Liberty Travel reports that its Oceanside, New York location will reopen January 25, while its Howard Beach location will follow on February 18. After Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Oceanside and Howard Beach, New York communities, Liberty Travel - a multi- branch New York based retailer with 170 offices - was forced to close its doors in both city neighborhoods.
The new locations will be staffed with as many as two times the travel professionals upon opening, Liberty says. In Oceanside the staff of four will be doubled while Howard Beach will have a staff of 12, including retail and web teams, now a third larger.
Also new to the stores will be special travel zones and mobile technology, for the first-time ever outside of the brand’s flagship office in Manhattan on Madison Avenue, Liberty says.
Both locations will have a myTime Zone, which brings travelers the best perks and pampering at over 120 resorts across 20 countries, completely free of charge. Clients can access VIP perks, ranging from chauffeured airport transfers to spa treatments, welcome gifts from the general manager, preferred reservations at the resorts most coveted dining venues, complimentary excursions and more.
“myTime is more than a zone, it’s a vacation concept that recognizes Liberty Travel customers in a way that sets them apart from the rest,” said Liberty Travel President Emma Jupp. “We wanted to expand the concept beyond our flagship and into these very special community stores.”
The two locations will also have dedicated destination wedding and honeymoon zones, a first for any Liberty Travel location, as a result of the large segment of this business that both locations get inquiries and bookings around.
Also, Liberty notes that travel consultants will have mobile technology, enabling them to interact and roam the store with clients, doing virtually anything from iPads, from price searches to bookings, which they once had to be sitting behind a desk to complete.
This level of agent technology was previously only available at the flagship location, Liberty reports, one of the most technologically advanced travel stores ever. Being side-by-side with clients in a more casual, interactive atmosphere lends itself to a more relaxed, less intimidating, experience.
“We were amazed by the volume of requests and the stories that our teams in these communities shared shortly after the storm,” Jupp said. “We heard of families planning surprise trips to Disney to distract children from all they went through, and a couple who lost their home, but that was all the more reason for them to get away for New Year’s Eve. It was a reminder to people to appreciate the good times and happy memories; vacations create joyous times and great memories.”
Agents also worked tirelessly to get people back non-refundable deposits on trips that they weren’t up to taking, to get honeymooners out as planned and to get people home who were stranded elsewhere after the storm, Liberty says.
Liberty Travel’s post-storm rebuilding hit close to home as a dozen employees lost everything, the retailer said. Thanks to corporate-driven fundraising, and worldwide collections from Liberty Travel’s Australian-based parent company, Flight Centre Limited, these families are on their own path to rebuild. Visit www.LiberrtyTravel.com