Does it go without saying that travel agents should travel? It is easy to ignore the very advice we give our clients. For a travel professional, however, travel is more than a divertissement…it’s our business. When a travel professional journeys, it is an opportunity to reconnect with the passion that first moved us to become a travel agent. By traveling, we are reminded of both the pleasures and the pains of the experience. It creates a greater degree of empathy for my clients.
My most recent journey to Seattle had lots of learning experiences. First and foremost,
if you travel a lot, get a global entry card (https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/goes)
Would you like to bypass the security line? Have you seen those folks over to the side walking right through security, not taking off their shoes, not taking out their laptops or their liquids? They do not have to plan an extra hour for all the lines! They have the Global entry card. And I have one now too! It was so easy to just go through security. Once you are approved you get a number, I put it on your reservation and away you go!
I applied in the early fall and had my security appointment in early December. So it does take awhile. But the application takes only a few minutes to complete and cost $100. Then the appointment at your nearest Goes location, probably the nearest major airport, takes only a few minutes. They take your picture and all you finger prints, a few questions later you are all done. It was all less than 15 minutes for me.
The second learning experience was how to reduce waiting at the gate. If you do not like to wait around at the gate and you are concerned your luggage may not have a space over head, purchase a premium or extra leg room seat. You will be boarded early. Going, I had upgraded with miles to first class, (the most value in using your miles, three pieces of luggage go free, great for holiday travel) so I got to board first. On the return I came straight coach class (which I rarely do and wanted the experience.) I was one of the last to board, standing in line for a good 15 minutes while everyone else boarded was no fun. I did find a place for the carry-on but it was a hassle. And my knees almost touched the seat in front of me. Thank goodness it was not reclined. So I recommend for comfort in boarding and seating purchase the premium seat, especially for those long haul flights.
And lastly as always, allow more than an hour when possible for connections. Here is where I am willing to wait. It is no fun being anxious when a connection is tight and your departure is a bit late. And it is even worse when you miss your connection. If you are concerned call me or the after hours number immediately. If the weather is going to be inclement do not wait to call me. Several of the airlines allow changes with no fee prior to the last storms. Remember if I did not make the reservation I can not assist.
Walking through the Denver airport on the return, the customer service line was very long. Usually by calling, I can get you on the next available seat immediately; it is like getting to the front of the line. With full and smaller planes re-accommodating it is more time sensitive than ever. We are here to help!