Case Study - Managing travel during the Pandemic
Managing business travel during the COVID-19 health crisis
FCM Travel and COVID-19
Let’s take it back to January 2020, when the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) first came to the forefront of everyone’s minds. It triggered worldwide health concerns seemingly overnight. All segments of the travel industry were affected, from hotels and airlines, to leisure and business travel. Every day, another border was closing and more airline restrictions were being announced.
The travel industry was turned upside down, leaving travellers in complete limbo.
No way home.
The problem was plain and simple. Travellers were stuck abroad, with no clear path to return home. Business travel managers had a duty of care programme in place to keep their travellers safe, but travel policies and protocols didn’t exactly account for a global pandemic developing at this rate.
It was our responsibility to quickly pull together as a team to supply resources, detailed traveller tracking, reliable information and 24/7 support.
Adapting to an ever-changing problem.
As the virus spread, so did new information. We needed to keep our travel managers and travellers informed, which meant supplying accurate intel that applied to them. We joined forces with our integrated risk management company WorldAware and started pumping out relevant and reliable information to our customers.
Once China restricted travel out of Wuhan, we knew we had to act fast. We escalated our alert level to Crisis, sending out automated texts to all of our customers across the globe. Full reports were sent to companies with travellers in the area, keeping travel managers updated as the restricted zones spread.
Our hub page kept all the relevant information in one place as we sent hundreds of alerts over the first few weeks. The rates of customers using our technology was through the roof, with our support staff working around the clock to update the COVID-19 dashboard and answer direct calls.
The number one priority to us was support. Our customers needed to have travel experts on call, any hour of the day. They needed up-to-date, reliable information right there in the palm of their hand. By seamlessly blending our technology and expert team, we could support our customers through the uncertainty of the pandemic.
Our FCM Global Account Manager is extremely engaged with me and the company, not only during this time, but all the time. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, he provided valuable reports and travel support from his team to assist us in tracking our travellers and keeping them safe. He continues to check in with me to ensure FCM is meeting our needs on a global basis. Thanks team.
We’d like to say thank you to our account manager, travel manager Tina and team of Beijing travel consultants for your great support and professional assistance to complete all air ticket bookings for our expats and families during this special holiday period.
Over the past several days, Tina was stepping up and working from home to help with many requests from our company, she booked and issued over 20 international tickets with various airlines and routes. Both of you are very helpful and have responded timely and in an effective manner.
Your hard work and great efforts are very much appreciated. With your help, we believe that we can overcome the current difficulties successfully.
Change for the better
When everything goes wrong in the blink of an eye, you need a balanced travel programme to see you through. Our leading technology and travel experts worked hand-in-hand, day and night throughout the pandemic to bring travellers home and put travel managers at ease.
By providing information and real-time support at any moment, our business travellers got through those first few months of the pandemic safe and sound.