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THAT! INTERVIEWS ANDREA FALZONE, A PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL ASSISTANT

MAKE YOUR CHARTER PLANE UNIQUE WITH A 360° ASSISTANCE WITH THAT! YOU CAN!

Making unique your air charter is not only a
question of choosing an airport or a particular type of aircraft. Of course
there are fundamental factors, like personalized
timetable, the capacity of answering a client’s original requests, but most
importantly it is a question of people and of their
professionality
of fulfilling their part in quality of a given service. If
the Cabin Crew on board is of a high level, you can see and feel the difference
right away! The same goes for the airport assistance.
For this month’s interview THAT! meets Andrea Falzone, who’s profession
is a Travel Assistant.
 

THAT!
Good morning Andrea, thank you
for being with us today.

You are a very well-known and
also a rather aspired Travel Assistant of this sector, because of your experience
in the airport and accompanying fields… How have you started doing this job and
what exactly does it consist in?

 

Andrea
Thank you for the opportunity
of revealing some curiosities of this job.

I started almost 10 years ago
when, after concluding my job as a Cabin
Crew
, I started providing assistance, first in the airport and afterwards following
groups. Amongst my first clients were football teams. For one team in
particular I provided and still provide various services of assistance.

First of all it is important
to understand the needs of the client in the airport; the
teams
, for example, like to have fast procedures
like the issue of boarding passes, the luggage check-in and guests
assistance. Often these groups arrive at the airport 30 minutes before the
departure and therefore it is very important that all of the phases are
optimized. Instead, for the incentive groups is it very important to emphasize the pre-allocations and to
follow those guide lines
which are important for Incentive Travel. In some cases you interface with Airline
Companies and Handling that are very
experienced in this sector, therefore they simplify the things, but the real
struggle is when you find yourself in the first line to support the client in
every little thing. There were cases in which I had to make a brief refresh of
the use of check-in systems, another time I unlocked blocked printers… In other
words, any kind of activity that has to deal with the passengers acceptance,
boarding and disembarking is under my responsibility. Instead when I follow the
group, the process reverses and it is always interesting to interface with
foreign airports, that sometimes are new, organized in very different ways. One
thing that has always impressed me is their acceptance; in some ways you feel
part of a family, an airport’s collective community.

 

THAT!
What are the cardinal points
of your profession? I mean, you are a wide-ranging Assistant, who’s job is to simplify
the procedures and to ensure that everything goes the best way and you have to
deal with the final client, with the travel agency or the incentive trip society, the broker… How do you move in this complexed scenery?

 

Andrea
During these events
everyone has a very defined part
. It is very important to know them, to study them and
to remember them without renouncing your professionality, especially when you
must deny a request that the client considers feasible. I have learned to be a
good communicator and especially a reliable reference in the Airport’s world.

It is clear that a client who
rents a charter plane often thinks that he
can make any kind of requests and it is in these cases that it is very
important to handle the situations at best, interfacing with the right
interlocutors. This phase is essential if you want to have success.

 

THAT!
We pleasure ourselves to often
avail on your services. Is there any difference in handling the operations
organized by THAT! compared to when you work directly for the Incentive Travel or for another client?

 

Andrea
THAT! provides a
360° service and supports every phase of the trip. I can always count on having
all necessary means and support from any part of the world and at any hour.
And this of course is
reassuring.

Other societies instead tend
to provide the minimum required, but this is part of the profession: to
analyze, to understand and do what the client wants, even when he is a person
of few words.

 

THAT!
Is there any difference
between the incentive trip assistance and a
Sport Team transfer? What was the most complexed operation you have participated
in?

 

Andrea
As I have said before, the
sport sector is based a lot on the capacity of being quick on your feet.

Often,
I interface with law enforcements that help me and ease many things. It is
important to consider the fact that famous personalities are often followed by
journalists and supporters and this slows down the procedures. This is why all
of the back office work is so important!

For the sport sector it is
less important for example the numbers of available check-in desks, because
mainly the boarding passes are being issued in advance. Also, there is no need
in pre-allocations, because each member of the sport society knows where to sit
according to their position. As it is said in technical jargon, it is “free
seating”.

I had the privilege of handling
different complexed situations, for example the management of charter flights for the Cardiff Champions League finals. The flights were so many that the
Welsh airport had to open a provisional additional Terminal in order to allow flow
a large number of supporters. Considering the result of the match, as you can
imagine, it was very important to make everything go smoothly. At the end, the airport authorities thanked us for our work and this gave
me great satisfaction
.

 

THAT!
The support you provide does
not limit within the Italian airport, but often your services are also required
for the return flights in the country where the event took place. How do you
coordinate it with your personal life?

 

Andrea

It is important to be well-adjusted.
Sometimes I have the temptation of accepting every possible request, but it is
important to balance the family life and the working contest. Generally, I
dedicate my free days to my family and some hobby. This recharges me and makes me
more efficient in my work.

 

THAT!
When you follow a client
during a transfer, are there moments when you are free? How do you handle the
adrenalin when you are in a mission?

 

Andrea
I think the means of
relaxation is very important…

Even when you are in a mission
with a client – often very demanding – it is essential to have some small space
for yourself.

I like to run very much and
therefore I always carry with me a pair of running shoes. In other occasions I
reserve for myself a training in the pool or I listen to music or visit the
city center: it helps me to unwind and at the same time to get to know the
place and often it becomes important also for the purpose of the mission.

 

THAT!

During an event, how important
to the client is a professional figure as yourself?

 

Andrea
The work of the
assistant is essential
. The client who arrives at the departure/arrival airport,
does not focus on all the backstage
work, because when everything works great – check-in, boarding passes, staff
and luggage-, there are no problems and precisely for this reason they do not
pay attention. If there are any difficulties or unforeseen events, that
sometimes are being resolved in five minutes before the group arrives at the
airport, then you realize that behind stands a very important work.The experience I gained with
time, creates inside of me a new stimulus and more efficient working methods.
This work is often stressful and rich in unforeseen events but it gives me great
satisfaction.

My five year old son often
asks me which beautiful places have I been to and each time I have some story
to tell him. Despite the great tiredness that accompany me home, there is
always a lot of enthusiasm because as Leonardo
Da Vinci
once said: “Once
you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been and there you will always long to return”.

 
THAT! the broker that makes the
difference!
For any further information and flight
price quotation
please contact us.

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