For the last 20 years I have spent countless hours explaining the value that a travel management company (TMC) can offer. Whilst Duty of Care has always formed part of the discussion, its relevance in the current climate has never been more significant.
In this post I am therefore going to share some insight into the things that you may not be aware go on behind the scenes here at Meon to ensure that you are always looked after when you book your travel with us.
PEACE OF MIND – WE ARE ALWAYS OPEN
Being here for you 24/7/365 is an essential part of our Duty of Care offering. As a business we strive to offer full-service continuity day or night, so we are always on hand to provide support whenever it is needed.
Our Out of Hours service is typically used when something has gone wrong (e.g. a flight has gone technical) and often we may be speaking with senior individuals (C-level) that would normally be looked after by a travel arranger during the day.
To make sure we can do the very best job, we only have highly experienced agents capable of managing all types of enquiries, however sensitive and demanding, working on this service.
Designed and built-in conjunction with our longstanding technology partner Travelogix, Geo is our new traveller tracking and duty of care risk management tool. Geo provides a single platform in which trip information is blended with insight from travel security specialist Safeture so that if an incident occurs, we are promptly notified and can quickly identify travellers that may be affected to offer help.
PRE-TRAVEL ADVICE – COUNTRY RISK INFORMATION
In Geo it is possible to apply overlays to a world map, one of which provides a colour grading specific to country risk information. By clicking on a specific country, risk information is then detailed based on their performance in 10 risk assessment categories:
Business Risk, Civil Unrest, Crime, Environment and Health, Insurgency and Civil War, Infrastructure, International Relations, Kidnap and Ransom, Political Risk and Terrorism.
This information can be used in advance of travel to allow travellers to familiarise themselves with the situation in any given location.
As the pandemic has evolved we have been constantly reviewing our sources to make sure we can provide the very latest and most reliable Covid-19 related travel information.
The main tool we use is called Timatic, an IATA product. In every instance, for offline bookings, we advise of any testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements associated with the destinations being travelled to or from.
In Geo it is also possible to apply a Covid-19 overlay to the world map so that an overview of the spread of the virus can quickly be obtained and the risk associated with the countries travellers are visiting can be seen. It is also possible to click into specific countries to access additional Covid-19 related information about that location.
Every booking that we make is automatically sent to Geo (both when initially made or subsequently touched – eg changed), to provide near real-time insight into traveller activity. We can then see all travellers booked through Meon plotted on a world map which quickly helps us identify travellers in any specific location.
In addition to the map feature, filters can also be used in Geo to define the parameters of a search by date, location, traveller type, supplier details, etc to quickly identify travellers that may be affected by a specific incident.
As part of our quality control procedures the traveller’s email and mobile telephone number is automatically sent to the system too. This enables us to quickly offer help when it may be needed.
Safeture’s Analytical Team observes the world in real-time, 24/7 enabling us to provide fact-based, non-biased, travel alerts and updates.
The information is categorised against the 10 risk assessment categories and can be attributed to the four key location filters – exact location, city level, region/state level and country level, all enabling a targeted response.
The security alerts can also be accessed in Geo by adding and applying the security alerts overlay and clicking into the required country location.
We have built our reputation on taking a proactive approach to incident management. Where possible we will directly contact any affected traveller by telephone (or email) to make them aware of the incident and to offer support.
Where possible, we also plan alternative travel options ahead of contacting the traveller so that we can provide immediate solutions, especially when time may be of the essence.
I hope this post provides you with every confidence that we are here for you and that you will always be looked after when you book through Meon Valley Travel. If you would like to find out more about our Duty of Care provision, please drop me a line at [email protected] or call me on +44 (0)116 478 8548.