Q & A: Chris LaBossiere

This frequent flyer shares his tips, tricks and opinions about air travel.

April 1, 2018

photography by Bluefish Studios

Frequent flyer, Top 40 Under 40 alumnus and Yardstick CEO Chris LaBossiere estimates he travels between 80,000 to 100,000 miles per year — so he’s certainly picked up some travel tips and tricks along the way.

Q: What are some of your carry-on essentials?

CHRIS: First and foremost, my noise-cancelling headphones and a fully loaded MacBook with full seasons of my favourite TV shows. A travel wallet that holds every essential I might need if everything else was lost or stolen. A real book, some antacids and collar stays. Lots of collar stays. Finally, a suit coat with three or four pocket squares. You can trick anyone into thinking that a new square and shirt is a whole new outfit.

Q: What are some of your travel tips and tricks?

CHRIS: If you are not carrying a Nexus card, you are self-selecting to a world of pain and suffering. Save half an hour per trip with one. Also, if you fly the same route again and again, consider flight passes. Pre-purchased, you get a full-fare economy ticket for a competitive price, with 125 per cent qualifying miles, complimentary advanced seat selection and flight changes. And always get a shoe shine when you see a booth — it’s good for your soul and soles!

Q: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to other travellers, or the whole travelling process in general?

CHRIS: Let’s try to treat customer service agents as humans — in other words, some people just need to chill out. The airline gate agent is on the frontlines of one of the most complex businesses in the world. He/she is not trying to ruin your life as they redistribute a cancelled airplane full of passengers who all have connections and families to get to. Maybe, as a pilot, I understand that weather, computers and flying machines are complex. Linking it all together and serving you a glass of wine and newspaper is still pretty much a modern-day miracle.

Q: What has been your favourite destination so far?

CHRIS: An afternoon at the London Portrait Gallery and the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms, then a few beers in a packed English pub. Or, touring Normandy and following the footsteps of our Canadian Second World War heroes. Trips I have done again and again, and which never get old.

Q: It can be tough to be on the road a lot, but what’s your favourite part of having the opportunity to travel so frequently?

CHRIS: Building our business means compelling people to trust us, to take a leap of faith with us. To do that right, one must do it in person. Getting to meet our customers, on their turf, breaking bread with them — that’s fun. Some Air Miles after it’s all said and done, so my wife and I can enjoy our own personal adventures and downtime, that’s some nice gravy.

This article appears in the April 2018 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.


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