In the last of our Dream Travel Jobs series, we catch up with Mike Archer, manager of Flight Centre’s newest bunch of Experts: the Specialist Airfares teams. Here, he tells us all about his travels loves, what makes his teams so impressive and why you should book your complex flight itineraries with them.
We’ll start off with a few quick-fire questions: do you travel with a rucksack or a suitcase?
Full-size toiletries or minis?
Mountain, ocean, desert or jungle… and why?
Mountain for snowboarding and ocean for surfing.
What’s the one travel item you can’t live without?
My sunglasses of course!
What do you love most about flying?
The fact that it is acceptable to have a Gin and Tonic at 8am.
What do you hate most about flying?
It’s the only time I get cankles.
What’s the first thing you do when you reach your holiday destination?
Find the closest spa for a Jacuzzi and/or massage.
Now a harder one: tell us as much about the new Specialist Airfares teams as you can, in just one sentence.
We offer a high-touch consulting style to our discerning customers, who appreciate and value our industry-leading airfare expertise and the widest choice we offer for multi-stop and round the world flights.
What do you love most about your role?
Having freedom and creative license. Specialist or ‘Complex’ Air was simply a phrase at the top of a blank page six months ago. This time has been spent working out what our customers really want, and how best to deliver our amazing products to them. There is never a dull moment as, on a daily basis, I juggle short, mid and long-term strategy. Also the Travel Experts we have in the brand are phenomenal, a joy to work with and a pleasure to help support and develop through their careers.
Within Specialist Airfares we now have four teams and 18 Travel Experts, all driving the business around multi-stop, round the world and group flights. Our proposition really is unique and unrivalled in this sector. I hope that the next year will see us become an established and prosperous brand, and I am excited to share this success with all my teams.
Why should people book with the Specialist Airfares teams?
Our customers will genuinely get a unique experience with us. We are not compelled to attach land or conform our customer’s dream trip into a specific airline’s route map like our competitors – although we can do all of that too. Quite simply, the combination of our airfare expertise and widest choice of airfares means we have the skills, and product to offer the very best flights, specific to each and every customer. We capitalise on our global buying power for our group airfares too, which means any of our group-booking customers will have access to these hassle-free, guided by one of our dedicated Group Specialists.
Sounds pretty amazing – you and your teams must have some great travel experience and knowledge! How many countries have you visited in your lifetime?
18 and counting.
What’s your favourite place on the planet and why?
Sri Lanka is the place I can keep going back to – for me it’s got such a great blend of culture, tranquillity, yoga and surfing.
Where haven’t you been yet that you really want to go to?
I’m going to Spain next month for the first time, which I’m told by friends and colleagues is ridiculous, especially given the fact I am a tapas and paella fiend.
Tell us about the best travel experience you’ve had?
Best or most surreal? A silent mediation retreat in a Balinese jungle was definitely one of my most weird and wonderful times.
What’s your top travel tip?
The only thing you need to book is your flights; worry about everything else once you get there. Unless you’re looking for a tailor-made holiday of course, in which case one of our Journeys itineraries will be far more unique and superior!
Last one: where are you jetting off to next?
Central America has been on the list for far too long, and that will definitely be my next long-haul adventure.
Has Mike inspired you to jet off somewhere amazing? Speak to one of our Travel Experts in-store, online or over the phone today about our range of Specialist Airfares. Or, if you want to join Mike and his team, check out our Careers page for the latest job vacancies with Flight Centre UK.