When you book with me, you are working with a live person, not a computer, so you won’t accidentally book a flight to Cheboygan, Michigan when you want to go to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. And while we use the latest technology, I can suggest routings that a computer might not find and am there for you proactively in case there of any issues along the way. I’ll also advise you on the best hotels for the locations where you are doing business and get you extra perks while you are there.
I’ve been a travel agent since 1976, but that wasn’t my original life plan. Armed with a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, I got a job at Esso Production Research Company in Houston. My job involved a lot of travel. After their travel agent badly messed up a few of my trips, I began booking my own travel, and I saw the value of having a good travel agent.
I also began to realize that I preferred working with people to working with technology, so I decided to change fields and become the travel agent I wished I had during my road warrior days. Many people view corporate travel as simply punching city pairs into a computer and booking. I don’t. I pride myself on knowing what my travelers need and providing outstanding, complete and knowledgeable service on every trip. My attention to detail enables me to satisfy the most demanding of our clients’ needs.
Often it means knowing how to get to strange cities and knowing all the possible connection points. Experience has taught me to quickly find creative flight routings that can save my clients time and money. I also can handle passports and visas and fast-track them when needed.
Being a Tzell Travel Group agent also means getting to know vendors first hand. Many come and call on us in our offices. For my clients, that means I have resources to advocate on their behalf when it is needed. Sometimes even our representatives’ hands are tied, but there is an issue that can be fixed, I will work to fix it, even when it means going right to the CEO.
Once I was booking almost 80 seats between New York and Copenhagen. I knew they were available, but everyone was saying they couldn’t be booked. Finally, I called the CEO and quoted from a book he’d written. We hit it off and the next thing I knew, the seats were booked.
I am often asked whether the internet has hurt my business. Just the opposite is true. Technology has made us more efficient. Now I can record my clients’ preferences once for special meals, frequent flyer numbers, and other requirements and enter them into every reservation without going through a list of questions. I can get an email from a client in Africa, and ten minutes later they get an email confirmation for their flight, transfers, and hotel. Expedia doesn’t come near to doing what a full-service agency can.
I also can tailor corporate reports to your company’s needs to assist with budgeting, monitoring expenses and identifying potential savings. And equally important, I can leverage Tzell's and my strong supplier relationships to drive savings for your travel program.