During the scheme, UK Commercial grads get to complete assignments in 3 key business areas– Airline, Commercial, and Distribution. Having started in Airline, I moved to Distribution for my second placement, to find out about ancillaries – the extra ‘essentials’ that we sell such as extra legroom seats, late checkout rooms and car hire.Just like other airlines and tour operators, the range of ancillary products that we offer has grown rapidly over the past few years, so the team’s main role is to make sure that we work with different areas across the business to get these products out to our customers in the most effective way.
Ancillary products not only play a vital role in providing the best possible service for our customers, but also drive significant incremental margin for TUI UK & I. The ancillaries team sit on the first floor within Distribution, and are responsible for maximising product sales across the various channels – e-commerce, retail shops, contact centres and pre-departure.
The benefit of working within a smaller team like ancillaries is that my placement has been incredibly varied – because ancillaries work with a lot of other departments across the wider business, I’ve been able to get a great understanding of the TUI UK&I structure and how it fits together as a tour operator.
I’ve been involved with a variety of projects in the past three months – starting off with looking into the set up and delivery of our in-flight extras, and also our Premium seating proposition and how we differentiate our brand new Extra Legroom seats from our Extra Space Seats.
I’ve also been working with our ECRM department to improve ancillary sales across our pre-departure programme – some of our customers who book in advance can receive up to 12 emails from us before they go on holiday, so it’s important that we send them information about the right products at the right time.
For me, the major benefit of doing my Distribution placement within ancillaries has been a huge improvement in my commercial understanding – it might be simple for some, but having studied modern languages, I’ve never fully understood terms like “revenue”, “margin” and “net cost of distribution”. In my last few weeks with the team, I’ve worked on a project to calculate the financial impact to us as a business if we introduce car hire promotions to our Florida Inclusive holidays…something I could never have done three months ago.
Rosie Sumner (UK Commercial Graduate)