Who the Heck Are We?


Alex Bachwich, Concierge

Alex Bachwich is a Alex Bachwich photoproud airline dork who enjoys learning about all aspects of the business, from piloting and customer service to back-office route planning and scheduling optimization. A native of Rapid City, South Dakota, Alex boarded his first commercial flight at six weeks old and hasn't stopped flying since! His travel experiences spanning four continents, combined with his knowledge of how airlines operate, have enabled him to get his friends and family out of tight spots during their travels. He's excited for the opportunity to utilize his skills to help Cranky clients reduce the hassle of modern-day airline travel.

Alex is currently a senior at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and hopes to pursue graduate-level studies in transportation operations research. In addition to his airline-related pursuits, Alex is also a semi-professional violinist in the local symphony orchestra, a bass in his university's a cappella group, and an avid competitive swimmer.

You can reach Alex at alex@crankyconcierge.com

Andrew Bashuk, Weekend Concierge

Andrew Bashuk has been an Andrew Bashuk photoavid fan of the travel industry for nearly all his life, spending most of his childhood collecting timetables from airlines the world over. The number of fake itineraries he built at his kitchen table numbers in the thousands, at least. He is terribly excited to be able to help people with their travel problems - this time in real life.

Since graduating from the University of Georgia in 2005, Andrew has lived in the Washington, DC area working in college athletics. In his spare time Andrew spends most of the day either watching the Atlanta Braves or watching his TV waiting for the Braves game to start.

You can reach Andrew at andrew@crankyconcierge.com

AnnMarie Mecca, Concierge

AnnMarie Mecca has Alex Bachwich photoalways loved planes. She fondly remembers flying with her brother as a child to visit their grandmother in Arizona. While this is only a short flight from her home in Los Angeles, it was enough to spark her love of all things airplanes and airports.

AnnMarie has worked in the airline industry since 2006. During her years with an airline she has learned the ins and outs of travel. She enjoys helping passengers get to their final destination with ease. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her husband and 2 daughters. AnnMarie loves traveling to new destinations and is eager to see the world!

You can reach AnnMarie at annmarie@crankyconcierge.com

Brett Snyder, President and Chief Airline Dork

Brett Snyder is the Brett Snyder photoPresident and Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Concierge. Brett is (obviously) a proud airline dork and author of the award-winning consumer air travel blog The Cranky Flier. Brett became the youngest known travel agent at the age of 12, so he has been helping solve travel problems for well over half his life.

In his career, Brett has worked at US Airways, America West, Eos, and United, so he understands how the business works from the inside. Even though he worked in an office and not at the airport, his favorite memories involve his near weekly stints helping out at in the Phoenix operation when he was at America West.

For years, Brett has helped his family and friends to get out of sticky situations while traveling. He now helps the public and has been recognized by Conde Nast Traveler as a Top Travel Specialist for providing urgent airline assistance in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Brett has developed a network of airline dorks, each of whom has been trained to provide excellent customer service to you. If you're not dealing with Brett and you ever have any problems, please contact Brett directly at brett@crankyconcierge.com.

Dave Junco, Office and Technology Manager

Dave Junco is an Dave Junco photoairline dork in training. He joined the Cranky team in 2011 as an intern to assist in day to day activities and to learn about the travel industry.

When he isn't taking your calls and answering your emails, he is a student in Long Beach. He studies English, but wants to keep his career options open, so he jumped at the chance to work and learn at Cranky Concierge when the opportunity came along.

In his free time he enjoys sports, particularly baseball, football and soccer, and loves going to the movies. He'll be happy to answer your questions and help you out when you contact Cranky.

You can reach Dave at dave@crankyconcierge.com

David Hotz, Director of Flight Monitoring and Award Travel

David Hotz has always loved the airline industry David Hotz photoand the many places that it can get him. He honed his travel planning skills as a kid when he called every airline in the phone book (remember those?) and had them send him their timetables. He quickly became the go-to travel guru for his friends and family.

David has spent years collecting frequent flier miles and has used them to travel all over the world in business and first class. He is excited to join the Cranky Concierge team to use his expertise to help get you where you want to go. When not traveling, David enjoys sports, food, playing with his dog and planning his next trip. David lives with his wife in Washington, DC.

You can reach David at david@crankyconcierge.com

Harry Lambert, Concierge

Harry Lambert has been fascinated Harry Lambert photowith planes since he was 5 years old. Growing up, he would often stop by his local airport--Raleigh-Durham--to watch planes take-off and land. As he grew up, his fascination turned to airline schedules, routes, and the air travel business. Today, he is the point person for his family and friends when it comes to air travel.

Harry is excited to be a part of the Cranky Concierge team and bring his skills to clients. When not monitoring flights, Harry volunteers as an EMT in his community and attends college. He looks forward to helping Cranky Concierge clients in the future!

You can reach Harry at harry@crankyconcierge.com

Jamie Vick, Concierge

Jamie Vick has been traveling with his family Jamie Vick photosince he was 3, visiting points all over the US and Europe. After a while he didn't care where we he was going as long as he got to fly.

When Delta merged with Northwest and his hometown airport in Cincinnati started to see big changes, Jamie began learning more about the airline business. He was amazed at how complex airline networks were and how they utilized hubs and banked schedules to maximize connections and minimize travel time for people. Jamie is now the go-to guy for all his friends' travels and he takes any chance he can to get away, including a recent trip to Japan.

You can reach Jamie at jamie@crankyconcierge.com

Kevin Roberts, Managing Director of Flight Planning and Business Development

Kevin Roberts is a proud memberKevin Roberts photo of the Cranky Concierge team. He is a Dallas-based Travel Architect, building itineraries to get you wherever your heart desires. Kevin has lots of experience constructing journeys for himself and his friends. He's happy to finally get paid for it.

Kevin's first trip was to Norway at the age of 3 and he's had the travel bug ever since that time. A self-described foodie, his favorite part of traveling has always been trying the local food and drink. He prides himself on knowing great places to eat, and is always willing to try something new. His latest adventure was traveling with his family in South America.

You can reach Kevin at kevin@crankyconcierge.com

David "Max" Maxwell, Travel Architect

David "Max" Maxwell is a proud airline dork who enjoys David Max Maxwell photoall aspects of the travel experience. At a young age Max would present his parents with vacation suggestions including specific flights he researched from airline timetables. To date Max has visited 5 continents, 44 of the 50 states and flown more that 1 million miles.

At the age of 18 Max went to work for a travel agency part time (while in college) delivering paper airline tickets to business customers. Over the course of a few years he learned Sabre and was promoted to a full time travel agent position before he graduated. After graduation he went to work in a logistics position that introduced him to conference and group travel planning. For the past 6 years Max has been a travel secretary for a professional hockey team and responsible for all flights, hotels, buses and meals.

Max is an avid snow skier and tries to spend 25 days a year on the slopes despite living in San Antonio. In addition to his love for skiing, Max is also a High School and College football official. In this hobby he is able to combine his love for travel and football as he spends his fall weekends flying around the country to have the best "seat in the stadium."

You can reach Max at dmaxwell@crankyconcierge.com

Marilyn Silk, Overnight Concierge

Marilyn Silk was bit by Marilyn Silk photothe travel bug at a young age and has flown nearly one million miles. She inherited her love of travel from her father and grandfather who both crisscrossed the world several times over. For many years Marilyn has been the travel agent for friends and family - finding the best routes, cheapest fares, most efficient use of frequent flyer miles, and successfully providing solutions to travel related problems. She is excited to be a member of Cranky Concierge and use her skills and experience to assist you with your travel needs.

Marilyn is a passionate NFL fan and has attended games in 17 stadiums including one in London. When she isn't traveling the world, Marilyn resides in sunny southern Florida with her Bichon. She holds an MBA in Finance, and is a Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR).

You can reach Marilyn at marilyn@crankyconcierge.com

Natalie Higdon, Concierge

Natalie Higdon has been Natalie Higdon photoflying commercially since before she was born. Both of her parents are airline pilots and as a result Natalie has always been interested in commercial airline travel. Since leaving her home town of Jacksonville, Florida for college she has been immersing herself in all corners of the aviation industry, both private and commercial.

When she's not studying public affairs and aviation at The Ohio State University or working towards her pilots licenses she's assisting you with all your travel needs.

You can reach Natalie at natalie@crankyconcierge.com

Nate Vallier, Concierge

Nate Vallier, is another Nate Vallier photoproud airline dork and "retired" airline customer service rep. Nate brings more than 15 years of experience in the airline/travel industry, starting at the age of 16 working in a local travel agency, by the age of 19 as a supervisor at O'Hare for a regional airline, and by his mid 20s was a director with an airline.

Despite airline travel benefits, he was active on a frequent flyer message board and provided assistance with mileage run planning. Nate's inside knowledge of ticketing, airline policies & procedures, and airline networks will help you when you need it the most. When Nate isn't busy watching over you, he turned in his elite frequent flyer status for a backpack & enjoys the trails in his home state of Alaska

You can reach Nate at nate@crankyconcierge.com

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