers were most likely to use them for checking their flight status (39 percent), flight check-in (38 percent), navigation (37 percent), looking up information (34 percent) and booking hotels (33 percent). Less common uses included expense tracking (18 percent), making restaurant reservations (18 percent) and requesting a taxi/rideshare service (16 percent).

Both Millennials and Gen-X (35-54) travelers are more likely than Baby Boomers to have downloaded each of four types of travel apps (hotel, travel reservation, general travel and review) on their smart phones. Millennials and Gen-X travelers have similar adoption rates with the exception of ground transportation apps, downloaded by Millennials at a higher rate.


When it comes to how the apps are used, Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers to use apps for booking hotels, hotel check-in, booking car rentals, checking reviews and online translation. Gen-X travelers are more likely than Baby Boomers to use travel apps for navigation, hotel check-in, tracking expenses, booking car rentals and online translation.

When it comes to awareness of features for hotel apps, Baby Boomers along with low-frequency business travelers are most commonly unaware of all features.


Why Use Travel Apps?

When asked why they use travel apps, business travelers commonly mention convenience, ease of use and having access to information.


What Does this Mean for Travel Programs?
The levels of adoption for travel apps are similar to adoption rates of other types of apps including banking, games, search and navigation, so this area presents an opportunity for travel programs to assess and incorporate the mobile apps that they consider useful and could help travelers not only stay compliant with travel policy, but also make the experience of business travel a better one.

Want to know more? Register for a webinar on October 20 where GBTA will further discuss the study and its findings.

GBTA Foundation Delivers First Gift of Knowledge Workshops in Shanghai and Beijing

By GBTA Foundation

At GBTA Convention 2014 in Los Angeles, the GBTA Foundation first announced The Gift of Knowledge Initiative. This new initiative would develop and implement an innovative and comprehensive program to further develop the travel management profession in China. Thanks to the support of United as a founding leadership partner and other industry leaders, Ctrip Corporate Travel, IHG, Star Alliance and Wyndham Hotel Group, as Gold partners, this initiative has become a reality.

Gift of Knowledge Newsletter Banner

As China continues its push to become the single largest business travel market in the world, this effort provides localized travel management education to travel professionals in China, from entry level to executive level education, as well as training workshops and GTP certification. With the unprecedented growth of the business travel industry in the region, the number of qualified business travel professionals has struggled to keep up with the rise in demand leaving a clear and urgent need for this holistic education and training.

Since the first announcement, GBTA partnered with Fudan University, one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the country, as well as local industry subject matter experts to assist in the development of educational curriculum, providing a clear path for future leaders in the business travel industry.


The GBTA China Advisory Board, works to ensure all content is and will be delivered with a local perspective that caters to the unique audience of business travel professionals in China.

Hamish Wang, Travel Manager for Apple, recently took on the role of Chair of the Advisory Board. Other Board Members include:

  • James Alba-Duignan, Regional Vice President, Head of Corporation Solutions, APAC, Diners Club International
  • Chris Chen, Director of Key Account DB-APAC Region, Ctrip Corporate Travel
  • Olive Chu, Purchasing Manager, Tetrapak China
  • Lingyun Fan, Regional Travel Manager, Asia Pacific, General Motors
  • Robin Han Bing, Director, Global Sales, Asia Pacific, Radius Travel
  • Chen Hu, Vice President, ZTE Corporation
  • Kitty Huang, Vice President-Global Sales, Asia Pacific, Wyndham Hotel Group
  • Victor Lim, Regional Meeting & Travel Manager, IKEA
  • Eliza Lin, General Sales Manager, Eastern China Region, United Airlines
  • Michelle Ni, Corporate Sales Executive, Star Alliance
  • Cinn Tan
  • WyeYin Tan, Head of Sales, IHG
  • Simon Tang, Manager–Business Development/Employment Service, Hong Kong Travel & Tourism Training Centre
  • Frances Wang, Travel Management Specialist, China, Harman International Industries
  • Barbara Zhou, President, STO MICE

I am excited that we have now fully transitioned from the planning stages to delivery. September featured two Gift of Knowledge Workshops. The first took place September 10 in Shanghai at the Shanghai JW Marriott Hotel and the second on September 18 in Beijing at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center.


In total, nearly 120 attendees, featured speakers and panelists gathered for a full day of education and training. Content included an overview of the GBTA Foundation’s annual global business travel forecast as well as the semi-annual China business travel outlook. Panel sessions focused on the sharing economy, an overview of buyer-supplier relationships and strategic sourcing. The sessions also provided a great networking opportunity for industry professionals to share insights and ideas on timely topics, opportunities and challenges.


We are thrilled about the success of these initial workshops and the support of our Gift of Knowledge Partners, including: United Airlines, Ctrip Corporate Travel, IHG, Star Alliance and Wyndham Hotel Group. We look forward to continue delivering on the promise of providing leading education for Chinese business travel professionals. Our next session is scheduled for November 6 in Shenzhen and registration information will be available soon.

2015 GBTA Special Election Results

The following blog post was sent out as an email to all Members earlier this afternoon.

It is my pleasure to write to you today in my new role as Chairperson and Past President. It has been an honor serving with all of you in an effort to strengthen our Association and our industry. I look forward to continuing the conversation in my new role.

As you know, we did not receive a quorum during the Annual Election at GBTA Convention in Orlando and therefore held a Special Election to elect new Board Members and vote on a proposed Bylaw amendment. We worked with a third-party election firm to develop a process that I believe worked extremely well and lessons from this will be applied to future elections. In the weeks leading up to the Special Election numerous communications went out via email, social media and the GBTA website to make sure every Member was aware of the upcoming election and understood the process. Online voting was open for 10 days to give each of you ample time to cast your vote and make your voice heard. This model helped generate a very strong turnout.

Without further ado, here are the results for the 2015 GBTA Special Election:

President Christle Johnson, CCTE, GLP, GTP, Vice President, Travel & Business Services, Johnson Downie LLC

Vice President Mark Ziegler, CCTE, GLP, GTP, Senior Travel Manager Americas, NetApp

Direct Member Directors at Large Bhart Sarin, CPSM, GTP, C.P.M., Global Procurement, Ingredion Incorporated Cindy Shumate, GTP, Travel Program Manager, Princeton University Karin Thompson, CCTE, GLP, Senior Global Travel Manager, ViaSat, Inc.

Allied Member Director at Large Billy Bos, Associate Director of Group, Worldwide Sales, Best Western International

Bylaw Proposal The proposed amendment to the GBTA Bylaws passed.

Thank you for your participation. GBTA is a member-driven organization and I greatly appreciate your continued support.

Donna Kelliher
GBTA Chairperson and Past President

Business Traveler Booking Behaviors

Just how do business travelers like to book their upcoming business trips? A GBTA Foundation study released today in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel surveyed more than 500 North American business travelers to determine this, examining how travelers make bookings for business trips with a special focus on hotel bookings.

A Variety of Devices
Business travelers use a variety of devices to book hotels for business trips with four in ten (39 percent) using their smart phones to book a hotel in the past six months. This doesn’t quite reach the popularity of using laptops or desktops – at 58 percent and 43 percent respectively – but it does outshine the number who booked a hotel using their tablet, 25 percent. Almost half of the travelers surveyed said they used at least two of the devices shown in the past six months to book a hotel for a business trip.


How does this vary among travelers who are on the road more often? Not surprisingly, high-frequency travelers have booked on three of the four devices at a higher rate than low-frequency travelers – laptops, smart phones and tablets.


Beyond the Device
The study dug deeper to discover more about booking behaviors and found that a majority of business travelers (56 percent) made their own hotel booking for their last trip while 44 percent indicate someone else booked the hotel accommodations for them. The numbers for airfare were identical.

What was surprising was the fact that millennials book their own trip less often than older travelers and when they did book their own trip, Millennials also communicated more often with others, such as a hotel representative or travel counselor, prior to booking. Given Millennials reputation as a tech-savvy generation accustomed to having choices this was unexpected, but it may also reflect their inexperience traveling for business.

Alternative Channels
Among those who book their own trip, employees from large organizations were more likely to use a corporate online booking tool (OBT) than those at smaller organizations who are more likely not to have OBTs.

When it comes to booking through alternative channels for hotel accommodations, 54 percent used a direct channel, 41 percent used a third-party website and 5 percent used an event registration site. Again, similar figures exist for air travel. When it comes to using alternative channels, Baby Boomers (age 55+) were especially likely to use a direct channel rather than a third-party website while Millennials were more likely to use third-party websites.

Interestingly, 42 percent of those who used an alternative channel said they are not required to share their travel information with their company. This hampers a travel buyers’ ability to monitor and enforce policy compliance and also means they may not be able to locate their traveler in an emergency.

More Numbers
A few other booking habits that travel buyers will find interesting:

  • Travelers generally book their trips 13 days in advance.
  • While 45 percent of travelers “often” book their hotel and flight at the same time, only 29 percent “always” do.
  • A large majority (74 percent) of travelers “agree” or “strongly agree” that the channel they used to book the hotel for their last business trip influenced which hotel they chose.

The trends towards more choice, access and freedom for booking may pose a challenge for managed travel, but also offer many opportunities for travel programs to serve their travelers in a better, more efficient way.

Stay tuned for more posts on this study and register for a webinar on October 20 where GBTA will further discuss the study and its findings.

GBTA Unveils Speaker Line-Up for Energy, Resources & Marine Symposium in Calgary

Conference Sessions to Take Deep Dive into Navigating Canada’s Oil, Gas & Energy Sector

GBTA, the leading voice of the business travel industry in Canada, is excited to host its second annual Energy, Resources & Marine (ERM) Symposium in Calgary on October 8, 2015 at the WestJet Campus.

ERM Symposium 2015 Calgary will feature keynote speakers and education sessions focusing on Canada’s oil, gas and energy sector providing attendees insight into this unique sector along with creative ways to build successful travel programs and policies even as Canada deals with an oil and gas crisis. Sessions will focus on the current state of Canada’s oil and gas sector, pricing and politics, buyer and supplier relations, challenges, duty of care and more.

Following a successful, sold-out inaugural ERM Symposium in 2014, we are thrilled to provide ERM Symposium 2015 attendees with a top-notch speaker line-up for insightful discussions on the oil, gas and energy sector as attendees look to manage tough economic times in this sector by keeping business travel alive to drive the economy. The Symposium also provides an excellent opportunity for travel buyers and suppliers to network with other professionals that are involved in energy, resources and marine travel.

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Jeff Gaulin, Vice President, Communications, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) – who will open the symposium discussing the real truth of Canada’s oil & gas sector and our up-to-the minute position in the world oil economy. Jeff will speak to what is different today and what this means to Canada’s 3-P’s: Prices, Pipelines & Politics.
  • W. Brett Wilson, CBC TV’s Dragon’s Den “Dragon Emeritus”, celebrated Entrepreneur & Philanthropist, Co-Founder of FirstEnergy Capital Corp. and Author of Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes, who will speak as our lunch keynote on Redefining Success both personally and professionally, an appropriate topic as we all learn to work and live in today’s volatile oil and gas sector.

A stellar line-up of Featured Session Speakers include:

  • Caroline Comeau, Director of Sales, Canada, IHG
  • Mike Guadagnoli, Assistant Vice President, Business Rental Development, Enterprise Holdings Inc.
  • Steve Hankirk, President, Canadian North
  • Glen Kitteringham, Security and Risk Management Consultant
  • Linda Lee, Executive Assistant & Corporate Travel Coordinator, TransCanada Corporation
  • Shelly Lewchuk, Manager Corporate Travel, Canadian Natural Resources Limited
  • Theresa Lim, Facilities Travel, Manager Corporate Contracts & Reservations, CP Rail
  • Hartmut Mailandt, Business Development Manager, IBS Software Services Americas
  • Kate Moorhead, Project Support Administrator, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Horizon Oil Sands
  • Ramesh Nair, VP and Head of Business – Oil & Gas Logistics, IBS Software Services Americas
  • Brett Nichols, Global Account Manager, Delta Airlines / SkyTeam
  • Ian Race, SVP Sales & Account Management, Vision Travel Solutions
  • Gregg Saretsky, President and CEO of WestJet Airlines
  • John Stepovy, Business Development Manager, Pacific Western
  • John Vawter, VP CWT Energy, Resource & Marine

GBTA’s Canada ERM Taskforce, comprised of Canadian business travel industry experts with specific working knowledge of Canada’s Energy & Resources sector, worked to advise GBTA Canada in crafting the content and presentations for this year’s Symposium. Co-Chaired by GBTA Canada’s Advisory Board members, Shelly Lewchuk of Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Daniele Gadbois of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the ERM Taskforce volunteers included Linda Lee, TransCanada Corporation; Bertram Fernandes, Ledcor; Alex Kocen, ConocoPhillips Canada; and Jackie Cherewyk, Best Western International.

Attendee registration is still available and is complimentary for all travel buyers. For more information and the full agenda, please visit: registration is complimentary for accredited media.

Join the Conversation with #GBTACalgary15 and follow us on Twitter or Facebook

Why Taking a Sustainable Approach to Business Travel & Meetings Works!

Sustainability in Action... In this second blog post of my new sustainability series, I explain why following a responsible approach to a sustainable travel and meetings program is good for business. If you missed my first post on what sustainability is and why does it matter, read it here.

The word ‘sustainability’ is used a great deal in business today. It is important to know how it applies to the buying of business travel and meetings, what the benefits are and the reasons why you should get involved.

Let me explain!

Sustainability is a way of doing business that respects and balances the needs of the people we relate with, the environment in which we operate and the cost of doing business. In other words, balancing the 3Ps - PEOPLE, PLANET and PROFIT.

Ignoring just one of these components will ultimately damage all three, which is why we say your business needs to be in balance to maximize performance. Nor is this a short term ‘project’ or ‘solution’; success only comes from a change in behavior and a continuous program. SustainabilityPost2

‘Maintaining a healthy balance and ‘living within our means’

Why a Company Should Take Action?

There are a number of very good reasons why buyers of business travel and meetings should take action!

  • Countries are starting to introduce laws that force companies to address climate change.
  • This is a real profit and loss issue
  • Reputational risk/damage from ignoring some of these issues could be immense.
  • Social, environment and economic issues are driving people’s behaviors.
  • Globally, we all need to do more with less.

Why I Should Do This?

Including sustainable thinking into your travel program, or sales of products and services, has been proven to deliver many benefits to you and your company.

Based on ICARUS case studies, it is very clear to us that if you take a sustainable approach to managing your business travel program, your organization will make significant cost savings and ALSO benefit from meeting corporate sustainability goals.

In addition, it allows you to address many corporate risk management issues, comply with the increasing number of government regulations and retain productive staff

Key Business Travel & Meetings Best Practices

A number of standard business practices are brought together to deliver a sustainable performance:

  • ‘SMART’ Choices - Managing demand and use of lower carbon options.
  • Internal Programs – E.g. community outreach, social investments, collaborations with social organizations and NGOs/volunteers.
  • Employee Engagement - Duty of care - including travel security, safety and traveler well-being.
  • “Greening” Your Business Travel pPogram – E.g. Measuring/reducing the carbon footprint, setting reduction targets, and purchasing carbon offsets for business travel-related activities.
  • Environmental Supply Chain Sourcing - Criteria for including sustainability in selecting suppliers.
  • Creating Goals, Measurement and Reporting - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
  • Communication - Communicate and engage with stakeholders - internally and externally.

Sample Case Study: Quote from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) - One of the world’s leading professional services organizations

“The travel team at PwC UK have worked hard to support the firm’s global sustainability initiatives. We are particularly proud of the communication program, the support and effort from our Travel Champions and the commitment of our travellers. We aim to develop further new initiatives as we continue to improve our drive to greater sustainability in business travel and meetings” said Mark Avery, Global Business Services & Travel Leader.
  • 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions versus baseline for non-client travel
  • 7 million Euros in costs avoided in a 3 year period
  • 60 business units and 4,000 attendees continually involved in ‘Wellness Day’ regional programs

Resource Tip: Useful reading - *GREEN TO GOLD  -  Esty & Winston

How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage

Stay tuned for my next post in two weeks. If you can’t wait until then and want to learn more now, visit our Project ICARUS website.

I welcome your views and comments. Please feel free to comment below or email me at

Guest Post: Four Perspectives on Technology

The following is a guest post in our GBTA Ladders Blog Series. The GBTA Ladders program is a unique mentor program designed to help develop the passion and skills of business travel professionals enabling them to help solve the major challenges facing business travel. A call for new mentors and mentees for the next round of the program is open until September 30.

GBTA Ladders Summit

GBTA Ladders Summit

Four Perspectives on Technology

By: Team Bob - Bob Sommers, Vice President - Global Sales, Delta, mentored this group. Mentees: Emily Jost, Business Travel Sales Manager - Millennium Hotel Minneapolis; Joshua Amiel, Director Strategic Sales - HRG North America; Michelle Burt, Global Travel Manager – The Mosaic Company; Melinda Kirkham, Business Sales Manager - Enterprise Holdings

I will never forget the very first time I flew in an airplane. I was twelve years old and traveling to Phoenix to visit Grandma and Grandpa – a Christmas gift from my parents.  My brother and I had been surprised with our airline tickets on Christmas Eve – actual paper tickets that we had to remember to bring with us to the airport!

Traveling by air was very different back then due to the lack of a number of different personal technologies that have since been developed.  At that time, there were no portable devices to entertain us during the trip.  In the airport, we passed the time by talking and reading.  When we spent two hours on the plane while it was being de-iced, my mom and I read magazines together and she started a journal of our trip in a little notebook.

Now when I travel, I have so many gadgets that I have a section of my luggage reserved just for power cords!  I bring my cell phone, tablet for watching movies, digital SLR camera, laptop for editing and uploading photos during the trip, wireless hot spot for a stronger internet connection to stream Netflix, Kindle for reading, and a portable battery for recharging all of these devices when I don’t have access to an outlet.  At one time I had no problem entertaining myself on a trip without all of this technology, but now I can’t imagine embarking on the travel process with only a few magazines!

-Emily Jost, Business Travel Sales Manager - Millennium Hotel Minneapolis

My children are taking over all of the technology in our house… Angry birds Transformers, Angry bird Star Wars. My son draws pictures of iPhones and videogames at school. They fully understand all the remote controls in the house and even have their own email accounts. We have no cable, just Netflix. When I tell them about TV commercials they are incredulous. “You mean you’re watching a show and they stop it for no reason? And you don’t know when it starts again?” They tell me, “That’s crazy!” It is crazy when you think about it. My son gets to play with my old Blackberry and he’s only four. I’m intimidated wondering what their life will look like with even more technology. Managing the complexities around technology is overwhelming and I wonder if things will be easier or harder for them moving forward.

-Joshua Amiel, Director Strategic Sales - HRG North America

To me, if I am not doing a million things all at the same time, life doesn’t seem to be complete or successful.  I have a job, like most of us, where a million things are happening and many people are demanding my attention all at the same time.  Add to that a personal life, and a person can find themselves completely out of time and energy!

With all of the clutter going on in everyone’s lives, companies have tried to come out with their own way of managing it all; smart watches, smart phones and apps for everything from booking a hotel to managing our house while we are traveling.  So… life should be simple and organized; right?  Somehow, mine is less organized than ever before.

I was traveling to do a training session for my company. My smart phone was set up with my travel information.  I also had a list of things I needed to do in my paper notebook. The presentation was on my laptop.  I found myself juggling all of the various media in order to ensure everything I had to accomplish was done.

I am not a “youngster”, who has grown up with the technology advances. A lot of technology is already created in so many forms.  In this era of constant change; with new programs that continue to simplify our lives, maybe one day, this oldie will no longer deal with clutter in her life!

-Michelle Burt, Global Travel Manager – The Mosaic Company

By the standard measures of the year I was born and graduated college, I fall into the popular classification of the “millennial.” But my story flies in the face of that definition.  I have worked for the same company since I graduated college.  I take notes with pen and paper.  I prefer to order pizza over the phone.  I prefer taking a taxi instead of Uber. And for a long time, I didn’t mind being this old school person in a new school world.

But peer pressure set it for me when it came to my social media skills.  I begrudgingly set up my Facebook page years ago, and then took another few years before I actively started using it.   Eventually, I joined LinkedIn – only to take another few years before my profile looked respectable.   Recently, a friend told me that Facebook is for old people and I should really be on Instagram.   Just when I thought I had caught up.

I decided to change.  I scheduled a day when all I did was figure out various social media platforms.

Making the effort was worth it.  I understand how useful these platforms can be in a way that I couldn’t before.   I see opportunities to connect to people and promote ideas that are impactful and make a difference in my personal life and career. I understand the hype.  And, I also see how much people miss out on by not engaging, by holding on to the perspective that the old ways are the best ways.

-Melinda Kirkham, Business Sales Manager - Enterprise Holdings

Week in Review

There will be no more free rides through TSA’s Precheck program, according to Skift’s Grant Martin who reports that as of this week, TSA is finally drawing its managed inclusion program to a close. Managed inclusion was a way to funnel “low risk” passengers through Precheck lines, cutting down traffic in standard security lines and balancing the load across checkpoints – even if those passengers were not a part of the Precheck program. GBTA has long been pushing for the end of managed inclusion and it was an issue that GBTA Members took to Capitol Hill during this year’s Legislative Symposium.


The Toronto Sun writes that hotels are using apps and Twitter to better connect with guests and “make your stay as much about technology as it is about threadcounts.” USA Today reports that hotels are also trying to take business centers to the next level to meet the needs of today’s road warrior.

In airline news, Travel Weekly reports on a study showing airline ancillary revenues grew to $17.49 per passenger in 2014, up 8.5% and ancillary revenue earned by the five largest U.S carriers went up by $2.6 billion, or 18.7% year over year. PBS Newshour covers the effect of airline mergers on ticket prices in small and large cities writing that prices have remained steady in the nation’s 10 busiest airports, but that at the next 90 biggest airports, airlines have raised fares more than 6 percent on average and cut available seating by more than 14 percent.

In industry news, Expedia Inc. has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy rival Orbitz Worldwide Inc. for $1.3 billion, according to Travel Daily News. Also, Hotel Marketing reports on a study measuring customers’ digital experiences showing that for 21 of the UK's leading travel brands mobile experiences are now better traditional websites. Finally, Tnooz interviews an expert about how to stop mobile booking abandonment.

Earlier this week, GBTA and VDR announced Egencia President Rob Greyber as a Centre Stage speaker at their joint conference taking place in Frankfurt, November 9-11. GBTA and The Wharton School also celebrated a milestone this week – 15 years of offering the prestigious GLP program.

Your lists for this week: USA Today gives us the best tablets for business travel and Fast Company provides travel tips to make you worthy of an upgrade.