Blue Ribbon is an independently-owned American Express affiliated agency, which means the agency can provide its clients with all kinds of perks offered under the American Express umbrella, such as upgrades and special promotions.
Travel consultants Joyce Randall, Arlene Wikow and Shaheeen Baqueri have more than 110 years of combined experience between them. They had been arranging travel from a location in Manhasset when that agency decided to move from the area.
When an opportunity to set up shop in Port Washington came up, the three jumped at the chance to stay local.
Randal stresses the white glove service they provide. “As long as a client books land reservations with us we will handle the points for airfare,” she said. “We will take whatever points the client has and work at finding them the best conversion for airfare.”
Wikow adds: “We pride ourselves on customizing travel all over the world. We arrange unique travel experiences for clients seeking the unusual. We offer 24/7 assistance if problems arise during a trip. You can reach one of the three of us to re-book canceled or missed flights. We assist with visa applications, which can be daunting to negotiate.”
The Blue Ribbon professionals aim to provide a seamless travel experience. They do everything from business travel to special occasion trips, which they say is becoming a significant part of the travel business.
For people planning destination weddings they will take over as much of the interface as a couple wants. They also customize intergenerational trips to places like Israel.
When asked about the future for independent travel agencies in general and specifically Blue Ribbon, Randall and Wikow say they are optimistic. They have each been advising clients for decades and they speak from extensive personal travel experience.
“We offer the best of both worlds,” says Wikow. “We know our clients, we emphasize customer service and attention to detail while offering the benefits of an American Express affiliation.”
They believe it is important for locals to support local business and, “We hope that the people of Port Washington will come out in support of our local business,” Wikow said.