Whether in the office or twerking at the club, the House of Travel team is always ready to arrange and book travel for its VIP clients.
House of Travel in Aventura, Fla., has been an Amadeus customer for more than 25 years. A leading luxury, leisure and corporate travel provider, House of Travel handles travel arrangements for Las Vegas-based The Light Group, one of the nation’s largest hospitality management and development companies.
We recently caught up with House of Travel’s VP of Travel Services, Gary Oakley, to uncover his secrets for keeping his client’s jet-setting executives, employees, deejays and high rollers happy in the air, on the road and at sea.
Gary Oakley’s top tips for high roller happiness
- Connect or die. ”Mobile is changing the way we sell travel. I’m always connected to my clients from my iPhone or iPad. Our company’s ‘24/7 travel concierge’ philosophy means we’re always available to handle last-minute requests. One client recently opened a nightclub in Los Angeles and needed a ticket from LA to New York. We’re on opposite coasts with different business hours. But geography isn’t an issue, thanks to Amadeus Selling Platform Connect. It’s Web-based, so I can arrange travel anytime, anywhere – even from a restaurant or club in another country! In the old days, we had to rely on remote logins, and without certificates you were dead. Not today; everything is mobile!”
- Personalize the experience. ”We know our clients by name and face, and cater to each person’s individual needs. I treat a client as if I were the one going on the trip. I make sure their seats are as they like them: comfortable, exit row seats, reclining – whatever they need, we already know. I even check in my clients on their flights and email their boarding passes.”
- Never nickel & dime a high roller. ”Our clients can’t be bothered with flight changes and extra charges to change a ticket online. One of our VIP clients recently arrived on a private plane. He was trying to catch a traditional carrier flight. We asked the airline to waive the fee and they did. We exchanged his ticket; he didn’t have to pay again. When you need to change the return flight, Amadeus Ticket Changer safely gives us the lowest available fare; you can’t get this kind of service online. Sometimes a client needs to change a ticket, and the cost can vary from $200 to $500. Amadeus Ticket Changer is very accurate. Before, I manually reissued tickets; now the process is automated. It’s a great tool for us.”
- Eat, breathe and know travel. ”Travel’s been in my blood since I was 13; I could never envision myself doing anything else. At House of Travel, 90 percent of our employees speak multiple languages and travel extensively. Our job descriptions include posting on our personal and company Facebook and Instagram pages. Again, that’s why Amadeus Selling Platform Connect is so helpful. We’re always out and about, seeing things firsthand, and connecting with each other and our customers.”
- Focus on the future. “The day is coming when business will no longer be tied to the confines of an office. It’s a mobile world. We need to be out among our clients; we can’t sit in one place any longer. We have to mobilize. Amadeus helps us achieve that with products like Amadeus Selling Platform Connect, which gives travel professionals more flexibility to be out meeting clients, learning new things, and booking travel. The future requires that we travel professionals continue to learn, grow, and expose ourselves to new things. It’s a wired world, and for me, this is how we roll!”
Where is the most unusual or remote place (outside your office) that you booked travel?