Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Facebook vs. Mass Surveillance

Last night, my son Dalton was tasked with writing a speech on mass surveillance.  He asked me to look it over and give some pointers.  I think he wrote a pretty good speech, but it got me thinking about what is going on in the way of mass surveillance and things that are happening in the social media platforms. 


Companies like Facebook have been taken to task about selling data and information that the public has been okay sharing with the masses.  I mean, think about it, I post something on Facebook for people to see then I am supposed to be mad when people get that information?  Who is to blame?  The entity where I shared the information.  Let me repeat, where I shared the information.  I am not the smartest kid in the class, but I know that if I wanted to keep anything from people, I would certainly NOT take to Facebook to “keep it from them!” 


Edward Snowden is still in Russia trying to get a fair trial for exposing the NSA and their monitoring tactics, yet the government doesn’t need to answer to any of the questions around that topic?  They were monitoring cell records, emails and texts that people thought were private exchanges? 


Sometime I wonder if I am only one who sees the irony in these things.  Okay, moving on….

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Talk

A few weekends back, we took a family road trip to “The Cities” (aka Minneapolis/St. Paul.)  In the car, I thought it was the perfect time to have “the talk” with our 17, 16 and 13 year old.  Now, before you stop reading and think “This just got weird!”, know that I am talking about the ALICE training they have been receiving in schools.  ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. 


In schools today, they are talking about how to act, react and defend in the wake of an active shooter or threat in the area.  We talked about best practices they have learned and heard about.  I talked about some of the things I have been watching and exploring in my job and we talked about our family plan if something like this ever came up. 


While I hate the thought of anyone I love having to deal with these scenarios, I think it’s important to arm people we love with the tools to make the right decisions when needed.  I encourage travelers, security managers, employees, employers, parents and friends to have those “what if” conversations.  I know I learned from my kids and I think they learned something from me.  I also hope, that in my quest to keep going, I, nor anyone I know, has to use the skills we discussed. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What the What??

The airlines that have been in the news lately should be ashamed of their service and delivery, but there are more questions that need to be asked. 

Allegiant was lambasted on a 60 Minute special about their dismal safety records and what looks like them trying to hide their challenges. 

Sun Country left people in Mexico because “their seasonal service ended” and those left there were told their next option is JUNE!? 

What the what is going on here? 

Allegiant, seemingly has flown below the radar on safety and the FAA has known about it but hasn’t done anything to bring their challenges to the public.  Instead, they have been sending them letters about their problems?  No sanctions, no enforcement of safety rules, nothing that would hit the eyes of the public.  In an article from CBS News, it states, “Over the last three years, the FAA has switched it’s priorities from actively enforcing safety rules with fines, warning letters and sanctions – which become part of the public record – to working with the airlines behind the scenes to fix the problems.”   So, the FAA knew and did nothing to tell the public and allow them to make informed decisions.  Interesting!   (I urge you to go back in time and look at my blogpost from Jan 13, 2014.  These issues have been going on for YEARS under the radar and that is wrong!)

Sun Country passengers were made to pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to complete their travel because they had a weather cancelation and they cannot be responsible in those scenarios.  So, they have NO responsibility to their customers to give them options or at least help them find options?  Interesting! 

Someone needs to hold these airlines to a standard of safety and reliability.  Seems as if the agencies who are meant to do that are NOT, so who?  The travelling public?  The media?  Let’s be honest, in the next three days, these issues will have rolled off the TV and newspapers and people will move on to the next issue.  This one cannot be left on the cutting room floor.  Travelers need to reach out to their government officials and keep these stories going.  I have already started a note to my peeps in Washington to not let this be a forgotten issue.  I urge all of my readers to do the same thing.  With a passion for purpose, I keep going. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

All the Comforts of Home

Recently I have been spending a fair share of nights in hotels.  People ask me all the time, "Do you have a favorite brand?"  Yes, I do...my house.  But when that can't happen, I look for all the comforts of home.  Here are things I love to have when I check into a hotel for a night or maybe longer. 

My TV, my way.  I want to be able to stream from my device to the TV in my room and I want to know that the sleep timer works!  I am like many, I never WATCH TV, I have it on for noise.  I fall asleep to noise so I don't have to hear hallways noise, etc.  Plus, being able to stream Grace & Frankie or my DirecTV DVR is a nice feature.  Not having this will make me rethink coming back to the hotel in the future. 

Reliable Wi-Fi that I don't need a degree to figure out.  I want to be able to easily connect and move on with my work. This one is game changer too.  If reliability is an issue, I take my business elsewhere because I need to be connected when I travel for work. 

Ice.  I drink iced beverages all day.  I love to have an ice machine close that I can go to as needed or a service that will bring it to me when I want. 

Plug-ins a plenty.  I am sitting in a hotel room now and I have a phone, an iPad, a laptop, a portable charger, a hair dryer, straightener and headset all plugged in. 

Bottles of water.  I think this is a standard request anymore, but I am shocked by the hotels who do not offer water in the rooms. 

Windows that open.  I love to bring the outdoors in and sometimes, that isn't possible. 

Oh, the list could go on and on, but those are my hot topics and I don't think my wish/want list is different that most corporate travelers.  Heading off to my bed to see if I can figure out the sleep timer on my TV so I can get some rest so tomorrow I can keep going. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tossing your hat in the ring?

It’s that time of year when people start to discern their ability and desire to run for a Board seat for GBTA.  Here are somethings everyone should know but maybe doesn’t think about when running for the these positions:
1 – Remember, GBTA isn’t an annual convention.  This is the Global Business Travel Association.  It is a living, breathing association that deals with association member needs.  The board deals with things like education, fiscal responsibility, advocacy, global industry initiatives and challenges.  At a recent meeting we discussed everything from Blue Ribbon Panel to the website updates and how members are responding to it. 
2 – The Board is made up buyers (direct members) and suppliers (allied members) across the spectrum.  This year, there will be 3 Direct and 1 Allied positions up for election. 
3 – The election process is real and anyone who has ever run will tell you that you have to have a campaign strategy and help from your friends and peers to be successful. 
4 – It’s not a resume builder, it’s a volunteer effort that is about commitment, passion and thoughtful discussion. 
If you are ready for the above, I encourage you to reach out to myself or any board member (direct or allied) and we would be happy to help you understand it more.  I would love to see the August ballot filled with great names who have great ideas and like me, want to keep going. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Time to Keep Going

It’s been three months today and there are things I still can’t do:


1 – Remove your phone number from my cell phone contacts list. 

2 – Look at a pic of you and the kids without tearing up. 

3 – Listen to the song On Eagle’s Wings, although that is more Jack’s fault! 


These are the things I will do:


1 – Try to make you proud of me every day.

2 – Make sure the kids know what love looks like. 

3 – Try to be half the mom to my kids that you were to me. 

4 – Keep going and with that, I am back to writing. 


I miss you Mom. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Working on Time Travel

In the wake of the Marriott news of their cancellation policy change, I think I'm going to have to brush up on my time travel skills.  Why?  I have no idea what I am doing tonight, much less 48 hours out! 

Sure, I am at home this week and my schedule is based on the kids and friends schedules and those are fluid, but when I travel, the same thing happens.

As with many in corporate travel, meetings, customers and engagements change all the time.  We have a relatively high exchange percentage within our company and what does that tell me, it tells me that plans change.  Travelers find out today that a meeting they were travelling to tomorrow had to change because of a conflict.  Travelers get the airport to find they will misconnect on their way to Miami so they aren't sure they will make it there on time, or at all!! 

Now, let's talk about what corporate travelers have come to expect.  Travelers expect that when they travel and have to make the changes, that our supplier base will understand.  They expect that we have their back and are making sure they can make changes when needed. 

Investors and owners are excited about this because it means more money and more reliability of income.  Of course they are!  If I cancel inside 48 hours now, they keep MY money and with the extra time, probably resell the room, therefore doubling the income on that room.  I'd be tickled with that news as well! 

Time will tell how this impact will be felt across the corporate travel spectrum, but I can say without a doubt that travelers and their ability to make needed last minute changes will be impacted.  I have to go now, but if I can perfect my time travel skills, I will come back to this point and time and adjust this blog to let you know how it went!  Keep going folks...keep going!