with Rob McChlery, General Manager/Sales in Central and Western Canada for Air Canada Vacations

How long have you been in the business?  27 years, including a stint as a travel agent and 14 years with the Barbados Tourism Authority.

What’s the best part of the job?  Telling people about new product lines.

What did you want to be as a kid?  A chef. I’m a good cook now.

What was your first job?  The graveyard shift in a video store in Barbados. No one ever came in so I’d watch three movies a night.  

Ever had a brush with fame?  Yes, while I was in NYC working in the UN, I got to meet all sort of heads of state.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?  In New Zealand, flying in a four-seater plane that rose and fell over each mountain. I was a complete idiot for having done that.

What’s your favourite airline?  (Laughs) I’ve been flying Air Canada for 38 years.

What do people not know about you? That I have a degree in mathematics.

Any hobbies or interests?  Diving.

What’s on your iPod?  Lady Gaga – I love her!

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months?  Getting a fair price for what we are selling.

Whom do you most respect in the industry?  A tie between three strong women I know who all have a warm side: Sue Webb [of VoX Travel Management], Dina Bertolo [of Thomas Cook], and ACV president Zeina Gedeon. I find them fascinating.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?  I wish agents wouldn’t reach for the cheapest, but for the best match for their customers.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long haul flight who would it be?  Jamie Oliver – because he has almost a childlike fascination with food and doesn’t look at it like anyone else. And he laughs a lot at himself.

What’s your favourite destination?  St. Barts.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?  I want to work deeper into an airline. I want to be involved in development, perhaps of new markets or inflight initiatives.  

Leave a Reply