How FCM beat the odds against unexpected Typhoon Fireworks


FCM’s client, a market leader in aerospace, building and performance technologies was having a company meeting in Sanya when typhoon ‘Fireworks’ hit Shanghai on 25 July 2021. With their headquarters in Shanghai, this threw the company in disarray. Soon senior executives and employees started to receive notifications of flight cancellations for their return trip to the city.

The Challenge

The typhoon struck the city hard and fast. Strong winds and heavy rain hammered the city, forcing many flights departing from and arriving at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao Airport to be cancelled. The unexpected extreme weather posed great challenges to the client’s travel managers as there were fears to manage and questions to be answered.

There were limited operating flights and most of them were fully booked. A call from the personal assistant of the company’s top executive added to the breaking point as he was required to be back in Shanghai the following afternoon for a last-minute client visit.

They immediately reached out to FCM for assistance. What resulted was an immediate urgency to bring employees who were stuck overseas back home to Shanghai safely and quickly, and to ensure minimal business disruption.

The solution

FCM sprung into action immediately to work on a plan with the personal assistant, travel manager and employees to bring all travellers safely to their destinations.

With requests to repatriate travellers to Shanghai and other Chinese cities, consultants worked tirelessly around the clock to monitor flights, even past 2am. It was a challenging situation as planes were getting full very quickly, with passengers grabbing tickets as soon airlines released seats for booking.

FCM worked closely with the team to communicate, support and facilitate real-time notification about ticket updates. At the same time, our consultants ensured that all stranded travellers’ needs and concerns were met, suitable travel arrangements were made and they were available 24/7 for the travellers in the event of any schedule changes.

With continuous system monitoring and years of expertise from FCM’s travel consultants, all stranded employees made it safely to their destinations and the top executive made it to his meeting on time as well.

For every FCM travel consultant, the job does not end with ticket booking. They understand that unforeseen circumstances caused by the typhoon can continue to occur, and travellers need support at any and every stage of their individual journey, from enquiry to booking, pre-departure to post-arrival. 

With the goal of ensuring that every traveller would arrive at their destination safely, the consultants continued to ramp up day-to-day support beyond ticket booking that included:

  • Close monitoring of flight departure and arrival data
  • Constant reminder to travellers to check-in early
  • Continuous update on the latest flight information
  • Detailed organisation of travel itinerary for every employee

FCM’s dedicated travel consultants saved the day. Concise planning and a close working relationship with the client’s travel managers was essential in delivering that highly personalised and seamless travel experience for all travellers. By providing real-time 24/7 support and information, every single one of our client’s travellers arrived at their destination on-time, safe and sound.

In addition to safe repatriation for all travellers, one of our senior executives decided to change the flight at the last minute due to an urgent client visit.
Our Travel Consultant July was extremely engaged throughout the entire period, she facilitated timely communication and coordination even past 2am. July’s commitment was truly commendable, she was on standby at all times to make sure all our travellers had confirmed flight tickets with definite itineraries, despite my efforts to get her to rest and leave it to luck. 
Without July, we would not have been able to get all travellers back to Shanghai. Not only did our travellers get back safely and quickly, but the entire process was also well-executed. It was a great reassurance to have July’s help and support during Typhoon Fireworks.

- Client Travel Manager

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