Cherokee-owned Spears Travel providing travel services since 1958
Spears Travel CEO and Cherokee Nation citizen Greg Spears selects a brochure to better help clients with their travel needs on June 5 in Tulsa. The Tulsa branch is at 8180 S. Memorial Drive while the Bartlesville office is 500 S. Keeler Ave. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A Spears Travel agents, left, on June 5 confers with a client about travel plans at Spears Travel in Tulsa. Spears Travel is a Cherokee-owned business that has been in operation since 1958. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Spears Travel CEO and Cherokee Nation citizen Greg Spears, left, confers with one of his travel agents about a client’s travel arrangements on June 5 at Spears Travel in Tulsa. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TULSA – Since 1958, the Cherokee-owned Spears Travel has provided travel services to the people of Tulsa, Bartlesville and surrounding communities.
Spears Travel CEO and Cherokee Nation citizen Greg Spears said he started in the business when his parents opened their first agency in Bartlesville. Now he and his brother run the business, which consists of the Bartlesville office and a Tulsa location.
“I grew up basically filing brochures and delivering tickets, which is what we did back in those days. Just kind of got in the business that way,” Spears said.
After graduating from the University of Tulsa, Spears said he continued to work and now heads the Tulsa office.
“People are very happy and in a good mood when they’re getting to travel. So we kind of help them navigate through all that and have a great experience,” he said.
Spears Travel provides services such as booking airline tickets, cruises, vacation packages, Hawaii packages, river cruises in Europe and corporate travel.
He said people try to book their travel online and sometimes cannot “discern” what a better deal is for them due to all the information. “That’s kind of what we provide for people. Our agents are very experienced at the ins and outs of travel, avoiding the pitfalls, the problems.”
The problems, he said, can be weather delays and cancelled flights or finding out that the hotel or location they see online is not what they expected upon arrival.
“We take the hassle out of it for people. A lot of times we get them better deals,” he said.
Upon walking into the Tulsa office, brochures line the walls, and visitors can take them for their travel plans. The brochures contain destinations and estimated prices for various locations’ hotels and attractions.
Spears said his travel agency also handles corporate travel for businesses and has worked with the CN for the past seven years as a Tribal Employment Rights Office-certified business.
“They like the services being able to email or make one quick call. We set up their airfare, their flights, their hotel, their car rental if they need it. Basically just give them the convenience of doing that and then they don’t have to go online and spend an hour and a half, two hours or whatever booking a trip. They can just get it out of their way,” he said.
Spears said when the travel agency opened, there were no computers at the time so it was a slower-paced business consisting of booking flights via a directory that contained schedules and prices, handwriting airline tickets and being on multiple phone lines to help clients with arrangements.
“Its hard to fathom now days because everything is at the click of a mouse or on your phone. That was the way business was done,” Spears said. “Now of course technology is so critical to our business because everything changes so often. But we really have kept kind of at the forefront of technology within the travel business, particularly on the corporate side.”
He said clients can receive tickets or other information on their phones and it’s more convenient.
Spears Travel is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday in Tulsa at 8180 S. Memorial Drive and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Bartlesville at 500 S. Keeler Ave.
For more information, visit www.spearstravel.com