Biting questions with John Beauvais, President, Flight Centre Canada

Open Jaw

Where were you born? In Las Vegas – my dad was an airline man working for, at the time, Bonanza Airlines. He went on to found America West Airlines.

Beauvais sounds very French – do you have a French background? Only back to the 1600s when my ancestors emigrated to Canada. Generations ago they moved to the States, so sadly I don’t speak French.

How long have you been in the business? All my working life, starting on the ramp at the airport and in res at America West when I was in college. I’ve also worked promoting Australian attractions such as the Ghan train.

How many people work for you? Approximately 1,650 in Canada.  

What’s the best part of the job? Travel - I love travel!  

What did you want to be as a kid? A professional baseball player.

What was your 1 st job? As I mentioned, in res and throwing bags on the ramp. Or should I say, placing them gently in the baggage hold. ( Laughs.)

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Crashed while skiing very fast. Luckily no damage – but it was very scary.

Any guilty pleasures? Once in a while, too much tequila.

What’s your favourite airline? This could get me in a lot of hot water! (Laughs) I’ll say Air Canada.

Favourite hotel? Right now, Fairmont Pacific Rim. It’s beautiful.

Any hobbies or interests? I’m a film buff. I love watching movies on an overseas flight.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone? The ability to be a good karaoke singer.

Is there anything you won’t eat? I stay away from bugs and that sort of thing.

What’s at the top of your bucket list? The Greek Islands.

Ever had a brush with fame? Living in NYC or L.A., sure. Lots. No one in particular.

What keeps you awake at night? The people who do terrible things to other people.

How do you spend your frequent flyer points? Give them to friends and family.

What is your greatest extravagance? Champagne, undoubtedly. Only Champagne will do!

How do you stay fit when you travel? Dance the night away.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? Steve Jobs.

Do you have a favourite charity? Make a Wish.

How would you characterize the Canadian traveller vs. the American one? Canadians are more intrepid, they enjoy longer holidays and will travel to a wider range of destinations and stretch the budget further. Americans, not wishing to generalize, like shorter holidays and to very popular destinations. 

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? The oil and gas industry and the ripple effect through the economy.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? Having a really great retirement party. With a karaoke machine there?  You know it!

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