Michael Holtz, owner and CEO of SmartFlyer in New York, is widely recognized for his social networking expertise; in fact, many know him best by his Twitter handle, MrSmartFlyer, and for his Facebook postings that often show his airline ticket stub touting his favorite seat on the plane (Just call him Mr. Seat 2A). But make no mistake, Holtz, and his managing director, Erina Pindar, are steadily growing SmartFlyer’s business behind the scenes. We featured the dynamic duo in our April 2013 edition.
SmartFlyer’s expansion comes as the Manhattan-based agency celebrates its 25th year in October (did somebody say party?). And what a 25 years it’s been. “We’ve doubled our advisors since 2013; at the moment we are currently at about 120 agents worldwide and we are working on firming up our Australia team,” Pindar tells us. That’s right; SmartFlyer is growing in Australia in partnership with a leading Virtuoso agency there, Goldman Travel. “We’re looking forward to bringing the SmartFlyer culture and spirit to one of our favorite destinations in the world,” Holtz tells Luxury Travel Advisor.
Reaping $100 million in revenue a year, SmartFlyer is adding new affiliates to its network (that includes house advisors and independent contractors). “We’re all about out-of-the-box selling and thinking creatively; combining that with our web and social media efforts seems to be the recipe to success,” says Holtz, who just had one of his advisors lead a group to Cuba. Holtz’s personal travel has taken him to Los Angeles several times this year and in each instance, he’s stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “It’s timeless, it’s real Hollywood.” Another new favorite, he adds, is the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. On the more exotic front, he favors the Emiliano in Sao Paulo: “It’s very chic and I love a good gym!”
Pindar, known as the ultimate world traveler, just sailed on the Aqua Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia. “It was one of my coolest experiences to date,” she tells Luxury Travel Advisor. She also recently enjoyed the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong: “There’s a reason why it’s iconic, you really can’t go wrong with that impeccable Mandarin Oriental service, it’s a beautiful, classic luxury Hong Kong hotel with such elegant yet laid-back service.”
Don’t expect SmartFlyer’s social networking efforts to ebb anytime soon. “We’re still very much a big fan of social media,” says Pindar. “I find that social media is the best way to communicate what SmartFlyer is about as a brand and as a company. It gives us a voice and a way to differentiate ourselves. It also allows us to promote our agents and the partners with whom we’re working closely.”
All told, executives of this agency, which seems as if it’s all about what’s new and fresh, are enthusiastic about celebrating its 25th. “It’s great to look back and see where we came from and where we are today,” says Holtz. “The future is bright and we are very proud to have the absolute best talent in the industry under our umbrella.”