When you are travelling, either on vacation or on a work trip, the possibility of occurring a disaster is the last thing on your mind. Getting trapped in a natural disaster is a rare scenario, however you might have to affront it sometime.

For example, imagine that your airline is on strike and you already made a booking at the hotel for specific dates. Or even worse, there is a natural disaster, as for example the volcanic ash cloud in 2010 in Iceland, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, or even more the very recent earthquake in Nepal. These are a few of the many natural disasters that can affect us, from volcanic eruptions to tsunamis and earthquakes, and there is no way to avoid them, so you better know what to do in case it happens and prepare yourself.

So how do you prevent yourself from being stuck in such events? You can either buy travel insurance or use a travel agent. Customers who book their trips independently, and want to cancel them, need to contact their insurance company and check if their charges would be covered. It is usually a more complicated process than for those who have a travel agent aligned with their interests. Travel insurance is an ideal way to ensure a full refund, however, a travel agent helps with plenty more things. As you will probably be in a stressed/emotional state of mind and unequipped, the best way to deal with it is to leave it to the professionals.

During a travel disaster, calling a travel agent for assistance is like calling 911.

There are many people who only understand the importance of travel agents when a natural disaster occurs. Travel agents play an essential role from getting their clients back home safe and on the next plane to moving someone staying in a top resort in an affected location to another top resort in a safe location.  Or, they can refund those clients who have already booked trips for the date of a possible misfortune, like Intrepid Travel did in consequence of the Nepal earthquake.

Moreover, during the earthquake in Nepal, the travel agents had the responsibility of booking the flights for their customers in order to safely bring them out of the affected areas. Fortunately there were technologies that helped them on this task. Instead of having to go to their agency’s office to make the reservations, they could do it over the phone, right where they were. This allowed them to work quicker, remaining efficient and help their customers right away. One of the solutions that help to cope with such crisis situations is Travelport Mobile Agent that allows travel agents to access their GDS, anytime, anywhere. This makes for an excellent customer service, which is the backbone of growth in any industry.

“I find Travelport Mobile a very useful product. This especially came to fruition during the Nepal earthquake. I heard the news at 5 a.m. at home and was immediately able to access my Nepal bookings and start working on getting these victims out. I don’t take my work home with me but in instances like this it is very helpful to be able to access my reservation system.” 

Mary Oke, Owner Manager @ Emerald Lake Travel

As you’ve seen, there are many advantages of trusting a travel agent when you travel. Having the right technology to respond fast to customer’s needs makes the travel agent even more reliable. Deep down we all know that we can’t predict the future and it is always better to be safe than sorry.