Joseph Boardman, administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, will serve as CEO of Amtrak for a year while a search is conducted to permanently replace Alex Kummant, who resigned Nov. 14. Boardman has worked at all levels of government on transportation issues. "He is intimately familiar with Amtrak, its strengths, its weaknesses and the direction it needs to go to build momentum," said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black. "He can begin to lead the company immediately."
Charles Petruccelli, president of American Express' Global Travel Service, offers his take on the economic downturn, airline commission policies, new technologies and cheaper oil. Petruccelli says the economic crisis will "set a new benchmark in the way companies will manage and scrutinize their total travel spend, looking for solutions in both process savings and control, and purchasing savings and control."
The State Department is warning Americans of the risks of traveling to Eritrea and advises that travel to the African nation be deferred. Since mid-September, the government of Eritrea has interfered with the delivery of diplomatic pouches to the U.S. Embassy, thus limiting critical materials and supplies. Read the State Department's Travel Warning for Eritrea for more information.
Some top chief marketing officers offer advice for marketing during tough economic times. Tips include searching the marketplace for pockets of demand and investing your time there, investing in brand experience and the brand "story," and highlighting services that will either help boost revenue or reduce costs for customers.
As business travelers look to cut costs, they are increasingly playing a game of airfare roulette, betting on the availability of standby seats rather than pay re-booking fees when their travel plans change. "We try to book far out in advance to get the best fares and end up being penalized when we have to make changes," says one frequent flier, who adds that the new realities of airline travel are "a little bit like going to a casino."