Topaz News

The Global Economy: There is something odd going on out in the world. There does not seem to be any confidence about where we are headed as a global economy - and so there is some floundering around growth intentions and driving results. As goes the global economy so goes our travel industry space. Is this just me?

Security: Just a crazy thought, but are the people that create the corporate ideals of security kind of going down the wrong path? They try so hard to be secure - to put up walls - that just entice the bad guys to try a little harder and the bad guys usually win. Are we putting up too many walls? Can we stop the madness by somehow opening up things more or by thinking differently? Leo Buscaglia once said we live our lives for the 1/2% out there - maybe we should think about the 99% again.

Stop Talking about getting better: My wife has a wonderful way of sending me a clear message. She says "just stop talking". Not easy for me, but likewise, there are those in our industry who like to talk about getting better at customer service. I have a message for you. Stop talking and start showing. Words mean nothing unless you follow it up with actions. Actions will win your customers back and they will shout about it.

Alaska / Virgin / JetBlue: I was just wondering if the potential marriage between these three carriers would result in something a little different for our industry; an airline that offers a unique service that really is better and treats the customer like they matter? Or will they fall into the same trap of reducing seat space, eliminating frequent flyer perks, overbooking flights and overall making us feel like crap? I just wonder....or is it still a fantasy.

Self-Service is dead: The ideal that we can drive self-service to everything, is in fact dead. Go ahead and argue with me - but follow me on this - the advancement of the global workplace is not built on self-service but on leveraging the abilities and talents of the global workforce to drive increased productively for workers. If we keep asking them to do the bullshit work, everything suffers: Morale, Productivity, Growth, Advancement, Family and Profitability.

What should be the purpose of our associations: There is a movement towards the redefinition of conferences and their goals and objectives. So why can't our industry try something new and different? For example, TED has taken the art of the 10 - 15 - 20 minute message and honed it to a remarkable art. Imagine a conference driven not by advertising or selling or the 60 and 90 minute keynote speeches by politicians or actors, but 10 minute missives by crazy people like me that have skewed opinions of our future?

Have you heard this one? "My program books 90% of all travel through the online tool, so why would we need an audit, the tool is always correct." Can you imagine the look on my face when I heard this one and had to be gracious and hang up the phone? What I wanted to say is you are nuts - the online tools actually make more errors than people. Yep. You heard it right. So go ahead and keep dreaming.

Airfares are less complex today: Not so much. Just last week it was determined that certain fares booked together versus separately as one way flights cost a lot more. We are always playing around with airfares and routes and looking at the best way to obtain the best airfare. But this does raise your costs with your TMC because three one way flights cost more than one three legged trip in TMC fees. So what works for you?


Thanks for listening. Love to hear from you too, so feel free to drop me a line, because if you call you will probably not reach me

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