New York, New York Travel Agent
Corporate Travel: Airline Waivers and Favors
No two corporate itineraries are alike. Some of are very intricate and others simply involve getting someone from point A to point B and back. But whatever the case, I keep on top of it every day, because my clients’ needs may change at a moment’s notice, often in the middle of a trip with details that took weeks to coordinate. In those cases, nothing is more important than calmly making whatever adjustments are needed, minimizing or eliminating any inconvenience to the traveler. After some time has passed, he or she may not remember what problem arose during a trip, but they will absolutely remember that I fixed it.
My approach to a client’s itinerary is determined by whether their priority is productivity or cost. If the priority is cost, it will affect the route, but at the same time I will say, “sometimes spending a little more money is appropriate.” It makes no sense to fly 10 hours out of the way to save $500; so, my deep knowledge of routes and faring and their priorities is essential.
The most important skill for a corporate travel agent is to be resourceful when issues or human errors arise, and they will. So, my knowledge of the exclusive waivers and favors I can access on behalf of my clients—which comes from cultivating personal relationships with airlines and hotels, as well as the industry power of Tzell Travel Group—is what sets me apart.
I also make a point of developing relationships with secretaries, personal assistants and mail room clerks, because some executives do not always read all of their emails. I have to know my customer, tune into him and be his radar so I can be one step ahead at all times.