One of Bruce Slade’s earliest travel jobs was working at Pilgrim Airlines in Montreal way back in 1982.
“I was always interested in airplanes and air travel,” says Slade, who’s spent his entire life working in the travel business (with exception to early-on gigs in men’s clothing, at a grocery store and at a disco club).
Today, he’s a business development manager for Huntington Travel, a role he’s held since 2009.
When he’s not representing Huntington at industry events around town, Slade is busy maintaining and growing company business, helping staff with client-related questions and assisting with operations when needed.
What’s one thing this travel pro loves most about his job? “Helping B2B agents with their client requests and dream destinations, offering solutions and seeing the satisfaction from our clients,” Slade says.
Here, PAX checks in with the downtown Torontonian to chat about Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail, that expensive writing tool he once bought and the best place to enjoy fresh seafood with a glass of pinotage.
PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with?
Bruce Slade: Phone, laptop, entertainment.
PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?
Bruce: Cape Breton Cabot Trail for the amazing scenery, Newfoundland for the people, Hong Kong for the food.
PAX: What’s your favourite airport and why?
Bruce: Billy Bishop Toronto, since I live downtown. It is quick and easy.
PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?
Bruce: I was approximately four-years-old and went to Newfoundland with my Dad. I was afraid and sad when we first arrived as I knew no one. My Dad told me to go stand in the field and I would have new friends in five minutes. He was right.
PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip?
Bruce: A Mont Blanc pen
PAX: What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten while travelling?
Bruce: Fresh seafood and a glass of pinotage on a patio restaurant next to the ocean at Camps Bay Beach [in Cape Town, South Africa].
PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
Bruce: Passengers [who are] seated in front of you on a flight and recline their seat to the maximum.
PAX: What are your hidden talents?
Bruce: Negotiation, relationship building.
PAX: What's your funniest travel anecdote?
Bruce: I was seated in a middle seat on a full flight with older ladies on each side of me. The flight attendant approached me and said, “We would like to move you to another seat forward, sir.” The two ladies looked at each other and said, “What does he have that we don’t?”
PAX: What’s one thing travel agents should be aware of right now in regards to Huntington Travel?
Bruce: Dynamic packaging and added content to our website is coming shortly.