Consolidation in travel retail has given agencies
leverage when negotiating GDS contracts. 7
IN OTHER NEWS
WTTC’s Global Summit was dominated by anxiety about populist trends 6
The U.S. river cruise industry, once moribund, now expanding quickly 8
Israel’s Dan Hotels, curiously, is branding
its India hotel Den instead of Dan. 29
RESPONDING TO PUBLIC OUTCRY OVER THE FORCED REMOVAL OF A PASSENGER
United revises boarding policies
as CEO announces ‘culture shift’
By Robert Silk
Travel agents last week said that the
verdict was not yet in on whether a
series of policy changes announced
by United last week would be
enough to move the airline past the
now-infamous April 9 removal of
passenger David Dao from United
Express Flight 3411 between Chicago O’Hare and Louisville, Ky.
“If they don’t change the way they do
things or their attitude toward clients, or [if
they] continue to try to jam more people in
[planes] and gouge them on top of it, then
no, nothing will change,” predicted Craig
Satterfield, a home-based agent with Cruise
Travel Outlet in Salem, N.H.
United promised exactly such an attitude
change on April 27 when, upon completing its review of the Flight 3411 incident, it
unveiled eight new policies and initiatives.
United also settled with Dao that day for an
Notable among the policy changes was the
immediate cessation of involuntary removals of passengers from United flights in cases
not related to safety or security and a reduction in the use of the controversial airline
practice of overbooking.
In a statement that accompanied the re-
lease of the new policies, CEO Oscar Munoz
said, “This is a turning point for all of us at
United, and it signals a culture shift toward
becoming a better, more customer-focused
United said last week that it has already
reduced overbookings on flights that have
Several factors cited in low number
of female commercial airline pilots
By Robert Silk
Kimberly Lowe, an American Airlines pilot
since 1990, still likes to stand on the flight
deck as passengers depart her plane so they’ll
see that the voice they heard from the cockpit truly was that of a female captain.
“It’s frustrating sometimes, because a
woman has taken command of the space
shuttle, and there are still some people who
say, ‘I didn’t know they had women pilots,’”
said Lowe, who also mentors aspiring pilots
for the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots.
According to the FAA, just 4.4% of all pilots licensed to fly a commercial U.S. jetliner
in 2016 were women. And that number has
barely budged since 2007, when women held
3.8% of such licenses.
Why the number has remained so low,
even as women have increased their numbers in other traditionally male-dominated
professions, remains, at least to some degree,
a matter of conjecture.
In interviews, several female pilots and
other industry professionals offered reasons
ranging from continued gender assumptions
that permeate society to the difficulty of raising a family while dealing with the travel demands of piloting.
Another factor, said the trade group Airlines for America (A4A), is that many commercial airline pilots still get their flight
training in the military, which remains dominated by men.
See PILOTS on Page 28
See UNITED on Page 30
THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY’S TRUSTED VOICE
WWW.TRAVELWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2017
IN THE HOT SEAT EXCLUSIVE ON TRAVELWEEKLY.COM DESTINATION: MEXICO
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson on how the
industry must react to populist realities. 4
At Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Playa del
Carmen, a break from the party vibe. 22
Over the last two decades, hotel brands ranging from one-
off independents to badges of the world’s largest chains
have embraced the “lifestyle” label. As a result, it may be
losing any meaning at all in the hospitality sector.
BY DANNY KING PAGE 14