The Status Searcher: Quality and comfort come first
Joachim Kihlström is Account Manager for Leisure Travel at Amadeus Scandinavia. He combines his love of traveling with his passion for golf and food. He’s careful with his money but he would prefer to stay at home rather than have a bad travel experience. In our ‘Leisure Study 2018’ report, Joachim was classified as a ‘Status Searcher’ – a consumer who spends more for the sake of comfort.
You were categorized as a ‘Status Searcher’, one who is willing to pay more for comfort and luxury on your travels. Would you say traveling for you is about pleasure and pampering?
Absolutely. I would prefer to stay in my summer house rather than have a bad trip.
And is your choice of travel influenced by trends?
That’s me. I read a lot about travel and am influenced by trends. If I read about a new golf or upcoming city destination, I want to check it out. That’s why we went to Bilbao recently – Norwegian had just launched a direct flight from Stockholm and Bilbao is renowned as a culinary capital.
Do you plan your trips well in advance?
Yes, generally I do, especially when it comes to long-haul flights. Weekend trips I would book a few weeks or a month beforehand.
Do you have a preference for certain airlines, hotel chains etc.?
Yes I am quite brand focused. I like Emirates, Lufthansa and SAS as they offer a lot of flights out of Stockholm. Long haul I don’t really like low cost carriers, I prefer to fly with a national airline. I don’t boycott any airline but I do have my favorites.
When it comes to hotels, I don’t have any preferences. I am more interested in the property itself.
How do you research and book a trip?
I usually search on sites like Expedia because they give a good overview of what’s on offer in a city or area. I pick a few hotels that look interesting and then check out their website. If they have special deals including green fees, meals or extras, I often book directly on the hotel’s site because you won’t get these extras on a hotel booking site.
I often rent a car and mainly use Avis Preferred. I love it because you can skip the long queues to pick up the car which saves up to an hour. When you are going on a short weekend trip, that hour is worth a lot.
I usually book directly with the hotel and airline to get exactly what I want. For me, it is all about relevancy. I am careful with money, but, even if it is possible to save a few hundred Swedish kronor by using a booking site, I prefer to book directly. The most relevant thing for me, especially when traveling long haul is the flight times and the airline. But if there is a huge price difference, I might take a longer route and then spend more money on the hotel.