With Sue Pechtel, Travel Advisor With Vision Travel, St. Albert, AB.

Open Jaw

Where were you born? In Victoria.

What was your first job? With the Department of Environment for the government of BC, as a secretary. After a year I thought “This is not for me!” and an employment office suggested Blaney’s Travel, where the owner Brud Blaney needed a secretary. He was a hoot.

How long have you been in the business? That was in 1974.

Tell me about your first airplane ride. When I was a young gal, maybe 13? My family went to Hawaii. That was a huge deal.

How has the business changed since you got into it? Technology obviously. Computers were just starting in the agencies, I think AC used to keep track of their loads on blackboards!

Do you have a specialty? I book a lot of cruises, and I’ve been on about 60 of them. Favourite cruise line? I’m going to get into trouble! We really like Oceania. And Celebrity for good value.

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? Teaching travel.

What was your best FAM? Probably China, though it was a long time ago. What an education… people simply didn’t go to China back then.

What drives you crazy? Sked changes!   

What’s the first thing you do when you get into a stateroom? I look for the safe (laughs).

Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? “Shall we book it Danno?”

Do you have any time management strategies? Not so good at that!

What do you do to keep your clients loyal?  Treat them as I would like to be treated: always looking at the big picture, do as much as possible. Love to find that great hotel for good value, a good deal.

If you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick? It would have to be either Italy or France. Or South Africa?

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Selling cars!

If you or someone you know is a front line travel agent in Canada and would like to be featured in Biting Questions, please contact us

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