Air Canada and United Airlines provided Worldchoice members with a trade update on expanded schedules for 2024 and guest speaker sponsor David Meade who delivered a presentation titled “Growth Mindset.” Continuing the theme of the future, Sunway sponsored Mark Kelly, a leading figure in the Irish AI community, who presented “The World of AI” to a captivated audience. David Meade, Mark Kelly and Lesley Roberts (United Airlines) took part in a panel discussion moderated by Eoghan Corry.
Aoife Gregg, Leisure Sales Manager Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland – United Airlines
Aoife Gregg said of United Airlines: “We are proud to have served Dublin and Shannon for 25 years. » This year marked the milestone of a quarter century of service and the airline’s commitment to the industry and “our small and mighty country.”
From Ireland to the United States with United Airlines
The schedule proposed by United Airlines from Ireland:
- All year round from Dublin to Newark with a double daily service from April to October 2024 and daily during the winter months
- Dublin-Washington service all year round
- Dublin-Chicago service restarting next April
- The Shannon-Newark route returns next April
- Shannon service to Chicago in May
Described as three amazing airports, Newark, Washington and Chicago are all United Airlines hubs with up to 200 connections from there to North, Central and South America.
United App – the ultimate travel companion
Aoife explains: “We call it our ultimate travel companion and there’s a reason it’s the number one airline app on the US App Store… it’s because customers are at the heart of all our technology.”
This app is compared to someone holding the customer’s hand throughout the journey. It accompanies customers from pre-travel through the check-in process, as well as throughout the journey through the airport, from security screening to the gate and boarding the flight . The app keeps passengers informed with messages and push notifications throughout the experience.
If there is an impact on flight schedules (e.g. delays due to bad weather), the airline can send passengers customer service vouchers through the app.
Bláithín O’Donnell – Air Canada exploits valuable facts
Bláithín O’Donnell, Sales Director Ireland – Air Canada is back in action and excited to come face to face with members who have been away from the roads for the past few months.
She shared what Air Canada is offering now and through 2024. She reminded agencies that there are agent rates if the video whets someone’s appetite to take their own Canadian vacation.
Air Canada schedule extension for 2024
- Year-round service from Dublin to Toronto. This operates four times a week during the winter and, from March 2024, capacity will increase to 6 flights per week during the summer months until the end of October.
- Seasonal summer services from Dublin to Vancouver and Montreal. Vancouver will be back from mid-June with 4 flights per week. The Montreal connection will begin at the beginning of June with 3 flights per week. These two flights will operate until the end of September.
Living the dream
Air Canada uses the Boeing 787 Dreamliner 800 or 900 series on routes to and from Dublin and the airline has ordered the 10 series of the Dreamliner.
Harnessing insights for customers
She explained that a travel agent is a repository of random facts and knowledge. She shares, “Your value is really being able to pick up all these little random bits of knowledge that have been given to you at conferences, various presentations, and during training sessions. Then collect them all and take them out of the bag when you need them for your customers too.”
Bláithín gives 6 random facts to add to your knowledge base:
- You do not need to collect your baggage when you are in transit with Air Canada, whether in Canada, the United States or South America, you never need to collect your baggage. So if you take a Dublin – Toronto – Winnipeg trip, you collect your luggage in Winnipeg. If you are traveling from Dublin – Toronto – Cancun, collect your luggage in Cancun. Simply collect your luggage at your final destination.
- Tourist Card Visas – if you are traveling to Cuba, Air Canada distributes tourist card visas on board the flight and the cost of the visa is included in the price of the flight.
- If you are traveling to the United States via Canada, you go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Canada. So if you are in Toronto, such as Dublin and Shannon airports, you can complete preclearance and arrive as a domestic passenger in the United States.
- Air Canada also offers free meals for children on board as well as meals for special diets on all transatlantic flights. Be sure to pre-order to take advantage!
- Free family places for families with children aged 13 or under so that families are accommodated together. Once the child’s date of birth is 13 years of age or younger, at the time of ticketing, the family may be pre-allocated seats together through the Air Canada system.
- Free in-flight text messages for members of Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program. Make sure you are registered with Aeroplan then use your Aeroplan number when booking to take advantage of this offer.
Bláithín concluded with the message that she, Bernadette and the Air Canada sales team are available to support the Irish travel industry and Irish customers in their travels to Canada and beyond.
“Growth Mindset” – David Meade (sponsored by United and Air Canada)
The theme of the Worldchoice 2023 Conference was “Grow Your Mind – Grow Your Business”. David Meade addressed this topic with a presentation on “The Growth Mindset,” sponsored by Air Canada and United Airlines. For those who may not know, David Meade has a very impressive CV as a BBC broadcaster, trainer and business facilitator for Apple, Harvard, the New York Stock Exchange, BT and Facebook.
Originally from Northern Ireland, he explained that all his job is traveling, he does about 20 flights a month and (said) he really loves it. He explains “how very small changes in the way you actively think can help advance the results you get every day – things like decision-making…decisions are the oxygen to big things, to individuals and to people. “organizations”.
The world of AI – Mark Kelly (Sponsored by Sunway)
Mark Kelly, a leading figure in the Irish AI community, created AI Ireland and the AI Awards and is the author of AI Unleased – Navigating the AI Revolution as a Business Executive, which serves as a practical guide for leaders business.
Mark opened: “I’m going to try to share my best ideas with you and you can go back today and invest something in your business. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be living in the world. and explained that it is “like our ancestors discovering fire”.
This could be for better or worse. While there are fears and challenges related to AI, there are opportunities. Mark provided a balanced perspective on how AI can be used to solve business problems or societal challenges. The key is to use AI “to create positive impact.”