Flight Experts is a growing travel agency based in New Zealand with strengths in travel and technology for direct customers. With branches nationwide, the Flight Experts team offers services in international flight bookings, hotel bookings, car rental services, and holiday packages.
Preeti Sikri of Flight Experts says the company’s main focus is to become a professional organisation in terms of standards, and to inspire confidence to ensure that customers are satisfied.
How would you describe a typical day for you?
A good day is when your customer is happy.
How do you define a great travel experience?
The flight should be good and when you reach your destination the hotel is nice and everything is booked, especially when you’re travelling with kids. Recently we were flying back from India and had booked a bassinet but on the plane they wouldn’t give the bassinet to us because my baby was over a certain number of months old, so I had to hold my baby in my arms for 11 hours. That was not a great travel experience.
What inspires you?
I think when your customers are happy. We know we are in an industry where you’re going to get complaints, but when you get good feedback and people are referring you it’s inspiring. Especially when you’ve built your company up from scratch.
What do you like about being part of the GTN family?
I like the behaviour and the support in everything. Whenever we call or whenever we text within a second Allen and Rob reply back. They support us in everything.
What is your biggest frustration about the travel industry?
Schedule changes are fine but it’s when the airline doesn’t have the right communication about it or give us notice. For the recent Jet Airways issue we got only 10 days to sort out our customers and we had over 400 PNRs. Sometimes the customers are understanding but some get quite annoyed and blame us for everything even if the meal isn’t good which is not really anything to do with us. But part and parcel with this industry is getting complaints.
What’s been the hardest moment in your career?
To set up our brand, especially the first year. We appreciate the GTN support at that time. We are getting better as we are growing. We needed people to know our people and what our brand is, and now it’s getting better. Now we have people that know our brand.
What’s been the greatest/a highlight?
When someone knows you, when you talk about your brand and someone recognises it, that’s an achievement. Our main focus is on customer service because we want them to keep coming back to us. I have to say thanks to our staff as well, that they work like family.
How do you balance work and life?
It’s hard. Right now our kids are very little, they’re two and six so I work from home and Vyom does all the operations and marketing. We support each other as a team.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone first starting out in the industry?
I think the best advice would be that it takes time to get into the market. Know the market. Have patience.
What is your life goal?
To open our brand everywhere. We are lucky to have staff that treat this business like a family. We can trust them. If we are not here they will take care of it. If you have good staff then you can go up – it depends on your staff and how they work with you. We have a good team with us.