Brendan Maree heads up Interactive Intelligence in Australia and New Zealand. He frequently travels to his company's head office in the US, so is a fount of knowledge for travel tech tips.
Brendan Maree, Interactive Intelligence managing director Australia, NZ and Pacific
(Credit: Interactive Intelligence)
Interactive Intelligence provides unified communications systems for contact centre automation, enterprise IP telephony and enterprise messaging.
What tech do you travel with and why?
I like to travel with my iPhone for music and games, and I wear my headset at all times, so I can cancel out aircraft on-board noise, which I find very distracting.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
I wouldn't travel without WorldMate. It lets me see all my itineraries and includes reservation numbers for hotels and car hire. I can also get updates on flights and gates where I'm boarding. It's a really fantastic app and with the amount of travelling I do it makes my life much easier.
Personal travel advice/tip?
People get so stressed that they're going to forget something when they're packing. If you forget something, remember you can always buy it at your destination. Also, always be nice to the staff at the hotels when you're checking in, as they are the key to a pleasant stay — and if you're lucky will generally upgrade you if you ask nicely.
How do you deal with jet lag?
By adapting to the time zone immediately, if I land in LA and it's 6:30am, then it's 6:30am and I follow the day.
What was your biggest travel disaster?
My most recent trip to our headquarters in Indianapolis on the Qantas direct flight to Dallas. We had to divert to Houston for fuel, I missed my connection and stayed at the airport Hilton. I woke at 4am to catch a 6am flight which caused a further problem. For most people travelling in the US, a flight is just like a bus ride, it's so common that you line up and if you miss the flight, well you miss it. After standing in line for more than an hour I was turned away; however, with a little persuasion I made it on to my flight to Memphis and then on to Indianapolis only a day late. On the way home, however, the flight in Dallas was delayed over two hours. When we finally got onto the aircraft, we were advised we were going to Auckland to refuel. Instead we went to Noumea, then to Brisbane and then finally after 34 hours we made it to Sydney.
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
Yes, I never leave home without giving the family, my wife, two sons and daughter, a group hug.
What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?
I would love a chip inserted into my palm so that I would never have to produce any documentation at airports. I would simply walk into the airport, scan my palm, go through customs and get straight onto the plane. This could also work at hotels, you would simply walk into a hotel, scan your palm and go straight to your designated room.
Favourite destination city to work/visit & why?
Singapore, it's close to all the action in Asia, and has Lucky Plaza for all those electronic goods.
Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?
I have been stranded at Dallas airport, so I'll say Dallas. I entertained myself by hopping between Terminals A to D and visiting most of the shops.