ACTE Column: On the road again

Our new contributor misses her previous employer’s TMC now that she has to book her own flights and accommodation

Now that Greeley Koch, ACTE’s former executive director, has moved on to pastures new, I will be a regular contributor to this column. As I write this, I am in an aeroplane above the Alps.

Although it can wear me out, I love travelling – the dynamics, the buzz, the cultural shift, meeting new people, exploring new places. The song On the Road Again by country legend Willie Nelson pops into my head when it’s time to travel. I’ve no idea why; I can’t even line-dance.

But first I need to book my trip and here’s the revelation. I miss my TMC! Before taking up work with ACTE, I was freelancing for seven years and before that, I worked for Nike. Travelling then was so convenient. I was literally sitting 2 metres away from Nike’s in-house travel team. I would ask them if they could find me the best option to go to A via B to C to arrive by 9pm, staying in my favourite Nike preferred hotel, and, oh, I needed a car!

I loved them; they always booked my perfect trip. Aaah! the good old days. But now I’m responsible for booking my own trips so, with Willie singing in my head, I decide which site to use to search for my flight (still switching between Skyscanner or an OTA).

Then I move on to an airline website, but, oh dear, I probably should be travelling on that other airline. It’s significantly cheaper but there’s a 25-minute walk to the gate (seriously!) because this airline leaves from Departure Hall 3 at Schiphol. It’s never a fun walk early in the morning, I can tell you.

OK done, flight booked, and I treated myself to a seat reservation at the front of the aeroplane so I can run on with my hand luggage and beat any queue. Next, my hotel reservation. Again, which site to go to and which reviews to check first? And should I check if I can get a cheaper rate via the hotel inventory? I decide against it; it’s too much hassle.

Now that’s all booked, I reflect that I am getting better at this. In my new role as regional director EMEA for ACTE, I find myself flying all over Europe and boarding long-haul flights again, so I am getting plenty of practice at being my own TMC.

ACTE Global Summit
Meanwhile, mark your calendar and book your place at ACTE Global’s European Summit, which will be held in Amsterdam on 23-25 October.

Travel industry professionals from all over the world will gather for a programme of trending topics, with expert speakers and new concepts, including open-space learning zones, Braindates and buyer/ supplier-only sessions – an end-to-end event experience! There will be networking opportunities throughout: InterACTE, our dedicated exhibition area, a networking reception on day one and an all-inclusive event on Thursday evening at of one of Amsterdam’s landmarks.

Subscribe to the BBT Newsletter

Join the Buying Business Travel newsletter for the latest business travel news.

Thank you for signing up!