In a single recent week, I saw two separate social media posts about which seat not to sit in when flying a specific aircraft type.
“Do not get a ‘window’ seat in row 23A on a Boeing 767-300”, one warned. The other, very similar, showed a friend making an exaggerated sad face in front of what should have been a window, caught in the same predicament on the same equipment. I wanted to direct them both to any of our consultants to ensure they never go through this pain again, and would have, if either travelled regularly for business which they don’t.
Knowing aircraft and how they’re configured is essentially knowing your product and should be an integral part of selling airline tickets. Knowing a plane’s pitfalls (such as window seats without actual windows) however, separates the men from the boys – or, in this case, woman, Corporate Traveller Account Manager Diana Collini, to be exact.
To Diana, this is the absolute bare minimum. Seating her customers is the cherry on top. Assisting in managing her clients’ airline, hotel and car rental company memberships to grow their status levels is her real forte. Utilizing these memberships for upgrades while maintaining a status level may feel like juggling to some, but for Diana, it’s a pleasant challenge she takes seriously.
“I see my industry as a jig-saw puzzle and I enjoy putting the pieces together in a way that works best for my clients.”
Like putting together complicated and round the world itineraries. Or foreseeing the danger in booking incredibly short connections in problem cities like San Francisco, New York, Denver and Chicago, all notorious for weather delays yet offering tight connections of a mere 45 minutes sometimes. And speaking of time, for business travellers, it’s as much of the essence as it is money.
Recounting a series of summer storms in the Eastern U.S., Diana revisited an unfortunate scenario in which airlines were forced to cancel hundreds of flights affecting thousands, including her client on a cancelled flight from New York to Los Angeles. Calling her to re-book an alternative turned out to be a time-saving blessing.
Accessing the airline inventory, Diana secured the last available seat on the only flight still scheduled, reissued his ticket and sent off the itinerary within an hour of his initial call for help. Had he tried to make the change himself, Diana figured a hold time of over 4-hours with the airline, by which time, all flights would have been sold out for the day and more time and money spent on over-nighting in New York.
Want tips on reducing your company’s travel spend? She’s got those too. While some are just simple strategy, others have saved her clients up to $4000 on a Business Class seat to Europe.
But back to her bread and butter – reward programs. Diana knows the importance of streamlining your loyalty and stresses how having memberships for everything is not only confusing and hard to keep track of but that it won’t really provide any significant benefits in the end. Focusing on just a single airline alliance or hotel chain builds authority with that brand and that loyalty can go a long way, often resulting in bigger benefits and long term savings.
In fact, Diana will even sign you up for them, creating your profile with the airline, including your seat preference. If you’re someone who travels frequently on business, please don’t end up in a social media feed with a sad face in a bum seat. Book with Diana and smile.