Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:00

Thomson an...

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch for next year

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:00

Keen to expand on its portfolio of authentic US ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Working Ranch in its 2017 brochure, which is situated near Portal near the...

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles flights

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:00

Qatar Airways will provide UK holidaymakers with greater access to the Seychelles from December 12 when it launches daily flights via Doha.

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holidays is promoting a selection of winter getaway including a Christmas Craft Weekend at Dovedale in the Derbyshire Dales, Festive Walking At Dovedale, A Seasonal Stay at Malhamdale in...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

fiona menziesgyroAs a frequent flyer between Dubai and London and a regular traveller to other international destinations such as New York, I have a keen interest in what makes a travel comfortable and enjoyable. It's not, as some may think, always about bells and whistles and lots of fuss.

A good travel experience lowers our anxiety and stress levels, and the simpler, more professional the service we receive, the better. Going from one location to another should be a fluid journey; an experience you look forward to, and most importantly that you don't remember/don't realise you've started.

What travel companies need to do is produce a seamless service that not only takes the potential stress out of travelling, but adds an extra layer of enjoyment to make the trip more memorable.

The first mistake that many travel operators make is to be insular in their thinking when it comes to providing and publicising their offering.

Travel brands are great at highlighting specific services such as comfort or the ease of check-in, but often ignore the passenger journey up until that point, for instance getting up early, travelling to the airport and managing heavy luggage.

Passengers go through a lot even before they have checked-in and brands would do well to consider the travel experience as a whole in order to gauge their customers' needs. For example, offering a complimentary coffee to compensate for a 5am start or a massage to aid tired shoulders after heavy luggage lifting would help to improve moods and make an excellent first impression.

Technological developments have done much to change our opinions and behaviour as travellers. Fast-track services mean that the check-in process is no longer the stressful and drawn out slog it used to be, but instead signals the true beginning of the travel experience.

I for one no longer stay longer in a city killing time on departure day; once my business is done, I don't dread the wait at the airport, in fact I now check in earlier as the fast track service means I get through the gates quickly and easily. Club lounges also add to the excitement and occasion of travelling, meaning you can relax and be entertained whilst waiting for your flight rather than wishing the hours away. I have to say though; London's club lounge experience is better than Dubai's!

However, with all this talk of fast tracking and club lounges, we must remember that times are tight, and business as well as First Class travel is sometimes too expensive, especially for frequent flyers.

Travel brands have seized upon this in recent years and the rise of Premium Economy seats has meant travellers can enjoy a sense of luxury without raiding the bank. That said, travel customers are always willing to put their hands in their pockets for the right experience, and brands such as Virgin have the cool factor that persuades people to part with their cash, in exchange for a journey which not only gets you there but also is the first stage of an unforgettable travel experience.

Brands need to wise up to the fact that customers are willing to pay the difference, especially on longer haul journeys, for comfort and entertainment on a flight, and these needs must be met accordingly. Again, it's about going the extra mile (excuse the pun) to make that experience memorable, so extra service flourishes, touches that take customers by surprise, and above all, friendly and flexible attitudes are vital.

Finally, in today's technology-driven world, it's essential that brands make the most of all the customer touch-points available to them to capitalise on the service they are providing and invite customers to interact with them.

Active and engaging Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles will not only encourage customers to feed back and comment on their experiences with the brand, but will also allow their followers and friends to see what the brand is doing. With this obviously comes the risk of negative word of mouth if brands are making mistakes, but if they are getting it right, the rewards are endless.

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