Lee Applbaum of Wheels Up Wants to Democratize Private Air Travel

Lee Applbaum has spent his career marketing tequila at Patrón, navigating the retail space at Target and more recently, embracing the chaos of the uncharted cannabis industry. After years of experience under his belt, he has set off to disrupt and redefine a new territory: aviation.

Last week, Applbaum began his role as CMO of Wheels Up, a private jet charter company with access to over 1,500 aircraft. 

“I’ve been blessed to work with brands that are both iconic and disruptive, and those are two words that I would absolutely use to describe Wheels Up,” he said.  “It has very quickly established itself as a real disrupter and an innovator in the space, and a brand that has a real swagger.” 

As CMO, he said he will democratize the industry through a much-needed digitization in the travel space. 

“What we do is technologically complicated, but the customer experience is deeply

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Holiday air travel surges despite dire health warnings

The TSA says nearly 1.2 million people went through U.S. airports on Sunday

With new reported cases of coronavirus spiking across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a warning against Thanksgiving travel just a week before the holiday.

The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S.

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US air travel hits a pandemic-era high over Thanksgiving holiday

More people passed through US airport security checkpoints on Sunday than on any other single day since the coronavirus pandemic cratered air travel, according to the Transportation Security Administration.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: SEATAC, WA - NOVEMBER 29: Travelers pass through security screening at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on November 29, 2020 in SeaTac, Washington. Public health experts warn that COVID-19 cases may surge following holiday travel, as the U.S. surpasses 4 million cases so far this month. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)


© David Ryder/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
SEATAC, WA – NOVEMBER 29: Travelers pass through security screening at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on November 29, 2020 in SeaTac, Washington. Public health experts warn that COVID-19 cases may surge following holiday travel, as the U.S. surpasses 4 million cases so far this month. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

TSA said it screened 1.17 million people on Sunday when many Americans were heading home from their Thanksgiving travels. That was 41% of the 2.9 million people screened by TSA on the same day in 2019. Thanksgiving 2019 set a TSA record.

That means more than 9.4 million people have been screened in the Thanksgiving travel window, which began on the Friday before the holiday.

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Air Travel Declines 40% Pre-Thanksgiving

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Three numbers to start your day:

Compared With 2019, Air Travel Drops 40% for Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

Despite the drop, it’s actually the busiest U.S. airports have been since the pandemic first hit in March, according to Deutsche Bank data. That raises concerns that the holidays could become “super-spreader events,” the bank’s economist says.

A continued surge in Covid-19 cases could lead to more strict lockdowns and limits on travel and gatherings. More shutdowns would cut down on economic activity, though probably not as severely as the initial stages of the pandemic early this year.

Investors didn’t seem too worried about the holiday shopping season, at least. Stocks closed at new highs on Friday.

Zoom Video Communications’ Quarterly Sales Grew 300% From Same Quarter in 2019

The videoconferencing company is set to report earnings today after the close of trading. It’s expected to post profits of 76 cents

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In first, the Air Force externally mounts cruise missile on B1B bomber

  • In a late-November demonstration, a B-1B carried an inert AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, known as JASSM, on an external pylon.
  • The demonstration is seen as a step forward in plans to have the B-1B carry future ordnance — like hypersonic missiles — outside of its internal bomb bay.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US Air Force just proved it can externally mount an advanced stealth cruise missile on the B-1B Lancer for the first time, a step forward in plans to have the B-1 carry future ordnance — like hypersonic missiles — outside of its internal bomb bay.

In the demonstration, carried out by Air Force Materiel Command and Boeing Co., the B-1 carried an inert AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, known as JASSM, on an external pylon. Then, the aircraft demonstrated its “ability to safely release” a mounted AGM-158 separation test vehicle, according to Air

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Air Canada Launches Unique Holiday Campaign Celebrating The Gift Of Travel

Air Canada just launched the Gift of Travel, an integrated initiative that pays homage to the actions of community heroes who are making a memorable impact when helping their fellow Canadians during Covid-19. The program focuses on hope and optimism to raise funds and Aeroplan points for Canadian charitable organizations and it also offers people dreaming of travel a new flexible travel pass product.

 “Canadians from across the country have shown remarkable resilience, solidarity and generosity in the face of COVID-19 and we were inspired hearing stories of people who dedicated their time and energy to caring for others, making a memorable impact on other people’s lives. We are proud to launch this campaign with our Gift of Travel video featuring heartwarming stories of community heroes and share the gift of travel through a

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U.S. air travel hit post-March peak on day before Thanksgiving

Despite warnings from public health officials, more people in the U.S. boarded planes on the day before Thanksgiving than any day since March, part of a broader surge in travel that comes amid a significant surge of Covid-19 cases.



a group of people standing in a room


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According to Transportation Security Administration figures, 1,070,967 people crossed TSA checkpoints Wednesday, part of a surge in travel in the seven days leading up to Thanksgiving that brought more than 6.8 million people to airports across the country.

But overall travel remains significantly lower than years past. Wednesday’s figure is less than half as many of the 2.6 million who traveled the day before Thanksgiving in 2019.

Video: TSA sees highest passenger screening since mid-March (NBC News)

TSA sees highest passenger screening since mid-March

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a last-minute warning on Nov. 19 asking Americans to

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US air travel sets a pandemic-era record despite calls to stay home for Thanksgiving

The number of travelers passing through airport security checkpoints in the United States reached its highest level since mid-March on Wednesday despite urging from federal health officials for Americans to spend Thanksgiving at home.



a group of people walking down the street: Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the past week, according to the TSA.


© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the past week, according to the TSA.

In a pandemic-era record, 1,070,967 people passed through security at America’s airports on the day before Thanksgiving. That number is just 40% of last year’s passenger volume on the same day, when 2,602,631 people were screened.

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving, but since that warning was issued nearly 6 million travelers have passed through airport security.

The TSA receives passenger information from the airlines as part of its screening responsibilities, and the data does not show widespread cancellations in recent

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Thanksgiving Air Travel Down 60 Percent From Last Year, as Officials Tell People to Stay Home

In a sign that many people are heeding officials’ request to stay home for Thanksgiving, airplane travel in the days leading up to Thanksgiving is down about 60 percent from the same time last year.



a group of people wearing costumes: Holiday travelers pass through Los Angeles international Airport on Thanksgiving eve as the COVID-19 spike worsens and stay-at-home restrictions are increased on Wednesday in West Hollywood, California. Holiday plane travel is down dramatically from last year, but for the first time since March, more than 1 million people passed through TSA checkpoints in one day.


© David McNew/Getty
Holiday travelers pass through Los Angeles international Airport on Thanksgiving eve as the COVID-19 spike worsens and stay-at-home restrictions are increased on Wednesday in West Hollywood, California. Holiday plane travel is down dramatically from last year, but for the first time since March, more than 1 million people passed through TSA checkpoints in one day.

Cases of a new coronavirus in the United States have now surpassed 12 million. With spikes in cases occurring across the country, deaths on Tuesday were higher than they’ve been in six months. Officials urged people to stay home and imposed quarantine requirements for out-of-state visitors. While more people are traveling than health experts would like, there’s

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Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to set a pandemic-era record despite calls to stay home

Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to remain strong enough to set a pandemic-era record despite urging from federal health officials to spend the holiday at home.



a group of people walking down the street: Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.


© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Americans to not travel for Thanksgiving last week — but that didn’t stop more than 1 million travelers from passing through US airport security on Sunday and more than 900,000 on Tuesday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Since the CDC issued that warning, nearly 5 million people have boarded airplanes. The agency receives passenger information from the airlines as part of its screening responsibilities, and the data does not show widespread cancellations in recent days, TSA spokesman Andy Post said.

From September to October, the number of scheduled available seats

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