“I have always had a passion for travel, being fortunate to be able to travel from the age of two,” recalls WestJet’s Matthew Djorsev on his industry beginnings. “I knew by my early teens, the travel business was one I wanted to pursue.”
Working for the Calgary-based carrier over the last seven years, Djorsev is a familiar face to agents, serving as the airline’s business development manager for Toronto East and Manitoba regions, where he grows business with strategic partners for WestJet and WestJet Vacations.
Here, PAX checks in with the Toronto-based BDM on the best place to get authentic Mexican tacos, that memorable trip to Macedonia and the destination he calls his “adult Chuckie Cheese.”
PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with?
Matthew Djorsev (MD): My iPhone (emails are always coming in and I need to service my agencies); my iPhone charger (need to keep that phone charged) and WestJet Swag (always love spreading the WestJet spirit in my travels).
PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?
MD: Mexico – my second home, amazing food/culture and people; Vegas – love gambling, it’s my adult Chuckie Cheese; Europe in general – so much to see, different lifestyle, so rich in culture.
PAX: What’s your favourite airport and why?
MD: YYZ – it’s my city, who wouldn’t? Mind you, I do prefer Terminal 3. It’s easy to navigate, plus I know it like the back of my hand.
PAX: What do you love about your job?
MD: I love the people, I love interacting with people and making dreams come true! The travel industry is unique and I feel we are like a big family.
PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?
MD: Macedonia, where my dad is from. It was memorable because this was where my dad was born and was great to see his home country
PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip?
MD: I bought a Cartier watch in Bahamas
PAX: Whats the most memorable dish you've ever eaten while travelling?
MD: Authentic Mexican tacos, in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
MD: When guests huddle around the gate for their flight even though their zone has not been called!
PAX: What are your hidden talents?
MD: I love to run and I have an eye for fashion and event planning.
PAX: Checked bag or carry-on?
MD: Carry-on all the way, so much easier and quicker to get around!
PAX: What's your funniest travel anecdote?
MD: I was cutting it really close to a flight - literally rushing through the airport, almost running. I was passing people, swerving between them as I’m rushing to my gate; once I got to the gate, I run to the gate agent to board my flight as no one is in the area and I think they are going to close the doors … only to find out that I’m at the wrong gate and my flight is departing from a gate at the other end of the airport!
PAX: What are things travel agents should be aware of right now in regards to WestJet?
MD: Our Dreamliners are taking to the skies this spring to enhance our global expansion. In addition, the Delta joint venture will provide substantial reach into Canada and the U.S. with trans-border service to over 30 cities covering over 95 per cent of the U.S – Canada demand.