Daniela Ratner, 26
New York City
Daniela Ratner of SmartFlyer, a Virtuoso member, has only ever been a travel agent, and that focus has paid off: four years in, she’s cracked the $1 million mark in sales, putting her among the top producers at her agency.
“Daniela has grown a great deal in the past year, which has been made evident in her increased sales as part of our in-house leisure team,” says Erina Pindar, managing director of SmartFlyer. “She offers invaluable first-person advice both to her guests, as well as our travel advisor community on destinations she intimately knows, including many regions in Latin America.”
That deep knowledge paid off during one recent trip, an epic girls’ getaway to Colombia for seven clients. Due to a lack of direct flights out of Boston, it took weeks to book air travel that worked with everyone’s schedules. All of that work was derailed, however, when the airline made a drastic flight change just one month before departure that would have seen the women missing Easter Sunday with their families.
Days of e-mail correspondence with the airline and after-hours phone calls — which Ratner says were made easier by her ability to speak Spanish with the agency’s Latin American partners — finally yielded a solution. Ratner and her contacts rearranged the trip so that the women would experience a part of the country that they wouldn’t otherwise have seen, with logistical support from a DMC.
“The takeaway is that as travel agents, we leverage our relationships with our amazing airline contacts and find solutions for our clients,” Ratner says. “People come to us for many reasons, one of which is that when things go awry, we are advocates on their behalf.”