A few years ago, we had a traveler who was in Libya working in the Embassy in Tripoli. The area was growing unstable, with the neighborhood where the traveler was staying becoming subject to heavy gunfire at night. She was understandably frightened and searching for a way out. To complicate matters, she had a German Sheppard named Zeus, who needed to be evacuated as well.
One of our agents, Dana, worked with the traveler and her company through several late night and early morning phone calls and emails over a week period. The multiple itineraries that were setup proved wasteful as the Libyan government had not protected the airport and it was unsafe for passengers to enter the terminal. Throughout this back and forth, which included changing and cancelling itineraries, bad cell phone connections and hastily written emails, Dana was described by the company’s travel manager as the “calm in the storm”:
“Knowing Dana was working on finding a solution in the wee hours of the night reassured our employee that someone far away cared about her and her safety and that is priceless.”
The traveler did finally make her way out of Libya via a ferry chartered by the US Government, after which Dana arranged for her travel home with her dog.
“I feel like Dana went above and beyond the call of duty in how she handled this situation. You all provide us with unmatched service, and I am truly appreciative.”
While we do strive for the type service excellence that Dana embodied in the midst of a dire situation for one of our travelers, we also are always looking to improve the travel programs for our customers. The traveler getting home is not where this story ends. What we did with this customer after the event took place in Libya was a complete review of their risk mitigation procedures for their travelers and advised them on way to improves processes and ensure they were better protected should a future event like this occur. That was the bigger transformation out of this situation, and that is what Travel Leadership Consulting is all about.