Since joining HomeAway in 2011, I have had exposure to a diverse range of exciting and challenging projects, working alongside the local and European senior leadership teams. HomeAway is truly a global organization, offering me the opportunity to recently relocate to London from Madrid, and transition my career path to align with my Masters in Behavioral Science.
Hugo Martin covers the travel industries, including airlines and theme parks, and writes the weekly Travel Briefcase column for the Business section. A native Californian, Martin was part of the Metro staff that won three Pulitzer Prizes in 1993, 1995 and 1998. He was also on the Travel section staff that won the Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers in 2008. He is an avid outdoorsman, gardener and Lakers fan.
To help fund the site, the founders created special edition breakfast cereals, with presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain as the inspiration for "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains". In two months, 800 boxes of cereal were sold at $40 each, which generated more than $30,000 for the company's incubation. It also got the company noticed by computer programmer Paul Graham, who invited the founders to the January 2009 winter training session of his startup incubator, Y Combinator, which provided them with training and $20,000 in funding in exchange for a small interest in the company. With the website already built, they used the $20,000 Y-Combinator investment to fly to New York City to meet users and promote the site. They returned to San Francisco with a profitable business model to present to West Coast investors. By March 2009, the site had 10,000 users and 2,500 listings.
American operates out of ten hubs located in Dallas/Fort Worth, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Philadelphia, Miami, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Washington–National, Los Angeles, New York–JFK, and New York–LaGuardia. American operates its primary maintenance base at Tulsa International Airport in addition to the maintenance locations located at its hubs. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is American Airlines’ largest passenger carrying hub, handling 51.1 million passengers annually with an average of 140,000 passengers daily. As of 2017, the company employs over 122,000 people. Through the airline's parent company, American Airlines Group, it is publicly traded under NASDAQ: AAL with a market capitalization of about $25 billion as of 2017, and included in the S&P 500 index.
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Shortly after moving to San Francisco in October 2007, roommates and former schoolmates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia could not afford the rent for their loft apartment. Chesky and Gebbia came up with the idea of putting an air mattress in their living room and turning it into a bed and breakfast. The goal at first was just "to make a few bucks". In February 2008, Nathan Blecharczyk, Chesky's former roommate, joined as the Chief Technology Officer and the third co-founder of the new venture, which they named AirBed & Breakfast. They put together a website which offered short-term living quarters, breakfast, and a unique business networking opportunity for those who were unable to book a hotel in the saturated market. The site Airbedandbreakfast.com officially launched on August 11, 2008. The founders had their first customers in town in the summer of 2008, during the Industrial Design Conference held by Industrial Designers Society of America, where travelers had a hard time finding lodging in the city.