He started Hotwire with a few friends, and headed Classic Vacations, Inc. (Expedia’s luxury travel operation), so when TripIt’s president, Gregg Brockway, had his pr guy call me to set up an interview I was hard-pressed to find a reason to say no, so I said yes. As a result, I had an interesting conversation with the Harvard MBA who left the world of high finance to enter the hospitality, travel and tourism industry.
Low-key, soft–spoken with a shy (almost humble) demeanor, there is no visible way for anyone to single Brockway out as the successful executive who has introduced a new online organization that helps us to plan, and organize our global trekking tasks.
TripIt works wonders if you need to share your airline reservations, hotel and cruise ship schedule, luncheon and dinner meetings with friends, family and others trying to keep track of your global movements. It also provides space reminders, nudging you to pick-up gifts for spouses and/or girlfriends/boyfriends, and children as well as the folks who helped to organize the trip in the first place.
TripIt promotion identifies the service as a “travel itinerary and social networking service” and from a corporate perspective currently lists 76 of Fortune 100 companies who use the service to keep track of their traveling executives. TripIt feeds data back to corporate travel departments validating conformity to the organizations policies (i.e., approved hotels, airlines), and keeps track of the daily comings and goings of staff when they are out-of-the office (giving full measure to the cliché that you can run – but you can’t hide).
The TripIt process starts when the traveler forwards flight, hotel, and rental car confirmation emails to TripIt (firstname.lastname@example.org) where the proprietary technology combines the data into a master itinerary. The site also permits integration of meetings, events, restaurants, car services, and trains into the online schedule. For the business mover and shaker, the site includes weather updates, local maps, driving information, and city guides. The details of the journey can be printed, viewed online, accessed from an iPhone, and shared with friends, family and colleagues.
Brockway said that TripIt is still in its infancy (8 months old with 100,000 users) and we can look forward to many more services at his one-stop travel site, including links for travel security data, insurance options, a place to remember golf t-off times, and space for registering spa reservations. Looks like “getting away for awhile” and “flying under the radar” is a concept that can be trashed. With TripIt everyone who needs to know, will be in the know!