The ‘hotel booking’ experience of a Condé Nast editor who lived through a privacy invasion

Kate Gibson, the editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveler, used her farewell tour to New York this week to discuss what she and her former magazine will look like in the decades to come. But before she laid out the magazine’s transformation in a nutshell, she offered a glimpse of what she imagines the airline industry will look like in the year 2025. To that end, she agreed to participate in a VaynerMedia-sponsored experiment that essentially mimicked what it would be like for an editors to fly from London to New York. VaynerMedia is a digital media company that invests in startups.

Gibson — who is based in London — started off on a private jet for the entire week, which meant that her mobile device would be locked in a panic room before the “hotel booking” process. But after installing a camera and microphones in the cramped cabin, she tried to use the phone to complete the booking process. The verdict? Not only did it not work, but Gibson was locked out of her mobile device as the pilot identified the “hackers” who’d been messing with the onboard systems.

During the trial, the pilot referred to “changes in security regulations” that apparently meant the entire booking process was broken. But the pilot wasn’t willing to tell her how much longer she’d be spending with the plane stuck in the Chicago O’Hare airport terminal, making room for passengers. After another airplane failed to meet strict standards — Gibson told the pilot she had no intention of sitting in its holding pattern — the two planes finally made their stops and she was finally given her boarding pass.

Gibson spent the rest of the week traveling by commercial flight, which she tried again to navigate. She chose to book a seat in business class. But it seems she was the only one doing so. It seems that more than 90 percent of the group opted for economy. Gibson put her head in her hands, saying: “What have I done?”

Read the full story at CNN.


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