To say Amy Cisneroz grew up with a traveler’s spirit is an understatement. In fact, thanks to her pilot father, she flew her first plane at the age of eight. Her family was on a seemingly endless quest to explore the country, and by the time she reached her teenage years, Cisneroz had visited most of the national parks in the continental US. Unsurprisingly, her very first job in high school was working at a local bed and breakfast, and she’s only continued to pursue this fascination with jet-setting as an adult. She’s led various teams at Priceline, Virgin Atlantic, and Hertz—to name a few.
Today, she’s the Director of pricing and revenue optimization for Expedia Group, where she is responsible for delivering pricing solutions and systems that are scalable. Her cross-functional leadership role requires collaboration with various teams at this mega-brand, including marketing, supply, finance, and more. Some of her successes include generating $1.3 flight revenue in 2018, leading work streams that reduced price changes by 80%, and other feats.
As the pandemic hit the travel industry particularly hard, we’re lucky Cisneroz shared her time and insight on this evolving industry:
How has the industry changed over the past five years?
There are more themed travelers. An example is consumers traveling abroad for medical spas or plastic surgery. The newer travelers travel in larger groups for real experiences like hiking a mountain in a new place or going to multiple cities in a state. From a business perspective, we are trying to make things easier for the traveler, provide them information, and allow them to book all in the same place. It’s difficult.
What worries you about the travel industry? What excites you?
Great question. What worries me about the travel industry is people can’t afford it. Most recently, with COVID-19 is people forego vacations altogether as they do not trust us to make them safe. But the industry is working very hard for the traveler to return, it’s incredible.
What excites me about travel is it’s life-changing. Whether you travel to unplug from work and life or want a once in a lifetime experience with your family—your mind opens. It shows you the possibilities. You meet amazing people from all walks of life.
How would you describe your company culture?
We are hardworking, we travel, we are innovative and smart. We collaborate and focus until the problems are resolved. We are one.
What’s the most challenging part of being a leader/manager? And what’s the best part?
The most challenging part of being a leader/manager is making sure the team is safe. So much is happening right now, I want them to be happy and healthy. The best part is we teach each other. I love my team. They work hard, we have fun, and we get a lot done.
How can job applicants catch your attention? What stands out?
Job applicants catch my attention if they have strong technical skills such as SQL or strong business analytics. Being able to break down a problem is essential.
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a POC in this industry?
I experienced extreme bias early on in my career; it was one of the hardest moments in my life. Other than that, it’s hard to say, because I try to come into any new company or situation as if I am the same. That there is no difference. I often wonder if I should be further in my career than where I am, but I try not to worry about that. We each have our own path.
How do you feel about the current climate in America right now regarding race? Is it changing your work culture?
The current climate in America is bittersweet. We have lost a lot of lives unnecessarily. At this moment, people were forced to pay attention as we are in the middle of a pandemic. It was shocking, brutal, and in your face. You couldn’t ignore it. I believe it will change our work culture; there are discussions happening, plans being made.