Lisa Grossman

New York, New York Travel Agent

Executive Travel Advisor

When Executive Travel Challenges Arise, I Put on My Cape and Come to the Rescue (Or Don’t Sleep) 

My team and I are there for our clients around the clock. We provide individualized and expert corporate travel services so that executive travelers have the most comfortable and seamless trips possible.

Our role as professional corporate travel advisors is perhaps most important when travel disruptions occur. Most of the challenging encounters I face are due to flight cancellations and bad weather. But, I’m always ready to make the situation better and get my clients where they need to go, or out of somewhere if required. My clients’ interests are mine interests, and while my services are greatly appreciated, I see them as a normal part of my job.

This year’s winter storms caused issues constantly, and almost every day we had another client needing our help. We recently had a scenario where a client group’s morning flights was cancelled. It was 11 p.m. when I heard the news, but my team and I managed to get them a flight around the same time as their original, with a different airline and within a shorter period of time. My clients didn’t miss a flight or experience a long wait. Needless to say, they were happy.

These kinds of snafus happen so often that I see them as part of what I’m required to fix. I don’t feel the service is anything exceptional, but for my clients it’s essential. They realize that my commitment to their travel success means that travel is in my DNA. It’s in my blood. So, it doesn’t become a major concern of mine when a problem occurs. My team and I just deal with it.

When flights are cancelled, (as they frequently are during every harsh winter), I keep working until I get that seat for my clients.

I put on my cape, as it’s been described, and I come to the rescue whenever my clients need me.

Just this past January, a blizzard dropped 3 feet of snow on New York City. I had organized travel for about 375 people during that time to attend their company’s annual conference. What should have been a typical corporate weekend turned into an exceedingly tricky ordeal. When Blizzard Jonas hit Manhattan with approximately 30 inches of snow, there were potentially stranded travelers throughout NYC – all hoping to make it where they needed to go.

Flights were cancelled, of course, so my clients continued with their corporate dinners and team-building events as scheduled. What else could they do? Behind the scenes, I was awake with my team (throughout the night) until we rebooked, reissued and re-accommodated every one of those travelers. Each of them received their new flight and hotel reservation information via email and they didn’t have to worry at all about their previous itinerary. They were thrilled that they seamlessly continued on with their retreat unbothered by the chaos that swirled around them.

My most rewarding experience working with corporate travel clients occurred in 2009. I managed travel for New York University in Abu Dhabi and the school was bringing 100 people from all over the world to Abu Dhabi for a 3-day event. The challenge in this situation was that the names of the travelers were made known to me just 4 days prior to the event. Within 96 hours, I was required to: 

  • Reserve flights and issue tickets for 100 people from different cities in the world, while coordinating their arrival and departure in Abu Dhabi within just a couple hours of one another.
  • Prioritize travelers who needed UAE entry visas (this was nearly 20% of them) and help with visa application completion, submission and approval monitoring.
  • Arrange private ground transportation for each person arriving and departing in Abu Dhabi.
  • Coordinate private ground transportation for each person when returning back home.

There was a huge logistical challenge in this. The monumental nature of the task, given that I had less than 4 days to complete it and implement it flawlessly, was apparent to me and it’s why I didn’t sleep for the entire 48 hours leading up to this event. After all was complete, the event went off perfectly. It was an extremely rewarding time for my client, their guests and me. 

I would love to talk with you about your corporate travel needs, whether you have tens or hundreds of travelers or just yourself.