Catherine Britt is an Australian country music artist who loves to travel. The singer-songwriter has released several albums, and tours Australia and the world extensively, often performing in out-of-the-way places with a crew of up to 20 people.
Here she reveals how Flight Centre has revolutionised her business, making life on the road a breeze – and keeping her on the right side of her crew!
Moving An Entourage
When you are taking a crew of four to 20 people on tour, and you’re booking all sorts of things from flights to hire cars to accommodation, while moving every day from town to town and every week from state to state – well, it’s not an easy thing to do at home, alone, on your computer, no matter how business savvy you may be.
If you are anything like me, you want your business to run as smoothly as possible, with as few hiccups as feasible. You don’t want the rumours to start that working for you is a nightmare. If just going on tour with the artist is hard work, you won’t get many people wanting to work with you in the future.
At first, I was hesitant booking through a company such as Flight Centre, wondering where its hidden fees might be. I had thoughts like ‘how can they possibly get better deals than I can by looking for myself online?’ and ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is’.
But I was wrong. There are no hidden fees. Flight Centre consultants do get better deals than we can and they do have access to a lot more flights, hotels and hire companies and on-ground travel than we do. They also defy the old saying, because Flight Centre is too good and it is true.
I was also hesitant to sit down and share the details of a touring singer/songwriter’s life with anyone not in the business, thinking they simply wouldn’t understand the complexities and the odd ways of the touring life. So, for a while, I resisted.
That was until I had reached a point of pulling out my hair, after getting bookings wrong continuously. I finally gave in and made my first ever Flight Centre appointment. That was about 10 years ago.
Take a road trip with Catherine Britt: Discover The Music On A Drive Through Southern USA
Or find out her favourites closer to home: Australia's Best Country Music Venues
Flight Centre To The Rescue
The first thing I noticed was how friendly the booking agents were and once you create a bond, they are in it for the long run.
They sit down with you for as much time as it takes and go through every date, every festival and every person in the touring party to make sure it is done right. I haven’t had a bad experience with them yet and they always get everything to you well before the departure time.
They have given me advice over the years as to whether or not I need visas when travelling overseas, when and where I need to purchase travel insurance, and the best deals.
They also know what airlines, car hire companies and hotels to use and not to use. They have done this day in, day out.
They have been to a lot of the destinations you’re headed to, stayed in a lot of the accommodation and even used most of the hire companies, so they can guide you in the correct direction from experience. They will do what it takes to help you find the best deals and make sure it’s all done right and professionally. That’s so important to me.
Over the 15 or so years of touring around Australia and the world, I have used several Flight Centre agents, only switching for reasons such as they are moving overseas to pursue their job in amazing places (because they can). But never do they leave their position without informing me first and putting me on to their next best colleague to take over my ridiculous and tedious, ongoing account.
Not only do I tour Australia most of the year, I also tour overseas, as well as travel a lot. They always know the ins and outs of every place I need to go, with what seems like a local’s knowledge.
You see, these people choose this job because they love travel and they love to travel and they have done a lot of it.
So they have often been where you are headed and know where to go, what to do, where to stay and where not to stay. If they haven’t been there, they can usually find another agent in the store who has. Or, if not, they dig in and start contacting people to find out.
Being mostly a country artist, I find myself sometimes touring to the most remote and tiny towns in country areas, which people wouldn’t normally go out of their way to visit. In these cases, my agents have gone above and beyond to research the best accommodation, the distances from airports to towns, and the best places to fly to in order to get where I need to go.
They have been just brilliant to my business, and I would recommend any business that travels to the extent that I do, to just give the reins over to Flight Centre. They know what they are doing and they do it pedantically.
So, from one travel nut to another – when booking your next holiday, getaway, short trip or destination, no matter how complex or tedious, my best travel advice is: book it with Flight Centre. I never leave home without them.