Travel doesn't look the same as it always has. With international travel borders opening up, booking travel has only become more complex and our amazing Travel Sales Consultants are more important than ever in ensuring we can open up the world for our customers and get them safely to where they need to be. We sat down with Jono (Team Leader), Ingrid, Kevin and Elyse (clockwise pictured above) from Flight Centre Kippa-Ring in Queensland to find out what has changed in their role and what they are most excited about as we travel begins to pick up again.
What's been the most unexpected outcome from the pandemic?
Jono: Probably how much the industry has banded together. Enemies have become allies and we are all just trying to figure our way out of it and get us moving forward in the future.
Kevin: What surprised me most was the appreciation the customers showed for how hard we worked each time to get as much of their money back for them as possible.
Ingrid: When the pandemic hit all our teams were taken apart and our work families were left a bit broken. For me, I was moved into the Kippa-Ring store, where I have now been for about a year, and after 14 years of working for Flight Centre, I can confidently say this has been the best team I have ever worked with. We are such a great unit, we have the same work ethic, we care about our customers and we just love coming to work together each and every day.
What skills have you leaned on in the past 18 months? What skills have you worked on?
Jono: The main skills I leaned on would be being able to empathise with your customers. You never know someone's situation and why they want to travel, you just have to try to get the best solution you can for them every time.
Ingrid: A lot of persistence and perseverance. I learnt that it was important not to allow your emotions to control how you react, you must always own the problem and remind yourself that some things are out of your control. Despite everything, this experience has made me a better worker and a better person as I have developed some life-long skills.
What are the best things about working as a Travel Sales Consultant?
Jono: Being able to talk about travel all day! Helping make people’s travel dreams a reality is truly what I love most. It is also super exciting helping people that have never travelled before. The feeling you get when someone returns from their trip with their love of travel ignited is what I’m most excited for as we move away from these past two years.
Ingrid: What I love about my job is that I can travel through my clients' eyes. I have always been a traveller at heart so watching my clients' come up with their dream destinations and watching their plans come to fruition is what I love the most.
Elyse: No day is the same. One day you could be booking a trip to America, the next, Africa or Egpyt. The knowledge you acquire is amazing and incomparable to anywhere else.
What advice would you give to someone applying for a Travel Sales Consultant role?
Jono: Now is the best time to do it. As borders continue to open, we will be trying to get people to places that they may have never before thought was possible. Especially over the past two years, a lot of people have had to put their travel plans on hold so now is the time to apply because things are about to go crazy!
Kevin: Roll with the punches. The world changes every day and you need to be able to roll with anything that may cause your day to take a turn for the worse. Also, have fun, explore the world and always relate your own experiences (both good and bad) to your client's in order to build trust and bond.
Ingrid: Own your passion, be true to yourself and believe in yourself.
Elyse: Embrace the diversity of every day. The things you learn is not just knowledge that you can use in the workplace but also some you can carry with you throughout your life.
Why work for Flight Centre?
Ingrid: FCTG is a company that encourages career progression and the opportunities are endless.
Elyse: The culture within FCTG and within the team. It is super fun and every day is great.
Kevin: Travel is a passion of mine... I love ships, planes, trains and being able to help customers are the reasons I started at Flight Centre.
Where are you travelling to next?
Kevin: Hopefully to Canberra, to see my 92-year-old mum. After that, wherever I can get a ticket to next!
Ingrid: I am staying close to home; my son and I are going to Mooloolaba over Xmas this year. Internationally, I think it will be a cruise of the Southwest Pacific with my 10-year-old son.
Elyse: Like a lot of others, we had a COVID baby so our first trip will be to Canada for her to meet her grandparents for the very first time.
Jono: Hamilton Island and then after that Tassie, then Bali.