While most industries were affected by the Covid pandemic, travel was one of the sectors to experience the brunt of the global shutdown. There were closed borders and numerous travel bans worldwide to curb the spread of the virus. The repercussions lead to a huge economic loss for the aviation industry. However, with the world slowly opening up again, we are learning just how influential the travel sector is as people are keen on getting back out there. Therefore, it is only right that we acknowledge those who have made significant contributions to the travel sector. So here are the most influential people in global travel today.
The United Airlines CEO has been extremely influential when it comes to corporate travel policies. The aftermath of the pandemic has affected the travel and airline industry indefinitely, and as a result, Scott Kirby is adamant about helping people get back on board. He was one of the first to announce that change fees during the time of covid will remain suspended after carriers took this temporary action. Because of this, travelers will only pay the difference when changing local tickets. On the day making standby, the change fees remain free. His influence encouraged American Airlines, Delta Air, and Alaska Airlines to follow suit.
Perhaps one of the most prevalent influencers in the travel sector as the CEO of Prenetics EMEA and Honorary Consul for South Africa, Avi Lasarow’s work remains relevant as he stands up against VAT on PCR tests. In the UK, he is responsible for the leading campaign that aims to make leisure travel more accessible to everyone. As well as his goal to lift the VAT on Covid testing, Avi Lasarow also has solutions for Covid testing. His widely accredited genetics company DNAfit, which is award-winning for its data privacy and thorough accuracy, believes that Prenetics can resolve a lot of the issues that hinder travel, and consequently, will help people resume employment.
The president and CEO of Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP), Ralph Kaiser, was very forthcoming when the pandemic hit. He made his mark when he became a part of the travel sector. He added to the service by leveraging the power of the most in-demand mobile services, with over a billion users, to allow payments to be made by air carriers through them. This innovative idea made Kaiser a household name in the market, as he was influenced by the central role that many apps have in the Chinese market. The effectiveness of this strategy prompted him to make a deal with Citcon, which approves of Chinese mobile payment service transactions, and now the app, including the ones prevalent in the Chinese Market like China UnionPay and WeChatPay, are run over UATP.
The Delta airlines CEO had a major influence on the travel industry during Covid. Since most airlines were relying on science and medicine to help them boost business, following capacity guidelines such as separating all seats and limiting measures temporarily, Ed Bastian took matters into his own hands when he learned that there was a low risk of inflight spread of the virus. He made sure to maintain the capacity measures on board, removing the middle seats, despite the risk of losing income, to ensure the safety of all passengers. As a result, Delta Airlines quickly became a trusted airline as customers did not have to worry about receiving notifications of a full-capacity flight the day before their due date, as they would with most other companies in the industry.
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The International President of the Association of Flight Attendants since 2014, Sara Nelson, represents around 50,000 airline workers from over a dozen various airlines. Dubbed by the New York Times as America’s most powerful flight attendant, she is now serving her second term as president of the association. She first became a United Airlines flight attendant and was a union member by 1996. She continues to aim for a safe and secure environment on board for the cabin crew and passengers. Prioritizing health and an adequate quality of life for first responders, she was also a major influence on ending the government shutdown in 2019. As a result, the shutdown lasted only 35 days. Nelson’s influence has not stopped there, she continued to make a change during the pandemic by helping to carry out the Payment Support Program (PSP) that ensures airline workers receive healthcare and employment subsidies.
There are many more household names that have contributed to the travel service. All these influential people have improved global travel indefinitely. As a result, travelers are granted the safest and reliable services, and airline workers have received a rightful quality of life due to the aforementioned outstanding moguls.