ADVANTAGE Travel Centres’ newly elected board
member Steven Freudmann is leading members’ dissent over
plans for the consortium to become a profit-making
company.

Freudmann, of Majestic Travel – and Bryony Hordern of
Tickets Anywhere – were both elected by consortium members to
the 10-strong board for a two-year term.

They replace Patrick Murphy of Thorntons Travel and Roderick
Thompson of Regent Travel, who stood down after serving the maximum
of two terms.

Freudmann said top of his agenda as a board director is the need
for further discussion on plans to reorganise Advantage.

Advantage has been working towards transforming the consortium
into a profit-making company for months, but the initiative has
suffered from lengthy delays in court.

Freudmann said: “I am happy with the way Advantage has been run.
I wonder if the board is trying to change things when there is no
need. I have always adopted the policy: if it ain’t broke,
don’t fix it.”

He added he is “keeping an open mind” but said there are “a lot
of members concerned about the strategy”.

Newly appointed managing director John McEwan said he is aware
of Freudmann’s concerns but pointed out Advantage has already
polled members on the plan and the reaction was “positive”.

“When we get it through the courts it will be put to members for
a vote at the annual general meeting,” said McEwan.

Advantage aims to complete the changes to its constitution by
the end of the year.

McEwan said he expects progress to be made in the courts over
the next six weeks. In the meantime, he is working on
Advantage’s new three-year strategy which will also be
completed by the end of the year.

Separately, Hordern is focusing her attention on addressing
agent consultation fees and working to advise members on the
matter.

Hordern, who campaigned on the issue during the board elections,
is planning to introduce a £20 fee for giving holiday advice
to the public at her Tickets Anywhere shops.

She stressed the fee would be refunded to customers who booked
with her agency but wants to prevent people using travel agents as
“libraries” and buying holidays elsewhere.