THE LAST WORD

DI­REC­TOR AUS­TRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND SALES AT UNITED AIR­LINES

Vacations & Travel - - Contents -

Julie Reid, United Air­lines.

Julie Reid is the Di­rec­tor for Aus­tralia and New Zealand for United Air­lines based in Syd­ney. She is re­spon­si­ble for all com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties. Her ca­reer in travel spans 25 years across ho­tels, travel man­age­ment and air­line. Julie has worked and lived in the UK, Hong Kong and Aus­tralia which she now calls home. united.com When did you start out in the travel in­dus­try? I started my travel ca­reer work­ing in event man­age­ment and sales in the ho­tel in­dus­try in the UK then moved to Hong Kong and Aus­tralia. I moved into the air­line busi­ness six years ago join­ing Cathay Pa­cific and then United in 2015. What is it you love about work­ing in the air­line in­dus­try? The travel, the peo­ple and the op­por­tu­ni­ties we get to ex­pe­ri­ence. We work hard, de­liver re­sults, but we also get to have fun and work with amaz­ing peo­ple across the in­dus­try. The air­line busi­ness is so di­verse and each day is dif­fer­ent. United has just started di­rect flights between Syd­ney and Hous­ton, Texas on the new Boe­ing 787-9 Dream­liner. What are some of the high­lights of this new ser­vice? We are so ex­cited to be op­er­at­ing a fourth daily flight from Aus­tralia to the US. Hous­ton is a great des­ti­na­tion in its own right, but this flight also opens up new one-stop des­ti­na­tions from Syd­ney. United’s early ar­rival into Hous­ton al­lows con­nec­tions to more than 70 cities in the US, Canada and Latin Amer­ica. Hous­ton also al­lows new one-stop des­ti­na­tions from Syd­ney that pre­vi­ously were only achieved in two stops. The new route also opens up Caribbean and Cen­tral Amer­i­can des­ti­na­tions such as Ha­vana, Grand Cay­man and the whole of Mex­ico. The Po­laris Busi­ness Class will be of­fered on this flight. What are some of the key at­tributes of this? Po­laris is a rein­ven­tion of United’s pre­mium cabin travel ex­pe­ri­ence, which launched in De­cem­ber 2016. Fea­tures in­clude sleep-fo­cussed ameni­ties such as Saks Fifth Av­enue lux­ury bed­ding, Cow­shed amenity kits, mat­tress pads, gel pil­lows, py­ja­mas and slippers. We also in­tro­duced reimag­ined din­ing on board. As well as an en­tic­ing lunch or din­ner and break­fast ser­vice, we also of­fer mid-flight com­fort snacks such as tomato soup and cheese toastie (my favourite!).The Hous­ton Po­laris lounge is cur­rently be­ing built and will of­fer show­ers, rest spa­ces and pre-flight din­ing op­tions. You have been to Hous­ton over 30 times. What do you love about the city? The peo­ple! Ev­ery­one is very friendly. I am a lit­tle bi­ased as my brother lives there. The qual­ity of food and ser­vice is also ex­cep­tional. It’s a city made up of dif­fer­ent neigh­bour­hoods to ex­plore. The Gal­le­ria area is known for shop­ping and eat­ing. Down­town is the busi­ness area with tun­nels con­nect­ing the of­fice build­ings to keep you cool. It's a lit­tle vil­lage down there, with restau­rants and shops. The His­toric Heights area is also be­com­ing a very cool foodie sub­urb with some up­mar­ket food trucks and there are lovely smaller shop­ping and din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences at Rice Vil­lage and City Cen­ter. It’s def­i­nitely a driv­ing city, a great op­por­tu­nity to hire an Amer­i­can clas­sic car. What are your top three rec­om­men­da­tions for Aus­tralian visi­tors to do in Hous­ton? The Space Cen­ter is a must. It’s home to NASA Mis­sion Con­trol, In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion Mis­sion Con­trol and the NASA John­son Space Cen­ter. I’d also rec­om­mend the Mu­seum district, and a sports game to go to. The Astros won the World Se­ries Base­ball 2017 and we have the Tex­ans in NFL and the Rock­ets in bas­ket­ball. What are your favourite restau­rants to take guests to in Hous­ton? Hous­ton is a great foodie city. If I had to choose, I’d take peo­ple to Taste of Texas or State of Grace for good steak; Uchi for Ja­panese; Un­der­belly, a unique pork butcher restau­rant with a great wine list; Hous­tons a high-qual­ity chain serv­ing ex­cel­lent food; and Lupe Tortilla or Hugo’s are great chains for Mex­i­can. Which places in the world would you love to visit that you haven’t been to be­fore? Van­cou­ver to see the or­cas, Ha­vana, Moscow and an Arc­tic cruise. What tips do you have for peo­ple start­ing out in the air­line/travel in­dus­try? Ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­pe­ri­ence. I think we for­get how lucky we are to get the op­por­tu­ni­ties we do. Find a men­tor, as ev­ery­one needs some­one to be able to say any­thing too and ask silly ques­tions. Work hard as a team player, en­gage your col­leagues, and en­joy what you do.

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