Five minutes with...
We talk travel with Flight Centre Barangaroo's
Flight Centre's purpose is "to open up the world for those who want to see" - and that's exactly what Amanda Coppola and her team do every day.
As well as organising flights, the team at Barangaroo can help look after all aspects of your holiday - from hotels and car hire, to visas, cheques, and frequent flyer points redemption. For that overseas work trip, the store also offers specialist business travel services; with dedicated consultants looking after small to medium enterprises with less frequent travel needs, and group travel consultants for groups of 10 or more people.
Like most of you, we're forever dreaming of the next holiday - so we sat down with Amanda recently to get some travel inspo. Check out our Q&A below!
Between them, Amanda Coppola (centre) and her team of travel consultants have visited over 100 countries.
How did you get started in the travel industry?
After I left school, I lived in Edinburgh for two years and travelled through Europe. When I came back home, that’s all I wanted to do – travel, or at least be around people who are travelling!
I was looking for work, and had a friend who was applying for Flight Centre – so I threw my hat in the ring as well. Luckily, I got in, and have been here for just over 10 years. There are so many places I’ve been to now that I wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise - whether it’s for a familiarisation trip, a work conference, or just being inspired by customers coming in and booking amazing holidays.
Tell us a bit about your team at Barangaroo.
I’m lucky to have such a great mix of people in my team. There are 10 of us looking after leisure travel, and we’ve got different backgrounds, have different travel styles, and have had a range of travel experiences. Between us, we’ve been to over 100 countries – so chances are that one of us has been to where you’re looking to go.
What trends are you seeing at the moment?
Right now, Sri Lanka is big for Australians. It’s untouched, the beaches are beautiful, and you can easily experience the local culture there.
Japan’s also really hot – we’ve actually run out of brochures here! People love it for a variety of reasons – the fresh powder during ski season, the beautiful culture, the amazing food, and the ease of travelling around with the rail pass.
Where’s your next trip?
Cuba! I just booked it last week – I’m going there with the salsa group I dance with. We’ll do lessons every day, spend time driving around and exploring the island, and stay in a local home with a family, so it’ll be a great experience.
Since Cuba’s a relatively new travel destination, a lot of people are unsure about the visa situation and how to get around, so it’ll also be good to have that first-hand experience for our clients.
What’s the most unique place you’ve been to?
Iceland is definitely one of those places that’s off the beaten track – although more and more people are going there to see The Northern Lights.
Everything was just a bit different there – their police don’t carry guns, they often leave babies outside cafes and shops to nap (maybe it helps them get used to the cold…), and they have these amazing outdoor hot springs. I didn’t try the fermented shark though – maybe next time!
Favourite city to spend 24 hours in?
Edinburgh’s my favourite city – it just has a nice feel to it, and I love that you can be walking down the street, look up, and see a castle.
If I only had 24 hours though, I’d have to go to New York. As anyone who’s been there will know, you could easily spend two weeks walking around, visiting museums, shopping, getting the Staten Island ferry and exploring the neighbourhoods – so there’d be lots to fit into 24 hours.
Window or Aisle?
Aisle, for sure. I don’t like feeling trapped!
Lastly, tell us straight - how can we get upgraded on a flight?
I’ve heard everything from telling the check-in staff that you’ve got a nut allergy, to wearing a tux, to being late for your flight! I think they’re all urban myths though.
For me, the best way you can get an upgrade is to make sure you’re earning reward points for every flight you take, and over time, you’ll be able to get that business class seat, or even a complimentary domestic flight. And that way – you can wear whatever you want and enjoy the experience!
To plan your next holiday, step into Flight Centre Barangaroo on the corner of Hickson Road and Shipwright Walk.