The ultimate jetsetter and original Smart Flyer, Michael is tireless in his pursuit for the best in luxury travel.

No matter the distance, SmartFlyer’s indefatigable Founder and CEO has been known to pick up and go, often at a moment’s notice, to spend the weekend in a city on the other side of the world. More impressive still – Michael is always reachable, even in the middle of an African desert.

In 1990, driven by his love for air travel, Michael founded SmartFlyer upon graduating from Washington University. In the travel industry, Michael is known as Mr. 2A, named after his choice seat on every plane, and is sought out by SmartFlyer VIPs to design once-in-a-lifetime itineraries. Michael is consistently recognized among Travel + Leisure A-List agents, and sits on the advisory board for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Luxury Brands, IHG Luxury Lifestyle, Seabourn Cruise Line, as well as the Residential Boards of One57 and The Richard Meier Buildings.

What inspired you to become a travel agent?

Going back and forth from Washington University in St. Louis back home to New York during college on TWA made me love traveling. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to find a way to share it with others. Back in 1990 when I launched SmartFlyer, we were primarily an air-focused business. Since aviation is my passion, travelers would come to me wanting to get the most competitive first-class fares or looking to find ways to maximize miles and points. It became common practice for them to call me and without consulting any systems, I could speak to the best way to get to practically any gateway in the world–I made it my business to memorize hundreds of routings.

Three decades later, the business has expanded to include 200+ independent travel advisors located all around the world. I dually assist my personal clients and advise our ICs when it comes to the best flight routings based on aircraft, efficiency, and overall client experience based on their alliance preferences. This knowledge has been honed through not only taking dozens of long-haul flights per year but also working daily in Sabre and having first-hand experience examining fare buckets, various classes of service, and specific airline T&Cs that impact a client’s investment.

What is your most memorable travel experience?

Landing in St Barth’s the first time! I’ve been many times since, but that first landing on the narrow runaway by the ocean left a mark.

Which destinations are you looking forward to visiting and why?

My next trip is always the one I’m looking forward to most; nothing gets me excited like heading to the airport.

Travel Tip

  • Always pick a plane with Wi-Fi on a long haul flight, we can help with that!