Dani’s role at Gate 7 sees her fly the trans-Pacific so regularly one could almost say California – or more specifically LA – is like a second home.
The Director of Travel Trade took time out to tell us why she loves the City of Angels and spills about that time she celebrated her birthday with Vince Vaughn and bumped into Jim Carrey.
1. How long have you been in the industry?
Well, I’m certainly not telling the truth about how long I’ve been around the traps! Let’s just say it is over 15 years. My first foray into the industry was work experience with my Dad at Qantas. I was hooked since that moment. The travel, the people and the general craziness appealed to me and still does.
Since then I have worked in retail, wholesale and the majority of my career has been in airlines. I moved to Gate 7 five years ago and absolutely love every minute of representing our amazing clients.
2. What’s your most amazing travel experience.
I am a big California fan. There is nowhere else in the world like this amazing State and in particular, I love L.A. You never know what is going to happen in this city.
One of my favourite stories is meeting Vince Vaughn in a bar. It was my birthday, it was one of the agents birthdays on the famil and it was his friend’s birthday. Ten Aussies and Vince Vaughn in a bar = a pretty crazy night! The next famil I took we saw Jim Carrey in Universal Studios Hollywood. I mean for someone as into pop culture as this gal is – it doesn’t get any better.
3. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever done?
Hmmm that would have to be when I tested the parasails at the start of the summer season in the Greek Islands. Had to make sure they all worked ok. Didn’t really think that one through thoroughly!
4. First ever country you travelled to?
Fiji. I was five months old so I can’t remember that time but I’m sure it was great. Lovely people and a beautiful destination, what’s not to love? The first I remember is a trip to Italy which was when I was about 4. We picked up a hitchhiker and he sat in the back with me! Thanks, parents. I am still totally in love with that country. I’m hungry just writing about it.
5. Wishlist of places yet to visit?
Africa – I have not managed to get there yet and I’m not really sure why as it is such an incredible and diverse continent. Plus the Maldives, Alaska, Jordan…..I could keep going.
6. Who was your biggest mentor growing up?
Madonna and Gloria Steinem – A material girl feminist. Women are not one dimensional.
7. How has working in travel changed you?
I don’t know if it has changed me but it has definitely made me be able to improvise, adapt and overcome!
8. What’s your biggest life achievement to date?
As a Mum, I have to say that it is having my kids. When they don’t know you are watching (that’s key!) and you witness them being kind or joyful or engaging and you think to yourself ‘ I’m doing OK with this small person.
9. What’s your number one in-flight travel tip?
Put your watch straight to the time of the place you are going to arrive and try to start living by that time as soon as you can. That and wine.
10. What advice would you give an industry newbie?
You will probably not get rich in this industry. Not cash-rich.
However, if you place your value in life experiences then this industry can make you prosperous in ways others can only dream of. You will be loaded with memories, flush with friends and blessed with stories you can tell for the rest of your life. It’s the same as anything though – you get out of it what you put into it.
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