The 'Monday Minute' is a weekly feature at PAX dedicated to highlighting the movers, shakers, leaders and rule-breakers in Canada's travel agent community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Name: Lary Neron
Company: Airfare Consultant
Location: Calgary, AB
How long have you been a travel agent? I worked for nine years at WestJet with the majority of my time (6.5 years) in the pricing and revenue management team. Now I run my own business as an independent agent focusing on charging fees for my expertise. I have been a travel agent for six years now.
What is your specialty? My specialty is highly personalized – white glove concierge services. My niche is airfares. I help entrepreneurs fly with a smile on their face.
What do you love most about being a travel agent?
I love being of service to people. I love that it can be my own business and that it’s very flexible. I’m passionate about airlines and airplanes!
What's one travel trend you've noticed as of late?
Because I deliver such a high-touch, personalized service, I have noticed and been told many times by my clients how they appreciate the human touch and interactions. It’s a level of service that is hard to find anywhere else nowadays, they say.
Over the years, how have you had to adapt to changes taking place in the industry?
I'm not sure that it has affected me as an agent because my commission is a very tiny part of my business. As for airline changes, I stay current with all the new developments through airline specific websites, newsletters, magazines and travel blogs on things that can enhance or hinder my client's flights. I deliver peace of mind, so anticipating and communicating with my clients is critical so that we can keep their flight journeys seamless and stress-free.
Of all the bookings you’ve made, which itinerary and/or travel package are you most proud of?
The one thing I’m most proud of is being able to onboard clients on monthly retainers. It may not be the answer you are looking for, but I'm super grateful to have retainer clients every month so that I can start my month with a revenue base instead of zero! They commit to me, and I commit to them – it’s a win-win. It allows me to spend as much time as I want creating and discovering amazing itineraries for them.
What's your number one piece of advice to other travel agents?
Try working on shifting your mindset from a travel agent to a travel professional so you can charge professional fees. Start comparing yourself to other professionals your ideal client would use in their everyday life and set your fees based on what they pay other professionals. Take control of your revenues.
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