Author Archives: Julie Summers

There are 12 articles by Julie Summers published on this site.

A year ago I was in a very dark place. My decades old marriage was falling apart, someone I cared very deeply about disappeared from my life, and my job was at a dead end. I went through Thanksgiving and Christmas in a daze; as if I was watching someone else live my life. With the holidays over, I realized I had to get myself together. I had to be able to think and function. My children needed me. I needed me. Read the rest of this entry »

The Problems with GDS

If you’ve been reading Travel Agent Diaries, you already know that I have issues with GDS usage. My main issue is with the archaic interface agents are forced to use to book travel, while the general public has easy, no hassle interfaces. This puts agents at a true disadvantage. New agents, anyway. Seasoned agents don’t mind the system they’ve been using for decades and don’t really feel the need to change anything. Read the rest of this entry »

As a follow up to last month’s diary, I’ve educated myself a little bit more on the GDS by speaking with other agents, my agency’s owner and an account manager from TravelPort .

Mike Papke, account manager at TravelPort had this to say in answer to my inquiry about the release of the Universal Desktop, “This new desktop point of sale application is still in beta testing and development in the US for Apollo through the balance of this year.  As soon as it’s ready for a general release I’ll be sure to coordinate a demonstration of the tool with Kevin Loveless and your Global Travel team. ” Read the rest of this entry »

Virtuoso Week

I’ve been an agent for a little over five years now and have been to my fair share of travel conferences. But in mid-August I attended Virtuoso Week in Las Vegas—a yearly conference for agents and suppliers who belong to the consortium Virtuoso.  I’m new to this agency and have never worked in an agency associated with Virtuoso, so have never attended this event in the past. It’s a luxury affair and I felt the difference from other conferences from the moment we stepped out of our taxi and walked into the beautiful Bellagio Resort Hotel and Casino. Read the rest of this entry »

Global Travel – Enough with the GDS

This vent has been a long time coming. First, let me start off by saying I love my job. I really love my job. My frustration lies with the Global Distribution System; also known as the GDS. I know it’s a powerful tool used by travel professionals all over the world. In fact, the recent white paper I read on the subject says 500,000 travel agencies across the world use the GDS.  So what’s my problem with it?

Let’s start with the cryptic command line method. Studies show it takes an agent 5 years of repetitive and repeated use to become a master of the GDS system. I don’t know about you, but I am dis-heartened that it will take me 5 years to become highly proficient using the main tool provided to me in order to do my job quickly and efficiently. Read the rest of this entry »

Global Travel — The energy emerges

Our office has been buzzing this week. This is the week where we all are gearing up to go to Virtuoso Week in Las Vegas. Because of our physical location, we will be taking turns attending the event, as someone needs to be in the office to take care of our clients.

Virtuoso Week is the annual event for agencies and suppliers that are members of the Virtuoso consortium. I’ve been to travel conferences before, but as I listen to other agents who have gone to this one, I have a feeling I’ll be introduced to a whole new level of conference. Read the rest of this entry »

Since coming back to work for a full service agency I’ve realized something I nearly forgot–there are thousands of hotels and resorts out there to choose from. Selling cruises was different in that there are only so many ships—maybe a hundred? And they are all pretty similar except for the luxury lines; of which there are only a few making it easy to become familiar with their services, inclusions, and standard business practices. And new ships only come out every couple years giving agents time to learn about them before they even hit the water. Read the rest of this entry »

Early summer has been known to be a slow booking time, but in the last week my agency has experienced an uptick in phone calls and walk ins. Whichever agent is not busy or on the phone receives these clients. This is one of the most interesting aspects of my job. I treat that client as a mystery. They could want anything. I want to help this person get to where they need to go. Read the rest of this entry »

When I decide to shake things up, I really shake things up! I came to the conclusion sometime in late March that my current employer and I were no longer a good fit.  I researched host agencies and decided to affiliate with Montrose Travel in California. They have a strong support system and wonderful and personable staff. I could not have selected a better company for my host. I was thisclose to signing on the dotted line when something else fell ino my lap—a position with a well-respected local travel agency. Read the rest of this entry »

Julie Summers — Beating the odds

Happy Spring! As professionals, we all try to keep business and personal issues separate but sometimes they overlap, each having a major impact on the other. That is what is happening in my life right now.  I am currently in the process of a divorce. It’s amicable, but it still causes major swings in emotion and mood on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. My soon to be ex-husband will be moving out of state on March 31st. I feel bad for him as the opportunity to further his career happened at the same time as our divorce. He is a great father and will miss his boys. It is a huge upheaval for all of us right now. Read the rest of this entry »

A choppy ‘Wave Season’

WAVE season was looking extremely lucrative for me this year. I was making 3-5 bookings a day and then….Costa Concordia. It has had a huge impact on my personal income. I only sell cruises so I can’t fall back on selling resorts or other travel to make up the loss of cruise business. I’m thankful for my repeat clientele and those who recognize the fantastic promotions being offered by the cruise lines, and my agency for keeping me in the black this month. Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings from Idaho

Hello from Boise, Idaho! As this new year begins I am overwhelmed with thoughts of what this year is going to hold for me both personally and professionally.  Like many people, I choose a few resolutions each January 1st. Since I’m a realist, I select goals I know I can hit as to not be disappointed in myself.  That may be considered cowardly, but it works for me at the moment. Maybe I’ll shoot for the moon one of these days, but for now I need to set small, obtainable goals to build self confidence and belief in myself. Read the rest of this entry »