At the age of 95, Queenslander Keith Wright is still backpacking around the world and booking his trips with Flight Centre, which says it sometimes upgrades him free to business class, giving him a bit more room to stretch his legs.
Flight Centre consultant and airfare specialist, Christina Kerr, says every booking Wright makes inspires her. He first visited her agency in 2002, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The paper quoted Wright as saying he had hitched a ride on the back of a scooter in San Sebastian “and seen things that most tourists haven’t seen because I have walked the back streets and taken the train or bus to a nearby town for the day”.
Wright once worked for Ansett Airlines and Pioneer Coach Travel. He stays in hostels on his travels and is about to head off on a two-month European trip, travelling economy class and taking several rail journeys. He was born during World War I, five years after the Titanic sank.
Meanwhile, Britain’s oldest travel agent Joe Langdell has died after more than 50 years in the business. Langdell, 92, was until his death managing director at Lancing Travel in Lancing, West Sussex. Britain’s Argus newspaper believes him to have been Britain’s oldest working travel agent.
Langdell set up his agency in 1960, when Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister of Britain and Robert Menzies was Prime Minister of Australia. Songs by the Everly Brothers topped the music charts. Langdell started out selling mainly train tickets. In 1971 his agency launched its own escorted American tours under the Go with Joe brand.
Interviewed as he approached his 90th birthday, Langdell said he had no plans to retire, adding that he derived great pleasure from “slogging away and losing money”.
Written by Peter Needham