Many people believe the rich and famous have it made when they travel. They imagine a life full of first class, 5 star hotels, gourmet dining and living the high life. Maybe if more knew the ins and outs of what they really goes on, they wouldn’t think it was all it’s cracked up to be. Every rag-mag I see while I am grocery shopping shows some star photographed at the airport, on a plane, at the beach, or on vacation. When I see this I just wonder how, why, who is giving them this info.
I handle travel for some of these rock stars, and a few actors as well. Some bands are just starting out, some are on the verge of making their name, and others have already hit the big time being featured in Billboard or the big screen. To me, how big or how small means nothing–everyone gets the same personalized service. Read the rest of this entry »
When the economy went by the wayside last fall, many businesses and travel agencies took a major hit. Agencies closed or merged, everyone began scrambling to salvage what business they had. Huge travel policy cuts or lack of travel in general was a common denominator. Unfortunately with that came the layoffs. Many agents in other offices were in the same predicament, simply not enough work for the staff, the phones just weren’t ringing like they normally were.
I watched several friends and colleagues receive their pink slips and quietly head to the unemployment line. Our office became a real life ghost town; I could almost imagine Read the rest of this entry »
Ever been on a cruise ship, a FAM trip, or a trade show only to be openly recruited by one of the “so-called” online agencies? You know what I am talking about–the travel agency in a box, pyramid scheme, be your own travel agent type deals. I know I have. Too many times for my liking.
I have experienced those FAM trips where “agents” openly discuss their new MLM business, and think taking their entire family along on a trip designed for learning is proper. I have seen the lime green shirts, car decals, buttons and laptop presentations at industry trade shows and job fairs. Even now they seem to be invading Read the rest of this entry »
How many of us have worked excruciatingly long hours to help a client in need. Whether it is due to airline issues, hotel issues, supplier issues, or just a plain passenger issues. We’ve all been there. However, when a client offers a simple thank you or gesture of gratitude; it makes it all worth it. Over the years, we’ve all have those amazing stories of how we’ve gone above and beyond our duties to help someone in need. Sometimes we do a poor job of letting others know what we do. Maybe we feel it is routine, but hey, here’s a chance to brag a little. Read the rest of this entry »
As a corporate agent, I am constantly surfing the net for new tools to help me service my clients more efficiently and effectively. I’ve come across a few favorites along the way, and without some, I probably would be making a lot more phone calls then necessary throughout the day. Corporate travel can be time consuming enough, and when you’re taking call after call you have to move quickly onto the next. Here are my favorites: Read the rest of this entry »
Being the dinosaur that I am in this industry (19 years and counting); I’ve seen so much change. Some changes are for the better, some changes are for the worse, some of them just plain old annoying.
In the beginning, life for the agent was a little more time-consuming, but, as a whole, agents were far more respected for their knowledge. After high school, I actually attended a travel school. We learned a GDS, learned airport codes, geography, basic travel management and how to properly hand write documents. There was no Sidestep or Kayak to check airfares, no neighbors who’d just purchased their own website for $500 and now claim to be an agent, and no Trip Advisor to find out if the resort was really all that great. The customer relied on their agent, and their expertise in their respective fields. But today, it seems to have all changed. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve heard it everywhere. Travel agents are a thing of the past! Internet travel is the wave of the future. Book directly with an online website, an airline, or even be your own travel agent with the new “travel like an insider” programs. Is it really a consumer’s best choice?
I’ve been in travel for a long time. I’ve seen the technology and tools for our industry grow over the years. Believe it or not, technology is what we use on a daily basis to assist in any way we can to help the client. We are constantly checking our email, voicemail and GDS for issues that may occur, even at night and on weekends. Read the rest of this entry »
As a corporate travel agent, I work every day with frequent flyer awards, hotel loyalty programs and all sorts of programs to award the traveler. But what about me? I am doing all the work. What about a “Frequent Booker” program? With the elimination of airline commissions and the erosion of car and hotel commissions, I found that some companies still decided agents are worth a bit more.
Many vendors now offer incentives to entice agents to their products. All of these programs are designed for travel professionals as a reward for booking their products. While they can (and do) go away at the drop of a hat, below is a list of some of the current promotions that a corporate agent (and sometimes a leisure one) can use on a daily basis. Read the rest of this entry »
When I started in this industry, about 18 years ago, I was young and fresh out of high school with visions of traveling the world. I enrolled myself in travel school and took a job at a local brick-and-mortar agency ready to conquer (and travel) the world. I worked from department to department until I learned the ins and outs and found my calling. I honestly thought when I was in travel school that leisure travel would be my passion. I was wrong. It turned out that working the corporate travel part of the business was to be my true love.
Read the rest of this entry »