Biting Questions Kate Neufeld, Team Leader, Flight Centre Appleby Crossing, Burlington

Open Jaw

Kate on a boat in Iceland

Where were you born? In Edmonton.

What was your 1st job?  Working in a kitchen at a summer camp in Normandale, Ont.

How long have you been in the business? 6 years. Before that I worked in guest services at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel.

Tell me about your 1st airplane ride. I was 6 and went to Vancouver with my dad. I ate 2 chicken dinners and proceeded to throw up for the rest of the flight. 

How has the business changed since you got into it?  People are now looking for something different.

Do you have a specialty? Southeast Asia and coach tours.

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? Good question! Hotel inspector.

What was your best FAM? Iceland. Or a Windstar cruise to the Black Sea.

What drives you crazy? When you send clients a long detailed e-mail and they reply with one-word answers.

What was your biggest individual sale? Either a Bali-Thailand wedding/honeymoon or a month-long China/Australia combo. Each about $30,000.

What’s the 1st thing you do when you get into a hotel room? Put the runner/shawl/bedspread thing on the floor. They don’t wash those things!

Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? “So are we getting this booked?”

What’s the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked? “Can you find a hotel in Paris where I can stay with my cat?” And I found one.

Do you have any time management strategies? Do the little things as soon as you can. Get it done in 10 seconds and move on.

What do you do to keep your clients loyal? I’ll check in with them if I see a deal. I recently ran a contest for my clients to guess where my next trip will be. I’ll buy the winner fridge magnets along the way when I’m away.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? Be nice to people and work hard.

If you had to spend 6 months in a destination, which one would you pick?   Laos, because there’s enough amenities that it’s not super unfamiliar, but also charming and undiscovered which is really hard to find these days.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Working in a fabulous hotel somewhere!

If you or someone you know who is a front line travel agent in Canada would like to be featured in Up Front, please e-mail

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