My University has pluses and minuses, but the biggest advantage is trips.
Last week, I received an e-mail asking, if I would be interested in taking part n a trip to TUI Crisis Centre. Well, answer could have been only YES! I was sure that this will bring me so much experience and will help to understand what is actually going on behind the scenes of such a huge holiday brand as TUI.
If you haven’t heard about TUI, don’t get discouraged, I’ll quickly present some of the most important facts.
It is the largest holiday company in the World. It is the owner of hotels, cruises, airline and retail shops. Its beginnings are dated for 1923, in Germany. TUI has got branches in Europe, which are currently independent from each other, but they aim to unify whole culture and international brands.
My experience with TUI Holidays
In 2017 I got to spend my 10 days holidays in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Booking process was quick, on-line with confirmation send to us straight away with more details. We were informed of times of flights, information about hotel and all needed details. Price of 22kg baggage for flight was included, then I could pack all of the “necessary” clothes that I own;)
After getting, to the air port in Lanzarote we were welcomed by Holiday Representative, who I remember was so tanned that I was kind of jealous! She was so positive and she has helped us with getting to the taxi, and told us what we needed to know.
Stay at the hotel, and excursions on the Island were incredible. Our way back in TUI airplane was better than I could have imagine. It was the first plane that I have been at, where everybody got their own TV. You could have pick anything! Games, movies, series… I remember watching Pretty Little Liars, and my Man was playing cards 😛
Overall I just wanted to highlight that I loved it. Customer service and whole experience were beyond my expectations. So when I found out that I have an opportunity to visit place “where all is managed” I was excited.
Let me tell you more about that!
Luton – Head Quarters
Head Office is based in Airport Executives Park near London Luton Airport. It’s about one hour by public transport from Centre of London.
We got there at 9am and we have seen crowds coming out from the building. Yes, that’s right. It was Fire Alarm Drill. Followed by approximately 30 minutes of waiting, we were let inside. I got visitor pass, which was like magic key, opening the doors 🙂
How to deal with the Crisis?
First, we got the conference room where we had introduction what it actually is Crisis Management, and what’s important for the company to remember about. They need to be prepared and to know how to act, before event will happen. In some cases, they have to learn afterwards, to improve their current methods.
Therefore they have to ask themselves those questions in order to deal with the Crisis:
1.What has happened?
2.What are the key issues?
3.What are you going to do about it?
I feel like those questions can be used in our personal life as well, to help figure out the problem. It would be your Personal Crisis Management Centre 😉 The most important quote that I got from there:
“The only bad decision is NO decision”.
Later on, we were shown an actually Crisis Management Centre Room. It made big impression on me! Here – in crisis scenario, all of the most important and knowledgeable people from the company are meeting. They discuss all of the scenarios, objectives and create an action plan. We were told step by step on Hurricane Irma example, how they managed it day by day, having customer in Dominican Republic, Cuba and Florida.
While listening to it, I felt that it is really responsible job to do, but I would love to give it a go in the future!
Commercial impacts of Hurricane Irma
Next part of our day was to gain some knowledge about Commercial Impacts of Major Incidents.
Person speaking had big knowledge and more than 10 years of experience for TUI Company.
We were explained again, on example on recent Hurricane (Irma, September 2017) impacts that it had from industry side:
- It had an obvious impacts to flying program (aviation planning on point; empty legs sent to Caribbean or Florida or Mexico; some people paid for an upgrade, but when evacuating in empty leg they didn’t get “what they’ve paid for”)
- 1.Impacts to cruise program (harbors at some destinations were not able to accept big cruises – need for new places, and/ or missing destinations from the program)
- 2.Impacts to hotels and products (biggest financial impact)
- 3.Impacts to Ancillaries (disruption to wedding packages in Caribbean)
For me it was incredibly interesting to hear this insight, with almost all of the data, and to see bigger picture, but with details.
To get to our classroom, we had to pass the main building, so we had a quick tour. Every floor and corner were divided into sections and destinations like : Las Vegas, Cancun etc.
In the conference center we were divided into two groups and we were given a case scenario. We had to choose one new destination, based on information that we got + finances and profits that we have calculated.
It was really informative and useful exercise. They let us feel how to be in their shoes.
Thanks to Buckinghamshire New University for organizing such an amazing trip. That helps understanding more practical side of my course, rather than learning through theory.
Once again, it was great experience that I am very grateful for!