Panel moderator, Theresa Thomas, VP Travel Partnerships, iJet; discusses TNCs and duty of care policies with, left to right, Ray Greeve, corporate vice president, New York Life Insurance, Charles Brossman, Sr. Director, Global Travel Risk Management, FRC Travel, and Margaret Brady, director of Travel and Meetings, Grant Thorton.
ORLANDO—The buzz at this week’s Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) annual convention here centered on the pros and cons surrounding TNCs — especially how corporate travel executives have to balance employee demand versus corporate duty of care policies.
Considering that many of the top limousine companies exhibited at the convention, along with TNCs Uber and Lyft, coupled with Deem — in partnership with the NLA — announcing it will build a cloud network and mobile application that will provide advanced reservations and real-time ride-hailing capabilities, plus panel discussions on TNC issues, you can see why the “sharing economy” issue sparked conversations throughout the July 25-29 event.
In fact, two panel sessions specifically addressed the limousine industry and TNCs. Monday’s panel, “Embracing the Sharing Economy: Is Safety and Security the Key Hurdle?” was composed of travel industry executives, focused mainly on insurance and safety issues emphasizing that global travel managers either have to examine their duty of care policies to accommodate on-demand travel apps., or restrict those services—but was generally receptive to TNCs.
PHOTO GALLERY OF 2015 GBTA
On the other hand, Tuesday’s session, “Ground Transportation in a Sharing Economy” took TNCs head-on with panel members Scott Solombrino, president and CEO, DavEl/Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation, David Seelinger, chairman and CEO, Empire CLS Worldwide, and John Rose, COO, iJet International, making the case that TNCs operate outside of established state and municipal rules and regulations, commercial insurance requirements, and place companies at risk because they could violate their duty of care policies.
Panel members stressed that they were not against on-demand technology, rather “We just want a level playing field” said Seelinger.