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HOW DO YOU TRAVEL? Scott Darlow, Link Travel Group

How frustrating it must be to see your bags loaded onto a plane, yet they still fail to turn up.

Link Travel Group General Manager, Scott Darlow

In one short year, much has been achieved by Link Travel Group, according to General Manager Scott Darlow.

The invitation-only collective recently celebrated its first birthday, in which time it has progressively added carefully selected agencies, further boosting its buying power and stature within the wider travel community.

Link Travel Group, launched in 2022, is a joint venture comprising Flight Centre Travel Group, Goldman Travel Corporation and Spencer Group of Companies. Those three names alone make for a formidable standing in the luxury and corporate sectors, with Perth's The Well Connected Traveller and Melbourne Travel Project recently coming onboard. 

And at the helm of it all is General Manager Scott Darlow. While working hard to drive the group's ongoing success, Scott is a keen traveller at heart and sat down with Traveltalk to share some of his personal travel tricks.


Do you pack light or take the whole wardrobe?

I try to be as light as possible by planning, but I always seem to come home with something I never wore while away!

Are you packed well in advance or a last-minute crammer?

I don’t pack too much in advance but it’s never last minute either. Usually, I’ll pull out the suitcases the weekend before if we are going on holidays. For business, maybe a day or two in advance.

What keeps you entertained on a long-haul flight?

If I’m on business, I will usually spend hours on the laptop catching up on work or I try to sleep so I can hit the ground running.

On holidays, I find I can usually only watch one movie, so outside that I’ll read my kindle. At times, I do catch myself in a semi-conscious state staring at the flight map for hours on end wiling the
time away!

Darlow knows the best way to admire the Panama Canal.

Besides your phone, what essential technology do you travel with?

The phone charger! I forgot it once. I won’t make that mistake again!

Have you ever lost your bag while travelling? Did you see it again?

Thankfully only once, which is pretty good given I’ve taken nearly 750 flights now (don’t ask me how I know that). All four bags on a family holiday! Yes, we did get them back all with all their contents.

What is your most hilarious or unbelievable travel story?

Too many to mention and many others I probably can’t mention! Especially an incident when travelling around the world many years ago with a few of my mates. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

I’ll elaborate on the one time our bags got lost (as mentioned above). My family and I were heading to Cancun with a transit in Houston and everything seemed fine. The frustrating part was I actually saw our bags being loaded on the flight from the aircraft windows.

However, on arrival in Cancun, they never came out and the airline app told me they were still in Houston, even though I saw them loaded onto the plane!

Turns out they were not properly barcode scanned in transit and the system thought they were back in Houston! Despite my pleas, the Mexican baggage authorities wouldn’t let me on the ramp to identify our bags and they were simply loaded back on the same plane and sent back to Houston.

Thanks to the concierge at our hotel who made all the calls in Spanish for us, they did arrive the next morning on the first flight out of Houston and we had them by lunch time. If only the bags accumulated frequent flyer miles! At least it gave us a chance to use the hotel gift shop.

We must have looked a treat as a family walking around for half a day in matching tourist clothes, clothes that I can absolutely confirm we no longer have. I guess I can laugh about it now as it worked out well. I just hope I haven’t jinxed myself for the future by bring it up again!

And finally, what is the most amazing place you’ve been in the world?

Like most of us in travel, I’m drawn to it for the experiences. I am lucky enough to have been to many amazing places on this planet.

If I have to pick one, I’d have to nominate a daylight transit of the Panama Canal. Just sitting back enjoying a drink in the pool, while taking one of the most amazing engineering feats of all time still blows my mind.

All the effort it took to pull it off in the first place and the fact that it still works perfectly 100 years later is amazing. I enjoyed it that much that I’m doing it again this Christmas. While this time, we're going in the other direction, I'm sure my wife and I will grab the same spot at the pool with the same drink!

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 15 June 2023

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