Making the Grade: T+L Lists the Top Agents

Travel + Leisure magazine chooses 125 travel agents for its A-List

By: Jamie Wetherbe and Laurie Hartt

Each year, Travel + Leisure magazine rigorously evaluates travel agents to pick the best of the biz, and recently the consumer magazine released 125 agent names that clients will want to keep on hand.

Now in its fourth year, Travel + Leisure knows what to look for in an A-List agent.

“We want to make sure they have the resources to take care of our readers,” said Nathan Lump, Travel + Leisure’s feature editor.

When making the section, the magazine’s editors first evaluate readers’ responses to last year’s list. Editors then interview nominated agents, examine their specialties, volume of business and if agents are interested in taking on new clients.

Lump said that this year’s A-List has seen about a 25 percent change since 2004’s list, and in addition to making the grade, agents will likely look forward to a busy year.

“Most do report seeing a nice boost in business, especially agents who haven’t been listed before,” Lump said.

Here at TravelAge West, we were pleased to see so many of the top agents close to home.

Below are the more than 50 Western agents who made the cut, according to Travel + Leisure, with their specialties in parentheses.


Margie M. Hand (Caribbean)

Margaret Propper (Alaska)

Liz Sutton (Cruises:  Luxury)

Becky Williams (Caribbean)


Karen Benson (Spas)

Pete Brown (Biking)

Betsy Donley (Fishing)

Karen Harris (Libya)

Miryam Salter (Middle East)

Diana Otsuka (Hawaii)


Catharina Apodac (Australia)

Carol Arklind (Scandinavia)

Marianne Braly (Mexico)

Jeffery Dalpoggetto (Business Travel)

Elayne Edelman (Hotels)

Diane Embree (Southeast Asia)

Margaret Eskicioglu (Turkey)

Anne Halsey-Smith (Cruises:  Luxury)

Deborah Hyte (Rome, Venice, Florence)

Lynda Turley Garrett (Food, Wine)

Jerry Greenberg (California, Western U.S.)

Ilene Koenig (Switzerland)

Sandee Litwin (Indonesia)

Tracy Lonsdale (Spas:  Yoga)

Kay Merrill (Family Travel)

Janet Moore (East Africa)

Laurette de Moro (Morocco)

Linda Nichols (Disabled Travel)

Carol O’Connor (Honeymoons, Weddings)

Tom de Rose (Gay/Lesbian Travel)

Wido Schaefer (Southern Africa)

Shane Paquette (Skiing, Snowboarding)

Bernard Streiff (Paris)

Doris White (Hiking, Walking)


Jo Ellen Cohen (Southeast Asia)

Melissa Harrison Hiatt (Central America)

Darlene Ravin (Thailand)

Noriko Townsend (Japan)

Dana Welch (Safaris)


Paul Niskanen (Cruises:  Luxury)


Bonnie Habel (Cruises:  Expeditionary)

Kathy Hannon (Family Travel)

F. Peter Herff II (France)

Margery Hunter (Cultural Trips)

Nancy Strong and Jim Strong (All Interests)

Ruth Turpin (Cruises:  Luxury)

Sally Watkins (Italy)

Laura Woo (Hong Kong)


Carlos Fida (Argentina)

Leopoldo “Polo” Mardones (Chile)

Douglas B. Wren (South America)


Janet Lanterman (Cruises:  Luxury)

Tammi R. Van Volkingburgh (England)