One of your travelers is abroad when they begin to feel very ill. They don’t know where the nearest clinic is (or how they will manage to get there!), so they place a call to your organization’s travel risk management provider, On Call International. Immediately, they are connected to an On Call Assistance Coordinator (AC). So, what is an assistance coordinator and how can they help your travelers (and you) during a travel emergency? ACs have experience with just about any travel problem you can imagine! Read on to learn more about a day in the life of an On Call International assistance coordinator, and how they can help with a variety of travel emergencies, both big and small.
An Assistance Coordinator’s biggest responsibility is to fulfill On Call’s mission of helping people, every day, in their time of need. Every phone call an AC receives is an opportunity for us to help someone who is having a problem while traveling. ACs help ensure travel problems are quickly resolved so people can either continue their trips as quickly as possible, or get to the care they need (locally or back home) so they can begin the road to recovery.
On a typical day, most Assistance Coordinators are managing several active cases. Many of the cases are medical in nature and, in addition to coordinating with hospitals, doctors, and families back home, our ACs will be checking in with our patients to ensure their needs are being met (a friendly voice can go a long way toward easing a traveler’s anxiety when hospitalized far away from home!).
If a traveler is sick or injured while on a trip, we can assist with locating the closest medical facility where the traveler can seek care. We will keep in touch with the traveler and their family, friends, or travel companion(s) to make sure they don’t feel so alone and know that they have our support while they are far away from home. An AC will communicate frequently with the treating doctor and/or the traveler’s medical staff as well and conduct medical consults as necessary, based on the severity of the case. If a medical facility is not suitable to treat a traveler’s illness or injury, we will work with our providers to secure safe travel arrangements and evacuate the traveler to the closest appropriate facility. In fact, On Call manages four to five medical evacuations every single day! Regardless of whether they require a medical evacuation or a medical repatriation with one of our Rescue Nurses, we always make sure our travelers arrive home safely.
ACs also handle a variety of non-medical emergencies. For example, if a traveler misses their flight due to a travel delay, an AC will help them work with the airline to get them on the next available flight. If there are no flights available, we can also utilize our in-house travel agents to book a new flight and make sure the traveler gets to their destination as quickly as possible. And, if a traveler loses their luggage, our ACs will reach out to the airline and keep in touch with them until the item is located. We will also ensure the airline has the correct delivery address for the luggage.
All this is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what On Call’s Assistance Coordinators can help with. So the next time one of your travelers is experiencing a travel emergency, have them give us a call! No matter what they need, we will find a way to help!
Want more information regarding On Call’s travel assistance and risk management services? Contact us today.