Published on : Friday, August 1, 2014
The Global Business Travel Association—the voice of the global business travel industry—kicked off the second day of GBTA Convention 2014 with CBS’ Travel Editor Peter Greenberg interviewing Doug Parker, CEO, American Airlines Group and American Airlines.
Parker discussed American Airlines’ outstanding second quarter earnings, the challenges that come with the integration in a major merger and the argument in favor of airfare transparency. On the inherent challenges with integrating two airlines, he said, “Our goal is to integrate first and then innovate. It is a slow process but worth the time in order to do it right.” He echoed the opinion of other airline CEOs who have spoken over the past two days when he called for a national aviation policy.
Following Parker, Steve Singh, CEO, Concur spoke to attendees about his views on the future of travel, the concept of the perfect trip and the importance of working together as an industry. When talking about how to create the perfect trip, Singh said it will take the industry coming together as a community working together on an open platform. “Innovation of singular companies can be inspiring but it is nothing compared to innovation of communities.”
The final featured speaker of the day was Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. In his easy, laid-back style Stone told 7,000 attendees about the lessons he has learned, the importance of change, creativity and spectacular failure. He told the crowd that his philosophy has always been people first, technology second. And when describing Twitter he said it was not a triumph of technology but rather a triumph for humanity. His presentation was thoughtful and inspiring. He urged the crowd to make their own opportunities and not to wait for them to appear.
GBTA honored several members on Tuesday: Claire Blades, director of Global Travel and Meeting, Symantec Corporation won the Direct Member of the Year award; Caitlin Gomez, senior director, Global & Strategic Sales, HRG North America and Krissy Herman, director of Client Engagement, The Travel Team Inc. both won the Allied Member of the Year award and Jeremy Gardner was presented with a Special Recognition Award.
In addition to the featured speakers, attendees took part in a second day of education sessions and experienced the latest in travel technology and products on the more than 400-company expo floor. The final day will feature John Pistole, Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, David Pavelko, director of travel partnerships for Google and Actor Jason Alexander.