How long have you been in the business? 10 years exactly – I started with Air New Zealand in Auckland. I love the variety. For instance, I have no idea what’s going to happen today!
Tell me about your first airplane ride. When I was about 8 I flew with my brother from Manchester to Hong Kong to visit my Dad. I remember the leg room was fantastic. Too bad the leg room shrinks as you grow up!
How has the business changed since you got into it? People are becoming more impatient. And flying used to be fun but the fun’s really been taken out of it.
Do you have a specialty? I do a lot of round-the-world itineraries. Those clients usually travel for 3 months or so and it’s great fun to help them plan their routing.
If you could have any job in the business what would it be? I’d love to be an airport manager – even more variety than I have now!
What was your best FAM? I went to Royal Plantation in Jamaica a couple of months ago. Just exquisite. Of course I had to come home and tell my wife [bored, dull voice] ‘Yeah. It was OK.’
What drives you crazy? People who are not realistic with what their budget can buy.
If you could have a secret weapon what would it be? A button I could hit to make all the prices disappear so people have to decide based what they really want, and not decide just on price.
What was your biggest individual sale? A honeymoon to numerous Caribbean islands including a chartered jet for part of the itinerary and a huge private villa in Exuma for another part. Worked out to $100,000.
Yikes – I hope they’re still together! Er…no.
Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? ‘Would you like to book that?’ Not enough people in the industry ask for the money because it takes away from the ‘friendship’ of it all.
What do you do to keep your clients loyal? After sale service – call them just before they go, after they come back. You want to know if anything went wrong.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? From my Dad: ‘Nobody ever said on their deathbed ‘I should have spent more time at the office’.’ Not enough of us live by that.
If you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick? I’d go to England. So much diversity in such a small country – and I love the history.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? In forensics. I like the police world – it would be fascinating!