I had worked before as an intern in travel, sure. I spent 3 years at Carlson Wagonlit in the Incentive department; making programs and budgets. Great experience. I also travelled a lot with groups. But I didn’t work with a GDS back then.
So I started out at Amadeus while I wasn’t familiar with a GDS. At all. (smiles) It’s vast, it’s huge, it’s immensely complex. So I guess that’s my biggest achievement, finding my way through the Amadeus GDS, and keeping up with the changes.
You used to need 1 year to learn all about our system. Now you need 2. New products are always being added. That’s what makes working in travel so exciting and enriching.
I am one of the ‘dinos‘ here, you see (laughs), with my 16 years and counting. So I have seen our system change and adapt to the world of travel. And I had to adapt too. We all had. We still do, constantly.
In what way?
We tend to forget, but there used to be a time when you’d come to the airport with a bunch of tickets. Now all you bring is your smartphone, so to speak.
That’s internet, of course. There’s an audience out there now that does not leave home and researches and books an entire holiday, right from behind the computer screen. That demands convenience.
I am happy to see the Amadeus GDS interface has become so very user-friendly. It’s a hub for contact with all travel players, whether you need a hotel, taxi, train, plane – anything really. All through one tool, one interface, fully up-to-date, that gives you flexibility. And choice, and quality. I’m proud we can enable that.
What does a typical day look like for you and your team?
It depends. First we check what comes in and what has not been resolved yet; for example when first line wasn’t able to solve the issue. That’s when we do the follow-up and contact our customer. Sometimes first line needs our help too, through chat. I’m responsible for ORM (Order Management) too, so I create new agencies within our system on request of our Sales team. I also create, reissue, delete certificates… and I have some financial responsibilities too like refunds which I have to take care of every month. Highly varied. (smiles) But we have a wonderful team.
Mind you, our first line support is located in France and South-Africa. For the Benelux, we offer second line support with a dedicated team of 5 functional experts, 2 technical experts, and 4 colleagues covering training. If I’m not mistaken, we’re the only GDS with a dedicated support team for the Benelux that is actually located in the Benelux.
Evelyne, how do you like to unwind? City trip or walk in nature?
Hmmmm. Can’t choose, sorry. I love nature, Madeira is wonderful, just to give you an example. Or used to be, because we went there a long time before tourism flourished.
But I’d go to Venice any time, if I could, when there aren’t too many people around. Now there’s a city with a history, with character, with such a rich culture, with streets you can happily disappear into, simply strolling about.
I’d still like to go to Canada, or Iceland, though. That looks amazing, the sheer space, the lunar landscapes. They’re such different countries.
Lunar, you say. Does that mean you’ll book a ticket to space, some day?
No way, way too adventurous for me! I need solid ground beneath my feet. But if I could dream up something for the world of travel, it’d be affordable, fast and stress-free travelling for everyone. If possible, make it free too! (laughs)
Who would you like to sit next to during such a stress-free trip?
I’d love to sit next to one of my long-time colleagues, Veva Smismans. She’s our fantastic Finance & Administration Manager.
Care to link up?Find Evelyne Brauns on LinkedIn here.
Customer Service Executive