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Hite Digital Norman

(37 reviews)

513 SW 156th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73170
(405) 701-9245

Long before anyone nowadays was thinking about travel planning, Mr. Bentley Hedges was way ahead of the game. After a 50 year head start on most, Bentley Hedges still stands strong as the South OKC Travel Leader. Bentley Hedges Travel is proof of what the enduring spirit of family enterprise and community service can do. Angie Hendricks, the CEO and majority owner, now guides the company that her father, Bentley, and mother, Alice, founded in the comfort of a duplex living room back in 1970. From these humble beginnings, their family travel business has evolved into a beacon for business travelers, group globe-trotters and solo adventurers alike.

“My dad started this business with just a dream and a big book called the “Airline Reporting Corporation” “We had no computers, just big ideas and even bigger ambitions.”

Angie Hendricks

This perspective echoes through the halls of their current office, a far cry from the original setup in the living room across from Capitol Hill State Bank. Today, the agency thrives on personal connections and deeply-rooted family values, honestly setting it FAR apart in an era dominated by impersonal digital transactions. People do business with people, so we’re thrilled to see that the agents at Bentley Hedges are just a phone call away.

Hedges made early connections with the travel industry when he worked for both the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (FAA) & Tinker Air Force Base. The business morphed over the years with projects for planning business travel, group travel, & even a parking lot project near Will Rogers Airport.

The 1990s brought significant challenges, notably when airlines cut commissions on ticket sales, a major revenue source for travel agencies. “We had just raised the steel on a new building for an off-airport parking lot project when the cuts hit,” Angie explains. The subsequent years saw the company pivoting from parking services to focusing solely on travel, a move that would define its future.

Surviving the aftermath of 9/11, a period when vacation travel plummeted world-wide, Bentley Hedges relied on its foundation of serving federal employees from the FAA, thanks to Bentley’s connections from his days at the agency. “That helped us keep going when others couldn’t,” Angie points out. Over time, they phased out the parking service, choosing to concentrate on what they knew best: crafting unforgettable travel experiences.

In the present day, Bentley Hedges operates with a lean team of dedicated professionals, including many family members and a network of remote agents from Seattle to Cancun. “We have nine people at this office, not counting the days Dad decides to show up with his little dog,” Angie laughs, referring to the nonagenarian founder who still takes an active interest in the business. The man literally doesn’t age. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing his joy in action when he lights up any room he walks into.

Angie Hendricks, Owner Bentley Hedges Travel

The personal touch that Bentley Hedges offers is rare in today’s travel market. They provide a blend of traditional and modern, where agents remember your name and preferences, creating tailor-made travel itineraries that online platforms can’t match. “We know the hidden gems in each destination,” Angie says, emphasizing the value of personal experience and direct relationships with partners globally.

I asked Angie about her favorite travel destinations as she’s gone just about anywhere one could seek to go… She says that Budapest is a fascinating place, with the local bathhouses & people who are so welcoming, but the top might be Paris.

“Paris is one, because I bought some pictures from an artist by the Sacré-Cœur Church in Montmartre in Paris back in the early 70s. So, I’d gone a couple of years in a row, and I bought a couple of pictures from him. Well, about five years ago, I was at the art festival downtown, and I saw this artist there, and I thought, that looks just like his artwork!”

I literally hung on the edge of my seat for her to finish this story, because I could see where it was going…

“So, I went and asked him if he was from France, from Paris, and he was!!” and I said, “I think I have some of your paintings.” So, the next day, I went back, and I took the pictures that I had bought 50 years ago, and he said, “I had totally forgotten I had painted these!” He signed the paintings in his new way & Angie learned he had since immigrated to Miami.

If this doesn’t speak to the power of travel & community, I don’t know what does!

Take half the clothes and twice the money.

Looking to the future, Angie envisions continuing her father’s legacy while adapting to the changing landscapes of travel. “My dad made it clear he wanted this to be a woman-owned business, and I’m proud to carry that forward,” she states. The agency recently celebrated over five decades of service, a milestone that speaks volumes about its commitment to quality and client satisfaction.

As we wrapped up our conversation, Angie shared a piece of advice for travelers that her father loves to give others: “Take half the clothes and twice the money.” It’s a simple but effective mantra for anyone looking to explore the world, much like Bentley did when he first envisioned a travel agency in a small duplex so many years ago.

For those inspired to embark on their own journeys, whether to distant lands or familiar shores, Bentley Hedges Travel remains a trusted guide, ready to turn travel dreams into reality.

To get in touch with the team at Bentley Hedges Travel, check out their featured business profile below. You can also find them on social media here:

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Amy Singleton is a contributing author and online editor for Whirlocal South OKC, Moore, and Norman. She’s the host of the Queen Lead Podcast, a motivational & marketing keynote speaker, and the CEO at HITE.

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