with Jo-Anne Stange of Vasco Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

How long have you been in the business? Since 1992 – before that I worked at IBM for 22 years.  This was supposed to be my semi-retirement!

Do you remember your first airplane ride? Oh my goodness yes! It was Montreal to Daytona Beach on Eastern Airlines. I was 19.   

How has the business changed since you got into it? Dramatically. We’ve gone from the age of good rate commission in air tickets to zero commission, from bankruptcies to 9/11 – we’ve seen it all! And yet, when I look at prices, flights to Europe cost just about the same.

Do you have a specialty? We specialize in cruises, plus commercial travel.

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? A buyer for one of the tour operators, buying interesting new destinations, like Belize.  I’m impressed to see that Sunwing is going to Roatan and Transat to Aruba this winter.

What was your best FAM? A Mediterranean cruise with MSC Cruises.

What drives you crazy? Problems. Not our problems, but ones that happen with airline delays. We do our job so well – we almost walk them to the counter at the airport – then we put them in someone else’s hands and all hell breaks loose!

If you could have a secret weapon what would be it be? Laughs long and loud.  A magic wand to get everyone to destination on time.

What was your biggest individual sale? A couple to Tahiti including a stay on a private island: $53,000. They loved it.

Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? ‘Credit card or cash?’

How do you cope with jet lag?  Melatonin – you can now get it in Canada.

If you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick?  Venice, plus Tuscany.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Travelling!

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