Posts filed under ‘Mike's musings’

The Daly Grind New Year’s Resolutions

by Mike

Mike Daly here.  You may note that I’m curiously absent from the 2012 Carrying On suitcase.  But I’m not going to let that stop me from blogging periodically with Tony D. Besides, there wasn’t room for both our baggage on this blog.

Last year, Tony and I put together a highly demanding list of New Year’s Resolutions. I can’t carry on from here before I circle back with my own resolutions for 2012. I never made a resolution I didn’t break — including all 14 of last year’s.  So I’m cutting back this year to 10.

  1. I pledge to keep my White Dinner Jackets clean, so I’m ready for all my travel conference receptions and all weekend soirées in the Hamptons.
  2. I will wear the same suit (white or not) 2-3 times each trip to avoid checking a bag.
  3. I will eat more salad, and will start by asking for extra lettuce on my Big Mac.
  4. On a related note, I will limit serving fast food to my family to just twelve meals a week. Unless the McRib comes back.  Then, twenty four meals per week.
  5. I’m going to finally confirm through lab testing that the only difference between the face bar and a bath bar in the hotel is the size and shape of the soap.
  6. I’m going to re-grip my golf ball retriever. Or I’m going be patient when lining up my fifth putt.
  7. I will stop sending emails to my wife when we are in the same room.
  8. I will stop tagging pictures of myself in pictures on Facebook even when I’m not in them.
  9. I won’t SPAM anyone this year.  I take that back.  I love SPAM.  I grew up eating the stuff.
  10. Now that I don’t report to Tony anymore, I will go back to calling him “Old-Timer” again.

We’ll be sending Tony off in style by way of a Bowling tourney.  I’m sure you’ll hear directly from him about that.  And as we charge ahead in to 2012, you can continue to hear my point of view (about such topics as building customer loyalty in the travel space, and the convergence of offers and online travel booking) on Rearden Commerce’s Deem Blog. And let’s connect on Twitter — my new handle is @drmstck.

Wishing you all a happy New Year!

January 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Gaining Customer Loyalty

by Mike Daly

The Holidays are in full swing, and the annual retail pilgrimage is underway. This year, several gifts on my list include travel and entertainment items, from a plane ticket for my mom to a membership in AARP. (Yes, that one’s for Tony D.)

Like many of you, where I purchase my gifts and how I pay for them will likely come down to where my loyalty lies – which in my world often means getting the most points possible to maintain my Platinum Medallion status. Case in point: A few years ago, I switched my home’s natural gas provider, because I was able to save about $100 annually.  My old provider recently started offering Delta Skymiles, so if I switched back, I’d pay $100 more per year, but in the end, earn about 5000 miles. I made the switch.  Why?  Because I’m a points hound.

But what is really interesting about that little tale is I took that offer because it was relevant, contextual, and personalized. They knew how much money I spent each year to heat my home, and also knew I was a Platinum Medallion. With that knowledge, I was offered something that I perceived had value, based on who I was, and my preferences.

Hopefully one day my holiday shopping will be that easy. Someone will know I usually fly my mom to be with me and that my friends are getting older and will soon be in need of AARP’s advocacy.  Wouldn’t it be great, if based on my buying patterns someone sent me a shopping suggestion list of the gifts that would delight my friends and family?  Erasing that headache would make me indebted. Loyalty is a powerful thing.

Tell us, Carrying On Compadres, what makes you loyal to a merchant?

December 12, 2011 at 7:27 am Leave a comment

Tony D. is The King of Logic

by Mike

Tony D. first redefined “logical” when he recycled old newspapers by reselling them at the local junkyard. Today, TheBeat.Travel features TD’s latest challenge of all things logical. “Travel managers are missing the mark!,” he shouts, insisting that the definition of “Lowest Logical Airfare” must change forever. Today’s travel managers must expand their definition of “logical” beyond price, scheduling and corporate discounts — to benefit both business travelers and their organizations. Let’s be real: companies that keep their road warriors happy with in-flight wi-fi and priority boarding have more productive business travelers, at minimal incremental cost. Read more here, then please answer for us: what is the most logical way to help your business travelers succeed? And if I may quote Tony: “Soldier On, Travelers.”

November 29, 2011 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Tony D. Knows Everything

by Mike

Tony D. is an expert on many things. Leveraging mobile to manage travel and track celebrity goings on. Intuitively understanding proper etiquette on airlines. Poetry. Today, The Huffington Post added Tony to its roster of experts, spreading his advice on managing ancillary fees during holiday travel.  Read it, and you’ll walk away a smarter traveler.  Then come back and share your holiday travel story – how are you planning to save on your voyage?

October 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

Daly’s Prep Regimen for the Mile High City

by Mike

Like many of you, I’m gearing up for GBTA in the Mile High City. Becky’s polishing her hiking boots, Tony’s perfecting his John McLaughlin impersonation for his panel on end-to-end. And me?  My bags are packed, business cards ordered, and my Astros fan paraphernalia is pressed and ready for the big game vs. the Rockies. This is my 15th GBTA convention, but actually my 100th time sleeping a mile above sea level. For those of you who are newbies to Denver, I’m sharing my prep regimen with you:

  1. Hydrate! I learned this one in Houston last year. (God bless the Texans.) I expect Denver to be much kinder to me humidity-wise, but I’m already putting back about 2 liters of water ever day in preparation for the big event.
  2. The City of Denver recommends we Monitor Alcohol Intake: “Alcoholic drinks pack more of a wallop than at sea level.” Oh, the High Country. I don’t know about this one. Golden, Colorado is only 15 miles from Denver. Coors is brewed with pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water, so really that will just help me with my hydration rule.
  3. Run some stairs. In high school, we would sprint up and down the bleachers. Twenty-ish years later, I’m more likely to be seen sitting on one. Still, bleachers are a lot like mountains so I’m giving it a try.
  4. Sit under fluorescent lights. Much like my office, convention centers are not known for their natural light. It won’t actually matter that it will be a dry 90 degrees in Denver. We may never make it outside until it cools down at night.
  5. Perfect my handshake. I am shaking hands and making eye contact with everyone I see. (My mail carrier is a little thrown by this but everyone else seems to be taking it well.) According to the University of Alabama (circa 2000), there are five characteristics of a great shake: strength, vigor, duration, eye contact and completeness of grip. I’d say I’ve perfected four of them — but will have plenty of time on the plane to nail the fifth. (Which might also help my campaign for ancillary fee credits for passenger hospitality…)

Well, fellow GBTA-ers, I look forward to reconnecting with you all.  I’m glad to see that Denver made Orbitz’ Top 10 Summer travel destinations list, and we’re getting there just in time to close out the summer. Although ten years ago they discovered that Denver is three feet higher than previously thought, I’m confident that this regimen, along with my new white suit, will have me ready and able to perform my duties at GBTA.

Come see us at booth 413.


GBTA registrants: Enter now to win a free iPhone!

August 20, 2011 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

Top 10 Reasons to Attend GBTA

by Mike

My kids are getting ready to go back to school in two weeks, and the great U.S. of A. is experiencing record high temperatures, so it must mean that it’s time to countdown to GBTA. We can all thank Craig Banikowski for throwing us back into the frying pan instead of into the fire, as Denver will offer a milder clime than we’re currently suffering through here on the East Coast.  (What can I say? Humidity just isn’t kind to me.)

Attending GBTA will certainly offer some relief from the heat, but I’m also looking forward to connecting with old friends, and making some new ones.  I’ll be attending this year’s conference in a new role for the first time in five years — as VP of Loyalty Services Sales — and I’m very excited to see what kind of opportunities I’ll uncover in Denver!

As if visiting Rearden Commerce booth 413 on the expo floor isn’t reason enough to attend GBTA this year, here are 10 reasons that just might seal the deal for you:

Mike’s Top Ten Reasons to attend GBTA in 2011

10.    All you can eat Rocky Mountain Oysters.
9.      See for myself if the G, instead of the N, is “all that.”
8.      Meeting my annual requirement of seeing the Astros play every year, since they are visiting the Rockies that week.  (Shout out to Bobby Meacham, my buddy and the Astros’ first base coach)
7.      A chance to ask Meg Whitman if she could recommend a good housekeeper (or how much I’ll fetch on eBay for my NIP Michael Jackson Thriller album).  Or better yet, the chance to ask Henry Paulson if he has some spare change.
6.      Ample opportunity to burn through as many of these 1000 new business cards I ordered for my new position in Loyalty Services as humanly possible.
5.      To catch up with my casual acquaintance, and former neighbor, Sean Penn. (No big deal.)
4.      I desperately need more travel mugs, and my basket of GBTA tsotchkes / McDonald’s Happy Meal toys is running low.
3.      Because I really like altitude sickness, and I didn’t get enough of it in Telluride a few months ago.
2.      Outside of the Hamptons, GBTA is the only place I can wear a white suit.
1.      I expect some highly-impressive content this year. Tony D. returns from vacation to facilitate a panel on end-to-end.  Bev Heinritz, my most overachieving friend and colleague, will participate in two panels.  And our own “Mobile Mike” Uomoto will talk travel apps.  In a nutshell, we pretty much plan to rock the house.

Will you be at GBTA this year?  Let us know!

 … Countdown to Tony’s return: 19 days …

 Click here to join Carrying On Compadres, our LinkedIn group.

July 28, 2011 at 7:24 am Leave a comment

While the Cat’s Away…

by Mike

You may have noticed that Tony has dropped out of sight as of late.  Well, you may not have noticed, but those of us around here certainly have.  It’s been a whole lot quieter in the office and the leftover Entenmann’s last a lot longer in the kitchen.

No, Tony hasn’t left for Oxford or gone home to test his P90X prowess on Forearms Toretta.  He’s taking a well-deserved vacation, going all Grizzly Adams on himself.  That’s right, for the next 21 days, Tony has vowed not only to throw off all shackles of travel, he is actually following Carrying On New Year’s Resolution #2: to avoid taking a bath whenever possible.  So brace yourselves folks for the myriad of posts about living life off the grid from Tony when he returns.  (And let’s just hope he picks up a razor before he steps up to moderate his end-to-end panel at GBTA.  As I see it, at GBTA, personal hygiene is Job One.)

With Tony off the grid for a bit, you wouldn’t believe the number of people who want to step up to fill in for him in his job blog. For me personally, this is a tough call.  It’s a lot like trying to find a (temporary) replacement for Regis to my Kelly.  Or like trying to find a substitute for Tony Danza as host of the Miss America Pageant.  Basically, if we added anyone else to the mix, we wanted to make sure it was a true industry vet with tons of relevant experience.

Fortunately, we found three to join our blogging journey.

  • First, Bev Heinritz. For those of you who don’t know Bev, she has more than 20 years of experience in the travel and service industries.  Bev spends a whole lot of time on the road overseeing Rearden Commerce’s entire post sales customer lifecycle.  You can be sure she’ll bring her perspectives, as well as insights from customers and partners, while she is Getting Around.
  • Gregg Tuccillo (aka “The Governor of Ground”), President of Global Ground Automation (GGA), is a fellow New Yorker and die-hard Giants fan.  He’s been around the ground transport block for more than 20 years as well — and will cover the long-tail aspect of travel.
  • Becky Waller — @BeckyontheRoad to all you Twitter fans — is as opinionated as Tony and I are (really).  Becky recently joined Rearden Commerce from CarlsonWagonlit.  She spent years on the other side of the wall, as they say, and offers an entirely fresh perspective to our conversation.

Since launching Carrying On, Tony and I have had a blast, or in my case, an “Eruption.” We’ve told some bad jokes, and hopefully some good ones as well. More importantly, we’ve been able to share our thoughts on the corporate travel industry and the everyday developments that make this such a fascinating space. From ash clouds to mobile travel technology, the developments have never been so rapid and game changing.

We are excited to invite these new voices into Carrying On.  Clearly they don’t know what they are in for…

… Countdown to Tony’s return: 21 days …

July 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

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