Author Archives: Skroo Turner

About Skroo Turner

Graham 'Skroo' Turner was raised near Stanthorpe, and trained as a veterinary surgeon. In 1973, he and two mates bought a couple of double-decker buses in England and began a holiday travel company, Top Deck Travel.

virgin tiger

Tiger-Virgin deal a win for travellers

AUSTRALIA’S leading travel agency group has welcomed the ACCC’s decision to approve Virgin’s 60% investment in Tiger Airways.

Flight Centre Limited managing director Graham Turner said the deal secured Tiger’s presence in Australia and, at the same time, gave the airline a stronger foundation for future expansion.

London skroo

The London Marathon Legends!

On Sunday, 14 Flighties from the Healthwise Active Travel division participated in the London Marathon. We enjoyed brilliant sunshine and a nice cool temperature, perfect running conditions. The atmosphere during the event was fantastic with millions of people cheering and music playing. I completed the marathon in 4 hours and 57 minutes, and Jude did really well considering her training level with 5 hours and 50 minutes.
I’m sure we’ll all be back next year if our sore legs have recovered by then!


Flighties at the Boston Marathon

A couple of our Flighties participated in the Boston Marathon including the Global Leader of FCL’s Healthwise Tod Horton who completed the Boston Marathon in 3 hours 10 minutes, as usual in his boardies. I spoke to him not long after completion and the tragic events on that day in Boston. Tod said security was everywhere as you’d expect but Bostonians generally were in muted spirits at the sad loss of life.

Apparently the Marathon lived up to its reputation as being very tough and Tod was worried if his legs would be ready for the London Marathon in 6 days time (this Sunday) where Jude and I and about 15 Flight Centre people are joining Tod in the run.

At this time the weather looks good in London on Sunday – fairly dry and between 1 degree and 13 degrees Celsius.

Craig Doherty was interviewed in Boston on Channel 7 – see 3.36 mins:

Bill and Tadpoles

Top Deck Travel celebrates 40 years!

It was nearly 40 years ago when Spy, Bill and I left London in November 1973 on the first Top Deck Travel trip to France Spain, Portugal and Morocco on our (then green bus) Argas. Our unique selling proposition was that beds and a kitchen were all on board – no camping in tents! We had 16 paying passengers and Spy Lomas and myself as crew. Bill James was there as a cut price passenger and a reputation for being very thrifty. We had a fantastic 6 weeks with a great group of people and when Bill came back to London he loved the trip so much he bought our second bus Grunt for 350 GBP, became a partner and took out the third tour.

sustainable population

A sustainable population

One of the subjects that interests me is protecting our natural environment, our native forests, our riparian zones and of course the native animals. Most Australians recognise the main culprit in destroying our natural inheritance is us – Homo Sapien. Our current human population explosion does not help and I certainly support a sustainable population for Australia. This is a release worth noting from the group Sustainable Population Australia by John Coulter. Read More >>


Airfares to London are apparently stuck in a time warp.

I was reminiscing to a friend the other day about how cheap airfares are to and from London (and the rest of Europe) in this day and age. I first went to Europe in 1972 via Hong Kong to Munich for the Olympic Games. I remember I paid for a student and youth fare of around $500 one way. At the time I was working in Western  Victoria as a large animal Vet and earned abut $6,000 a year-a pretty good salary then. So a return economy fare was about 20% of my full years salary.

My friend then recalled his first flight to London was in 1956  where the return flight cost him 6 months of his annual Salary. (In direct comparison it would mean an economy airfare return to London today of $30,000)

The same value growth in airfares has continued for the last 20 years. Despite average wages more than doubling during that period and with almost 70% inflation, travellers are largely paying the same for an economy fare today as they did in the early 1990s.

In fact, the cheapest business class fare is now roughly as affordable for the average Australian worker as a cheap economy class fare was for that same worker in the early 1990s.

Consider the following statistics:

  • In the early 1990s, Qantas sparked a price war when it reduced Kangaroo Route flights to $1800.
  • Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) average wage data, an $1800 fare represented just under three weeks’ pay ($621 per week) for the average worker at that time.
  • Twenty years later, the ABS pegs average weekly fulltime earnings at just over $1450 per week.
  • Flight Centre’s cheapest average business class fare from Sydney to London is currently advertised for $4045, which again represents just under three weeks’ pay for the average worker.
  • The current cheapest economy fare from Sydney to London – at $1392 – is actually less than a week’s pay.

Flight Centre Foundation Team

Budgie Bolt – Flight Centre Foundation Team

Andrew Flannery, Adam Campbell, Ben Barnes, Robb Popp bravely donned their ‘budgies’ as the FC Foundation team in the Budgie Bolt, running 5k through the Brisbane CBD on a Friday afternoon to raise much needed funds for Youngcare.

We have to say a huge thank you to the boys, as collectively they raised over $8,300 for Youngcare by shedding their gear. Also thank you to the Flighties, friends and family who so generously gave, making the FC Foundation team the highest fundraising team across Australia and taking out the coveted ‘gold budgie’ award!

Justine family

A Fundraiser for one of our People

One of our long term people at FCL (over 15 years with the organisation) and her 2 young kids tragically lost their husband and father a few weeks ago to a brain aneurism. To help in the short term the people of FCL had a fund raiser last Thursday night and I was thrilled with the level of generosity from all those who were involved. Below, I’ve shared Joell’s feedback from the night… Read More >>


Incentives (continued)

In a previous blog I’ve shared my ideas on incentives pay, including the importance of rewarding measurable and desired outcomes. At Flight Centre, we use Discipline, Education and Training to change behaviour, rather than incentives and we’re focused on keeping incentives measurable, simple and easy to understand. Read More >>