Originally from Australia, but now working out of Vancouver, Greg Dixon is the newly appointed president of the Australia-based travel agency Flight Centre North America.
So how much does a Flight Centre president travel?
"I probably do two flights a week around North America, - Calgary, Toronto, Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. Every three or four months, I go on a longer trip to the United Kingdom or Australia. I've been doing that for the last three or four years."
And you were a travel agent before you became an executive?
"I started out as a travel consultant with Flight Centre 18 or 19 years ago - back in the good old days, when airlines had a bit of money to take consultants on educationals. You'd take one or two trips a year, they'd take you around to hotels, four or five days at a time. Airlines don't send agents on those so much any more."
Business or economy?
"Generally, I go economy class. I like to have plenty of work to do on the flight, especially for the coast-to-coast flights - I find those unbearable. It's just so long for a domestic flight."
So you can do work just as well in economy as in business?
"There's a bit more space, and it's a bit more comfortable in business, but once you put your head down, it doesn't matter."
Checked or carry-on?
"Carry-on. But one of the things I do when I travel internationally with my family - I have everyone pack two bags and divide things out evenly between then, and then we each take just one. Nine times out of 10, we have all the clothes that we need in there."
Can you recall any one instance of things going disastrously wrong or unexpectedly right?
"Unexpectedly right - heh, that'd be nice. It just amazes me the more that I travel, it just seems that very, very few flights happen on time and arrive on time. Particularly in Chicago. It's amazing. We are going to have to move the business east, where most of our business is, and the Midwest would make sense, but I can't imagine flying any more out of Chicago than I do. It's horrible."
Buses and trains seem to work okay - what is it with flying?
"There are a lot of cheaper airlines that don't have backup systems. That's part of it. It's so competitive, and the pricing is so low, that the airlines probably haven't given themselves a lot of wiggle room."
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