N EW S
Hot Preferred Newsletter
India’s most affluent and industrialized city.
Read our article on page 8.
News and updates from preferred suppliers brought to you by Hickory Travel Systems in
affiliation with Custom Travel Systems, Traveleaders, GlobalStar Travel Management and
L’alianXa Travel Network.
Increase your PROFITS
by offering foreign
While the world is becoming increasingly flat, people are credit card, and
traveling the globe in record numbers, for business and leisure. In the currency is sent
2005 according to the International Air Transportation Association, directly to their home
more than 340.5 million passengers boarded airplanes from U.S. or place of business
airports to international destinations. The average sum of foreign via overnight UPS.
currency purchased overseas is roughly $200 per person each
day; thus $68 billion are exchanged annually. The U.S. traveler Some travelers only purchase small amounts of foreign currency
staying 7 days abroad spend an average of $1,400 to $3,500 before they leave so that they are prepared with the thought of
combined cash and credit card while they are away. And yet, exchanging more when they are overseas. For example, Mary
currency exchange is the most prevalent at venues abroad with Schmidt traveling to Spain and Portugal decided to pre-purchase
some of the least favorable exchange options. $200 worth of Euros, just enough to get her through one day of
a 14 day journey. When asked why only $200, she said she was
Where are these travelers purchasing their foreign currency? afraid of loosing the value of her money when returning. Her
Many travelers leave the U.S. unprepared and use the services of concern was valid, since she may have lost 15 percent through
foreign banks, ATMs, overseas Kiosks, airports, and hotels, most another vendor; however Mary bought her currency through her
inflated with surcharges and high exchange rates. Many travelers travel agency that was affiliated with eZforex Foreign Currency
are giving up 7% (that’s 4 percent merchant fee plus 3% foreign Services. eZforex offers a “Price Protection Policy”, Mary learned
exchange conversion fee) just to use their bank credit card. by paying a mere $10 per currency she can return up to $2500
and receive the same exchange rate as initially purchased, thus
eZforex Foreign Currency Services makes it easy for a traveler easing her mind. Mary then purchased $2800 worth of “Price
to fulfill their foreign exchange needs before they leave through Protected” Euros at the most competitive retail rate. Mary left for
the most convenient venue, the travel agency. The travel agent is her trip to Spain and Portugal satisfied, prepared and never had
the first to learn his/her client is traveling overseas. While making to look for a currency venue in a foreign country wondering if she
overseas travel arrangements, the travel agent asks, “How much would receive a good conversion rate for her dollars.
foreign currency do you wish to take?”
Offering a convenient venue for travelers to purchase foreign
eZforex’s Agency Affiliate Program” provides travel agencies exchange, is captivating travel agency customers as one of the
access for purchasing foreign currency, foreign travelers Cheques, most value-added services offered while generating new revenues
foreign wires and international drafts , at the most competitive to the agency. One last fact to consider…100% of international
rates, while maintaining BSA compliant technology via a secure travelers convert currency during their overseas trip, if they are
web based platform. A traveler simply places an order for the going to convert currency, shouldn’t they purchase foreign currency
currency they need with the eZforex affiliated travel agent, either with you?
at the agency location or on their website, pays with check or
For more information about becoming
an eZforex affiliate and begin earning
significant incremental revenue from the
sale of Foreign Currency, Travelers Cheques,
Foreign Wires and Drafts, call Denise
Coraggio at 1-800-448-0350 x3106
Top Virtual Agent
Access to all 4 GDS systems,
with or without your own GDS contract
The HTS Remote Desktop is your access to a virtual world of travel
programs and planned profitability. It gains you pre-configured
access choices not available in the travel industry. Your agency
can sign into its own GDS, any one of Hickory’s four GDS, without
the expense of multi GDS contracts, or permission based access
into any one of Hickory Travel Systems partners’ GDS. It also
provides an internet launch pad for your agency and Hickory to
put GDS bypass and direct deals on a functional, virtual desktop
for use by your agents anywhere in the world.
Home Agents – zero install, minimum configuration, low
maintenance. Agents can log onto agency’s GDS or HTS PCC and
work on live PNR with full access to all 4 GDS systems.
GDS Redundant Access – VPN is out of service provides alternate
routing to host system. Agency keeps operating with minimal
Multi GDS Access – Provides access to any GDS without the
expense of multiple GDS contracts. Excellent sales/marketing tool.
Solution to selective-participating carriers.
Self-serve Cross Ticketing- Global sourcing, maximize override
revenue by placing reservations where most needed. Potential to
take advantage of segment credit disparity from deregulation.
Onsite Meeting and Demo access – Hospitality desk GDS access,
Demo from any PC, work while on the road.
Cooperative Account Handling –providing PNR access to our
International partner agencies to better support traveler’s
enroute. For more information, please contact Cindi Caputo
at 800-568-1705 or email@example.com.
International Rate Desk
Hickory Travel Systems international fare training is designed to provide your agents with a
comprehensive working knowledge of international fares.
With the explosion of code-share flights, the exact same itinerary can have varied pricing. Do your
agents have the knowledge and the confidence that is needed to provide your customers with the best
international itineraries at the lowest fare? The international department has a comprehensive training
program that will give your agents this confidence. Basic international rules and fares are explained in
an easy to understand format. These training courses are designed to accommodate your work day
and coverage and are an invaluable tool.
Do you portray your agents as ‘consultants’ who will assist your clients in obtaining the best airfares?
Many agents have become ‘order takers’, and this does not differentiate you from very large,
impressive agencies. If you truly want to manage your customers’ travel costs, our training can help.
The basic class we offer will cover the following points:
• Mileage system
• Stopovers and how to use them to your advantage
• Minimum fares
• Higher fare points
• Codeshares, their advantages and disadvantages
• Separate tickets, when it is not advisable
• Ticket validation
• Air alliances
• Round the world, circle pacific fares and visit fares with comparison charts
• Refunds and reissues
The class can be altered to cover any topics that may be relevant to your customer mix, or that your
agents need assistance with. In addition, classes can be created to cover any special topics that you
need, such as reissues, refunds, or more advanced topics.
If you are interested in a training class, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mumbai, is the capital of Maharashtra
state in India. Mumbai, formerly
Bombay, is the fast moving, most
affluent and most industrialized city in India.
Mumbai is part of the west coast of India,
which is home to one of the busiest ports
in India, handling 40 percent of all India’s
Language – ENGLISH HINDI
There are 18 official languages in India, Where is ….? …kahan hain?
What time is it? Samay kya hain?
but Hindi is the national language. Most How are you? Aap kaise hain?
Thank you Skukriyaa
Indians speak and understand English. What is your name? Aap ka naam kya hian?
Nodding the head in India can mean “no” Please get me a taxi? Krupay ek taxi bulao
What is the price of this? Is ka keemat kya hain?
or “I have not understood what you have The price is too much Bahoot mehenga hain
Do you understand English? Aap angrezi bol saktehain?
said.” Likewise, shaking the head side What do you want? Aap kya chahta hoon?
to side can mean, “yes” in India, while it I do not understand Mujhe nahin samazta hain
I do not need this Mujhe yeah nahin chahiye
means “no” in most other cultures. I need this Mujhe yeah chahiye
When to Visit – Most banks: weekdays 10-2, Saturday 10-noon;
closed on government holidays
Post Office: Monday-Saturday 10-5;
closed on government holidays
The best time to travel to Bombay is between October and Museums: generally closed on Mondays and
March. The skies are clear and the weather is cool and government holidays
pleasant. The average annual high is 87 and low is 73. The Site Museums: generally closed on Fridays and
monsoon season runs from mid June through mid September, government holidays
it is hot and humid with heavy rains and best avoided.
Churhgate & Nariman Point: business and hotel centers
Nariman Point : major bank and airlines headquarters
Hutatma Chowk: Flora Fountain; commercial part of Mumbai
Kemps Corner: trendy area with high end boutiques,
estaurants, and homes Travel as light as possible. Women should avoid wearing tank
Malabar Hill: historical residential area home to wealthy tops or short skirts. Men and women should avoid wearing
industrialists and government ministers shorts. Many women travelers wear the long tunic and loose
pyjama dress of Indian women called the salwar-kameez and
find that it makes it easier to blend in and not stand out as a
Zaveri Bazaar, jewelry
Mahatma Ivotiba Phule Market
come in the denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and
Airport: Mumbai’s Airport is about 19 miles north of Mumbai. There
1000 rupees. If you are handed a grubby note, insist on having it
are counters at the airport where you can book a taxi for a set fare.
exchanged for a newer one. Have a big supply of small currency
You will get a coupon to give to the driver, so there is no question what
notes, as change almost does not exist in India. Indian rupees can
the fare will be. Fare should be about 300 rupees ($7) and the travel
be obtained in advance by using Hickory Travel Systems preferred
time could be 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. There are no
agreement with EZForex using their website www.ezforex.com
trains or buses available from the airport to the city.
Credit Cards: American Express, Diners Club, Master Card and Visa
Visa: All foreign visitors to India require a valid visa. Hickory Travel
are accepted by large establishments, but it is still wise to carry
Systems partner agencies can assist their travelers with Visas through
Indian currency. Credit cards can be used to get cash advances in
our preferred agreement with CIBT. If you need your account number,
please contact Denise Coraggio at 800-448-0350 ext 3106 or
Tipping: 10% is the norm in high-end restaurants that do not add
a service charge to the bill. Small change in modest restaurants is
Health Risks: Gastroenteritis, typhoid, cholera or jaundice may be
acceptable. Round off taxi fare; add more for exceptionally good
acquired through unhygienic water or food. Conjunctivitis is common
as the pollution level is high. As protection from disease-carrying
mosquitoes, flies, etc., wear long-sleeved shirts or blouses. Drink bottled
Electricity: 220V, 50 Hz
water only. Some travelers develop a problem on their second or third
day in India because of a lack of acclimatization or heat exhaustion,
rather than a reaction to the change in food and water. They are
011 is the international prefix used to dial somewhere outside the
advised to drink lots of fluids (water with a little salt and sugar) and
keep to a diet of rice and curd for a couple of days to give their
91 is the international country code for India
system time to adjust. If an upset stomach persists, seek medical advice
22 is the city code used to dial to Mumbai
Time Zone: Despite its size, India has a single time zone. It is 5½ hours
English Language Media:
ahead of London (GMT), 10½ hours ahead of New York and 13½
Cable TV is widely available. BBC World Service and CNN beam
hours ahead of San Francisco
the latest news; ESPN will keep you up to date on sports, while
Star provides an entire stable of entertainment channels. The more
Currency: One rupee=100 paisa. Earlier Indian coins came in the
widely accessible national channel has some English programs, and
denominations of 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50 paisa but now only coins of
a daily English news segment.
denominations of 1, 2 and 5 rupees are acceptable. Indian Notes
greeting will inform customers of the event causing delays. It will
Please be sure to fill out the HTS Group questionaire prior to
also ask customers calling for non-emergency travel to contact
your group traveling. Completed forms or requests for forms
their travel agency the next business day. This allows us to assist
should be sent to email@example.com. HTS has many
those customers who are stranded or are in a true emergency.
options available to assist our partner agencies with their group
needs. For example, dedicated staff for the tedious booking
process is available to you. For dedicated staff information
please email firstname.lastname@example.org. News reports indicate that the first quarter of 2008 promises
to be a very busy time for the travel industry. With that in mind,
Customer Service the reservation center has been very busy adding new staff that
All customer service issues should be sent via the form to complements our already existing, highly qualified agents. All
email@example.com. If you have not yet received reservation center agents have been in the industry a minimum of
the form please contact us. Our customer service department is five years. Most of our staff has over 10 years experience.
available to you Monday through Friday during business hours
to fulfill your needs.
Please be sure that you have advised us of your holiday
Weather schedule. We are prepared to take your calls during federal
As the winter storms approach, the reservation center is ready holidays. For any closures or early closures outside that time,
for those calls. Although we have an abundant staff, it is not we aks that you please communicate to us if you need our
limitless. When severe weather creates heavy volume, the assistance. If your HR24 profile is not updated with your
reservation center emergency action plan is put into effect. correct holiday schedule, please let us know by emailing
In addition to the many internal procedures in place, your firstname.lastname@example.org.
customers will notice one major difference. The phone system
amosas For making delicious samosas, the following things are required
For the crust: For the stuffing:
• 1 cup all purpose flour • 4 mashed boiled potatoes
• Water to knead dough • Boiled green peas
• 2 tablespoons of oil • 1-2 finely chopped green chilies
(refined oil preferred) • ½ tsp crushed ginger
• Salt ( as per the taste) • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon(s)
• ¼ teaspoon Ajwain • 1 tablespoon finely chopped
(also known as Bishop’s weeds) cilantro leaves
• ½ teaspoon Garam masala
(hot spice mix)
• Dry mango powder (amchoor)
Preparing the Samosa: or lemon juice
To prepare the crust: ½ teaspoon(s)
• ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder
• Knead the dough using water and oil mixing all other
• Salt to taste
• Covering it with a moist muslin cloth will keep it soft and moist.
• Keep it aside for 15 to 20 minutes
To prepare the stuffing:
• Heat the oil in a pan. Toss in the cumin seeds and let them
crackle. Add the green chillies and ginger. Fry briefly. Add the
potato cubes and mix well. Add the red chilli powder,salt, dry
mango powder and garam masala powder. Toss well. Sprinkle
some water. Cover and cook on low-medium heat for about 10
minutes or till the potatoes are cooked. Mix in the cooked
green peas and put off the heat. Let cool. Mix in the cilantro
To prepare the final Samosa:
• One can give any shape to the dough and stuff but the most
common shape is small cones.
• Fill the stuffing into them and pack them from the wide end
of the cone. To ensure that they are sealed use a few drops
of water. One can also prepare a temporary sealing paste
using flour and water.
• Heat oil in a frying pan
• Deep fry the samosas till golden brown
Serve hot with tomato ketchup or tamarind chutney
MAHWAH, NJ, October 15, 2007 – In answer to the open call database of flight records we are compiling a more accurate pre-
from President George W. Bush, Chairman and CEO of Directravel, dictor of future delays. The “Flight Performance Tracker™” system
Vincent E. Vitti, today announced the following strategy for easing will provide these statistics to our clients booking thru DirectLink®
travel delays: Express and to Travologists™ in our offices.
Recent articles in newspapers and magazines as well as stories We would be pleased to offer this tool to the FAA to apply to the
circulating across the internet have helped increase consumer industry along with the following multi-pronged approach intended
awareness of the performance crisis facing the travel industry. The to reduce delays:
continued pattern of delays is not only a serious inconvenience for
travelers, it impacts business productivity and tarnishes the reputa- STEP 1. Redefine “ON TIME.” Currently, flights are graded on a
tion and credibility of the travel industry on the whole. Pass/Fail basis. If there is less than a 15 minute arrival delay, the
flight is considered on time; if there is more than 15 minutes, it
Flight delays are caused by a multitude of reasons, as we all know, is late. This provides no incentive for the airlines to avoid lengthy
many of which are not the complicit fault of the carrier. But it’s the delays. Once a flight gets past 15 minutes, they would seem to be
larger problem of “System Failure” that is the airlines’ fault. Unin- motivated to “forget” that flight and try to keep others from receiv-
spired management and misguided concern for the traveler is shown ing a fail grade.
time after time. A major cause of this chaos is the airlines’ continued
compulsion to over-schedule flights to a “theoretical maximum” in What is needed is a multi-level approach to measuring perfor-
high yield periods (late afternoon and early evening). mance that is weighted to ensure continuing concern after flights
miss their departure time.
It’s when “theory meets reality” that the problems begin. Thunder-
storms, heavy rain, snow, fog and wind are not unexpected events. A On time within 15 minutes Grade of 10
They will occur; the unknown is when. B Late 16 to 30 minutes Grade of 7
C Late 31 minutes to 1 hour Grade of 5
Existing flight schedules work only under perfect conditions. There is D Late 1 hour + Grade of 1
no flexibility within the current schedule to accommodate re-routed F Cancelled Grade of 0
or late flights, so residual delays compound the problem and effect
travelers system-wide. An overall average grade by airline or route will give the traveler
a much better awareness about actual airline performance. A vari-
Many have offered possible solutions. Transportation Secretary ant of the model could factor in flight length, airport difficulty and
Mary Peters has said that a ‘congestion pricing model’ that includes seasonal weather outlook.
surcharges for flying during high volume periods is under consider-
ation. This model would again penalize travelers, since any addi- STEP 2. Mandate that on-time performance statistics be made
tional costs will inevitably be passed along to them, and there is no available to consumers at the point of purchase so that it can
guarantee that this will alleviate the problem. become a point of selection during the trip planning process. This
would require that flight performance ratings be shown on consumer
As a member of the travel industry for more than 25 years and internet sites not just on the travel agent displays, as is currently
a frequent traveler, I have experienced the after-effects of these required for “on-time %”. All travel documents, itineraries and e-
delays both first hand and through my clients, friends, family and tickets would have to include this information.
associates. That’s why Directravel is developing a unique ap-
proach to address the STEP 3. Hold airlines accountable for maintaining acceptable per-
problem. By applying a “Flight Performance Algorithm™” to the formance levels. Rather than assessing a surcharge for on page 14
continued flying during
continued from page 13
peak hours, penalize them for poor execution. If they are unable to Sure, advanced GPS for aircraft and improvements in flight control
meet an acceptable performance (and the determination of what is computer systems are needed but they are expensive and a distant
acceptable is something that carriers can help establish), they should solution that will not alleviate the current crisis. Taken together they are
risk losing flight slots. Conversely, airlines running smoother operations no substitute for innovative management with thoughtful government
should be allowed a greater number of prime time slots. oversight to protect the traveling public.
STEP 4. Encourage airlines to move flights to regional airports by About Vincent E. Vitti
reducing peak hour slots at congested facilities. In the New York area, Vincent E. Vitti is chairman and CEO of Directravel, a corporate travel
this would be a shift towards Stewart/Newburgh and McArthur/Islip. management company that provides leading-edge business travel solu-
Similar opportunities exist throughout the country. This will improve tions and innovations to its clients. Vitti is responsible for directing the
airline performance without increasing ticket prices. company’s strategic development and technology innovation. Directravel
is one of the top ten largest business travel companies in the United
What this essentially boils down to is allowing airlines to react in the States, according to Business Travel News.
interest of their bottom line without penalizing travelers. It will put the
focus back on customer service and force carriers to endeavor to do
If your agency is doing something innovative or
a better job. By allowing consumers to make an up-front, educated
newsworthy that you would like share with other
decision with the aid of historic delay patterns for a particular rout-
ing and carrier, they will have the power to choose a flight not solely
Hickory members, please contact Denise Coraggio
based on ticket price but on performance.
Meet Our Staff
Susan Scheideler k aa
Charlie has been a travel agent for 22 born and became a stay at home mom. When
she decided it was time to return to work, she
years. The early years of her career were with signed on with Hickory!
small local agencies that handled primarily Charlie can now enjoy spending time with
leisure travel. her children during the day and working in the
In the leisure agency environment, she industry that she loves during the evening hours.
worked her way up from agent to office Charlie describes this arrangement as “having
management. She worked for SATO Travel at my cake and eating it too!” She truly enjoys
Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware during the her work and the fact that Hickory allows her
early 1990’s when our military was returning the work life balance that she and her family
from Desert Storm. While there, Charlie can enjoy. During her tenure with Hickory,
received several letters of commendation for Charlie has been one of our most highly
the high level of customer service she provided commended agents; she has already received
to our returning troops. She was transferred to 5 complimentary letters from travelers this
the SATO office at Lakehurst Naval Weapons
Station in New Jersey and has lived there ever Charlie has been married for 9 years
since. and now has 2 sons, ages 8 and 5. In her free
Charlie transitioned into the corporate time, when she isn’t chauffeuring her sons to
travel arena in 1997, and has thoroughly Karate class, she is active with the PTA and is
enjoyed the transition. Her corporate travel a class mom at her younger son’s elementary
career began as a reservation agent. She was school. She and her family live on the Jersey
promoted to 2nd shift Lead Quality Control shore and love to spend time at the beach and
Agent and stayed in that position for 2 years. boardwalk, or on their boat.
She took a 4 year hiatus after her first son was