If you haven’t heard, TripActions is kicking off the first-annual TRAVERSE business and technology festival this October in San Francisco. While we’re excited to meet, greet, and chat about the latest in business travel management, we’re also looking forward to programming from leaders championing best-in-class corporate travel at their organizations.
TripActions recently sat down with Omar Ghani, Group Manager of Global Supply Management at Lyft, to talk all things TRAVERSE 19 and get to know the road warrior within.
TripActions: What’s your favorite business travel destination?
Omar Ghani: New York City — I can never really say no to the great restaurant options NYC has to offer. Walking through Manhattan is a good way to relax after a busy work day, but it’s also electrifying to be around so many sites like The High Line, Washington Square Park, and Central Park. New York City has everything to satisfy every business traveler in their spare time.
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TA: What’s your go-to beverage choice in-flight?
OG: Ginger ale, which is interesting because I never drink ginger ale except when on a plane.
TA: Checked or carry-on luggage?
OG: Always carry-on. I hate checking a bag because I’m the person trying to get out of the airport as soon as possible. It’s just logistically easier to travel light so there are fewer steps to get off the plane or hail a Lyft after the flight.
TA: What’s the longest flight ever taken? Was it worth it?
OG: SFO to Lahore, Pakistan. It was between 21 and 24 hours one-way, but completely worth the trek to spend time with my family.
TA: What’s your favorite leisure travel destination?
OG: Anywhere in the mountains — I very much enjoy hiking and being near cities with a strong culinary scene. I’m always looking for new cities that are close to mountains, isolated, and have a culture I can immerse myself in.
TA: What will attendees gain from your session at TRAVERSE 19?
OG: I’d like to talk about the importance of customer service management and how TripActions has fostered success in that at Lyft. I’m also going to touch on the ease of dashboarding and reporting. With a comprehensive travel management platform, I really feel there’s no need to have a full-time T&E department. TripActions essentially acts as an extension of your internal team. At the same time, I still feel like I’m getting a personalized relationship that’s also cost-competitive. I’ll also dive deeper into how adopting an end-to-end travel management solution has saved labor hours both internally and externally.
TA: What are your can't-miss recommendations while in San Francisco for TRAVERSE 19?
OG: I’m an avid fan of Golden Gate Park — it’s a great spot to take a morning or weekend walk. I also love ice cream, so I recommend finding a good ice cream cone — Smitten is a favorite of mine — and enjoying the park, especially during the great October weather.
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TA: What are you hoping to experience at TRAVERSE 19?
OG: I’m looking forward to learning how other customers deliver best-in-class travel programs at their organizations. Since TRAVERSE is a new tech and travel festival, I’m curious to see what attracted other attendees to the conference and what they’re looking to get out of it. I’m also excited Captain Sully will be giving the opening keynote and I’m interested in what he has to say about crisis management — personal and professional. Andreeseen Horowitz was a major investor in Lyft so I’ll definitely be at Ben Horowitz’s fireside chat as well.
Omar will be among several travel leaders presenting at TRAVERSE 19, and registration is still open if you’d like to see him there.