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5/28/09 —Circumnavigatores Club / Tom Parsons, travel guru

The Circumnavigators Club is made up of "adventure travelers" who have circumnavigated the globe. Its motto is "Through Friendship, To Leave This World A little Better Than We Found It", and its purpose is to encourage global friendship and understanding. Our guests include members: Lois Kahan who has traveled to 135 countries and is about to leave for three more, Azebaijan, Georgia and Armenia, and Ann Hughes, who has been on 10 missions for the UN and around the world four times. Tom Parsons is the travel guru who joins us each month to talk about the best buys in air travel. Check out his site at and put "Susi" in the search bar for special deals for our listeners. He's the "go to guy" for the latest info on where and when to fly.

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Lois Kahan
World Traveler

Since retiring, I have had more opportunity to travel and have longer trips. I've been to 135 countries (leaving Saturday to do 3 more: Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia), 6 of the 7 continents (my favorite is Asia). I like to travel independently, and will go on a tour only if there's no other way.

I have adopted The Circumnavigators Club credo: "Through friendship, to leave this world a little better than we found it."

Ann Hughes,
World Traveler

After serving as a civilian with the United States Army of Occupation in West Germany, Anne joined the United Nations in 1948 and worked successively as a clerk/typist, verbatim reporter, editor, translator, precis-writer, chief of section and finally chief of service. She went on 10 missions for the UN, most notably to Paris, India, Japan, Brazil, Germany and Mexico. After retiring in 1985 she became a portrait painter until 2004. She has been around the world four times and has travelled to such strange places as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Burma (Myanmar), and circumnavigated the Black Sea. She has been twice to the High Arctic and once to Antarctica. This summer she plans to take the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

Tom Parsons

Who is this man called the "godfather of budget travel and deals," the "king of cheap airfares" and the "seer of the skies"? By Tom Parsons' own admission, he is nothing more than a regular traveler who wants to save money and help others save. And that he does. Other people collect stamps or precious objects. Parsons collects cheap airfares and discount travel rates, and then he tells everyone about them.

Parsons got his start as a discount travel hound in the late 1970s when he was a traveling corporate executive. He noticed the wide variance in travel fares, even on the same airline flight. Using his natural analytical abilities and some good old sleuthing, Parsons unearthed some breakthrough methods to save dramatically on airfares. Then (of course) he began to tell his co-workers about it. In just fourteen months, Parsons single-handedly reduced the corporation's total travel budge from $2.5 million to $800,000. He was honored with a plaque at the annual meeting and given the title, "The Man Least Likely to Give Up a Travel Buck." Even Herb Kelleher, Former CEO and Founder of Southwest Airlines, called Tom "the best low fare policeman on the beat." That moniker is even more accurate today.

Parsons now appears on over 100 radio and television talk shows each month, dispensing his knowledge of hidden travel deals and fare secrets to audiences of shows ranging from NBC's The Today Show, ABC's Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show to nationally syndicated radio such as Bloomberg Business Radio and the AP Radio Network. While his days are packed, Parsons is still likely to be found chatting with the receptionists and cameramen along the way, giving them advice on an upcoming trip. His interviews have the same popular appeal, lighting up phone lines with every visit. Since 1983, Parsons has become the Ralph Nader of the air. He has established a reputation as the traveler's friend and confidant, someone the average consumer can trust to be fair and honest and always on the consumer's side. His goal is to inform the general public about the truth in the travel industry. And as always, his mission is about saving money.

Parsons is the definitive answer to the age-old question uppermost in most travelers' minds: "How can I save money on my style of travel?"

Tom Parsons, one of the most sought-after travel experts in the country, is available for media interviews. He is a consumer champion, offering information on travel bargains, the airline industry and its effects on consumer pocketbooks. From frequent flyer miles to travel deals to the nation's seemingly never-ending changing security policies, Tom is on the beat. To book Tom, contact the media relations' staff at 800-576-8255, or via email at