Kausha Ghia has a BA in Economics from Mumbai University, and took her IATA travel and tourism course in 1984. She worked at a travel agency in India from 1985 until 1997; she then moved to New York City and spent a year working for an agency selling airfare to diamond buyers. She started at Cook Travel in 1998 and became manager in 2002. In addition to her degree in Economics, she has LMSW from Fordham University, and practices psychotherapy, which she thinks is a useful skill in dealing with travel agents! She is currently involved in a mentorship that benefits students in India. She is married and lives in Totowa, NJ.
Travel Research Online (TRO): Hi, Kausha. Thanks for doing this interview with us. How are you today?
Kausha Ghia (KG): Good, thank you.
TRO: You’ve been with Cook Travel for almost 20 years, there must be something great about the company that has kept you there. What are those reasons to you?
KG: I enjoy helping people out and finding solutions to their problems. Many people want to fly first and business class and can’t afford the extraordinarily high prices. Because of our discount programs we’re often able to take thousands of dollars off the published fares.
When I started, I didn’t know much about computers because I had just migrated from India, but I was able to learn, and the longer I was part of this company, the more my self-confidence grew.
TRO: You also have an extensive background in education and other skills: finishing up a BA in Economics, an IATA travel & tourism course, and you’re a Licensed Master Social Worker. Does this spectrum of skills help you when navigating the travel industry?
KG: People in the travel industry are often eccentric and highly agitated. Having an education in psychology gives me insights in how to calm these anxieties, and it helps me to have patience.
TRO: One of the other skills in your toolbox is that you practice psychotherapy, saying that this helps you deal with travel agents. How so?
KG: There’s a lot of stress in the travel industry, and it helps to maintain perspective.
TRO: Cook Travel has handled just about everything in the travel industry for 37 years: Airline tickets (First class, Business, and Corporate), luxury cruises, hotel accommodations, and car rentals. How does Cook Travel handle and keep up with this logistical web?
KG: The travel industry is constantly changing. We have to change the way we do business every 6 months to continue to offer the best discounts. Thankfully, all of the agents are extremely knowledgeable, which enables us to face this constantly changing travel industry.
TRO: You work with a mentorship program that helps underprivileged students in India. How did you first get involved in this project, and why?
KG: My passion to help others. My father was involved with missing children society. The social work background was in my family. My family environment was always about helping others. I use my psychotherapy skills when mentoring students, and my 20 years of dealing with people in the travel industry helps as well.
TRO: How does Cook Travel work with travel agents to help travelers get the best out of their getaway or business trip?
KG: We have been in the industry for around 40 years, which means that we have special contracts with many, many airlines. When an agent doesn’t have a discount for a client, they can call us. An agent can mark up our net fares as much as they want, and give their clients a better deal than the published fares, and make a commission on the sale. It’s a win for everyone.
For more information about Cook Travel, please visit www.cooktravel.net.