*This post was guest written by former On Call International Assistance Coordinator Hayley Mackay
December already! It’s a month full of snow and ice (depending on where you live), good food and the holidays. The average American family is taking time off to visit friends and family. The bags are packed, the dog is kenneled, you’ve purchased your travel assistance (just to be on the safe side) and you’re on your way to start your perfect trip. Unfortunately life is anything but perfect, maybe your luggage (with gifts!) doesn’t arrive with you, maybe your flight has a weather delay causing you to miss the start of the festivities, maybe you stumble and injure your ankle on a sidewalk curb.
Suddenly your perfect vacation gets a wrench thrown in it. Although you hoped never to use it, you pull out your travel assistance card and call your emergency travel assistance company, On Call International. Once our phone rings, we put on our superman suits and come to your rescue. Every day, Assistance Coordinators at On Call come to the aid of travelers who have experienced anything from delayed baggage to a full-blown medical evacuation. Assistance Coordinators are available 24/7 for any sort of assistance a traveler may need, in any country.
Our job as Assistance Coordinators is work with travelers to make their difficult situations just a little bit easier. We pride ourselves on keeping touch with our travelers each day to monitor their situation and keep them updated at all times. The travelers already feel isolated and out of their element when an emergency occurs; we empathize and try to make them feel a little more comfortable with a familiar voice, or as the international travelers often comment, a “familiar accent.” One of our specialties is medical evacuation. Many travelers tend to forget their travel assistance offers this great benefit. After obtaining the necessary medical information, our seasoned Medical Director makes a recommendation for travel appropriate for the traveler’s sickness or injury. The Assistance Coordinators immediately begin making arrangements to get the wayward travelers home, whether it is a medical evacuation via a commercial flight, or with a nurse escort or by even by air ambulance. Assistance Coordinators are sensitive to any financial constraints the traveler may experience, and we work with the traveler to help keep out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum, if there are any at all.
Travel assistance comes in many different forms; Assistance Coordinators are trained to meet these requests creatively and efficiently. It is not uncommon go from speaking with a student in need of a sound hospital recommendation in Firenze, Italy, to a family who needs to set up ground transportation to catch up with their tour in Shanghai, China. Assistance Coordinators have access to resources a regular travel agent would not, and we have partnerships with affiliates across the world, too.
So have no fear, World Traveler! Go on and start your journey. We’ll be here to catch you if you fall.