Cruise Veteran Joins Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International has named cruise industry veteran Vicki Freed as the company’s senior vice president, sales.

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Cruise Veteran Joins Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International has named cruise industry veteran Vicki Freed as the company’s senior vice president, sales. Freed joins the company after 29 years with Carnival Cruise Lines, where she spent the last 15 years as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Prior to that, Freed served in a variety of sales management positions within the cruise line. From 1998 to 2000, Freed also served as the first, and only, female chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).


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“Vicki has an outstanding and proven background within our industry and we are very pleased to have her join our team,” said Adam Goldstein, president and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean International. “Vicki’s passionate support of travel agents has been well chronicled and recognized. She will be a great asset to our brand as we continue to grow.”

In her new role, Freed will take charge of the company’s 345-person sales force, the largest sales team in the cruise industry. She will also be responsible for managing the company’s Trade Support and Services division, which includes Reservations, Group Sales, Customer Service and Loyalty Programs. Freed will report to Goldstein. Freed earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Colorado and also holds a Certified Travel Counselor designation.



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Collette Paying Commissions on Tour Options

Collette Vacations is now offering travel agents an additional way to earn revenue. Beginning on March 1, travel agents can purchase commissionable tour options for their clients who are traveling on a Collette tour departing May 1 and later. Collette says it is the first tour operator to provide agents with this earning advantage. “As part of our Collette Agent Focus campaign which started in 2007, we are now proud to add another potential stream of revenue for agents,” said Daniel Sullivan Jr., president and CEO of Collette Vacations.

“There are many travelers who like to know in advance of any optional experiences so they can plan and budget better. We felt this was a chance for us to also enhance the opportunity travel agents have to build on their sales,” said Kevin Kramich, executive vice president of sales for Collette.

Also, travelers don’t have to select their options pre-trip there will still be that opportunity while touring.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our partner travel agents to increase their revenue in 2008 and the future,” said Kramich. “To help them maximize this advantage, Collette will host Webinars to train agents on how to sell these options to their clients.”

Collette’s Agent Focus campaign also includes offering preferred agents 20 percent commission and all non-preferred agents 17 percent commission on land for departures in January; Feb. 1-15; August 2008; January 2009; Feb. 1-15, 2009; and August 2009.

All agents receive 10 percent commission on air purchased with a tour. Collette has added thousands of guaranteed departure dates in 2008, as well as guaranteed land pricing for European packages regardless of currency fluctuations.

“Today’s travel agents have seen a vast array of their earning opportunities decline due to various situations. At Collette we continue to find new ways for agents to make up that lost revenue. We recognize the value agents provide and we want to reward them for that value,” said Sullivan.



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Alaska Airlines
New Alaska Airlines Schedule

Alaska Airlines has announced major upgrades to its California flight schedule. In April, the airline will introduce more frequent flights departing on the hour or half-hour on routes between Seattle and six California markets. Alaska also announced a SEA Double offer, awarding double Mileage Plan miles to qualifying frequent fliers. “By focusing on the highest-demand California routes, we’re making flying between Seattle and California even more convenient especially for business travelers,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines’ executive vice president of finance and planning.

Starting April 27, Alaska will offer 15 daily roundtrip Seattle-Los Angeles flights on weekdays three more than before departing on the hour southbound and on the half-hour northbound. The airline will additionally offer weekday departures nearly every two hours on the hour or half-hour for flights between Seattle and Oakland (seven daily roundtrips), Orange County (nine daily roundtrips, one more than before), San Diego (seven daily roundtrips, increasing to eight in June), San Francisco (eight daily roundtrips) and San Jose (seven daily roundtrips).

“With more frequent flights than any other carrier, memorable flight times, our award-winning Mileage Plan and a double-miles offer, flying Alaska between Seattle and California is a pretty sweet deal,” said Steve Jarvis, Alaska’s vice president of marketing, sales and customer experience.