April, American Airlines dedicated a new resource to the technology market: Alynne Hanford. Now the airline's national sales manager for high-tech and telecommunications, Hanford initiated the new post herself after eight years with American, most recently having pioneered a small business product, Business ExtrAA, which earned her the 1998 Global Sales PAAcesetter Award.
Why have a high-technology meeting specialist? The American veteran believes event managers in the up-and-coming tech industries have special needs. "The high-tech and telecommunications industries move fast," says Hanford. "Like the medical industry, they have to move quickly with their product launches, and their lead times can be short. These industries can also be freight intensive." Hanford is a member of the ComputerAssociation (CEMA), Meeting Professionals International, and the International Association of Exposition Management. She can be reached at (972) 425-6773.
A check with the other major airlines, including United, Delta, Continental, and USAir, reveals that no other airline has plans to add technology meetings specialists at this time.
In other news at American, the carrier has expanded its zone fares in Caribbean. While it had already offered zone fare pricing to Puerto Rico, Bermuda, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and the Bahamas, the program has been expanded to include an additional 12 islands.