Organizing corporate travel can be challenging without the right level of support available. Whether that's a highly qualified support team to help book travel or on-the-go notifications for keeping employees up-to-date—you need a solution that looks out for your business.
That's why travel managers turn to travel assistance solutions. Travel assistance providers help ensure support is available when things don’t go to plan—whether that’s unexpected flight delays or stranded employee travelers.
In this article, we'll look at:
- What are travel assistance companies?
- What should you look out for in your travel assistance solution?
- Does my company need to use a travel assistance company?
- The 6 best travel assistance companies for your business
There's a range of companies out there that can help with assisting travel arrangements. It's important to choose the right one that fits your needs and requirements for business travel.
Let’s first take a look at exactly what travel assistance companies are, and how they can help you with your corporate travel.
What are travel assistance companies?
Travel assistant companies help organizations with their travel needs—no matter when or where issues might arise. They go beyond what your typical 9-5 office workers do, and provide bespoke solutions for your corporate travel.
They provide an extra layer of support that often operates around the clock via a hotline or chat app. No matter where you are or what situation you're in, these companies are on-hand to help out.
Whether it’s a medical emergency that requires urgent medical assistance or speedy repatriation—travel assistance companies give you the peace of mind that your employees are well-supported no matter where they are.
Travel assistance companies support you through the entire corporate travel process—from the day of the departure until the day you return.
What should you look out for in your travel assistance solution?
Some companies offering travel assistance will provide more services than others. It's all about finding the right assistance services for your business.
Here’s what you should be looking out for in your travel assistance provider of choice:
- Evacuation capabilities: for field rescue and evacuation. You need a solution that can help to organize and successfully provide emergency assistance or medical evacuations from destinations worldwide.
- 24/7 support: for emergencies and non-emergencies. A 24/7 emergency and non-emergency hotline that offers clients support at any point in their trip—from an early morning start to middle of the night requests.
- Destination reports: for your traveling employee’s destination. These reports will warn of any risks to consider, and offer resources for mitigating those risks when traveling.
- Concierge services: for dealing with issues with trip cancellation, travel delay, and travel documents. Unexpected issues can arise, and you need a solution that can offer personalized support for your employees.
- Visa and passport services: for employees traveling to destinations far and wide. Ensuring all documentation is correct and up-to-date is essential for smooth business travel.
- Travel insurance options: to protect you and your staff members whilst away on business travel.
Your travel assistance solution should help you throughout the travel management process—not just when things go wrong. The above features are an overview of what to expect from your travel assistance solution.
Does my company need to use a travel assistance company?
If your company sends employees on business travel, you need travel assistance services. It’s not only good practice, but it ensures you’re meeting your legal duty of care requirements.
Duty of care refers to the legal obligation employers have to put reasonable measures in place to ensure employees are protected from physical and psychological harm. Put simply, you're responsible for ensuring employees are safe and secure on company time—no matter where they are.
There are other reasons for having travel assistance providers for your business—some of which you may have already encountered. Here are a few situations where these companies can benefit your business.
Travel assistance companies provide around-the-clock support
Travel assistance companies offer 24/7 support to you and your employees. This is essential in times of crisis, and can be a lifesaver when it comes to canceled flights or delayed travel.
For example, let’s say one of your employees is flying home late Sunday evening. They arrive at the airport and see their flight’s been canceled—they have nowhere to stay and no way of getting home. This is where your travel assistance solution steps in, to ensure your employee is safe and supported.
Travel assistance solutions have dedicated support teams working around-the-clock to help stranded employees. They’re a much better alternative to notifying your travel manager at the slightest inconvenience, and can solve issues a lot faster than an in-house booker.
Travel assistance companies help with travel issues
There are a variety of travel issues that employees can face, regardless of whether they’re going halfway around the world or taking a domestic flight across their home country.
Losing baggage or documents can often throw a trip into turmoil. It's always a good idea to have a hotline available that your business travelers can call at any time to get expert assistance on what to do during times of confusion.
Travel assistance companies help with emergencies
Travel assistance companies can help with emergency situations—whether that’s providing aid for evacuation or where there may be a risk or threat to life. There’s nothing more frightening than being somewhere you don’t know with no support.
Travel assistance companies can offer help in case of natural disasters, and can help facilitate medical services or assistance in evacuating from the location in question.
All employers are placed under a statutory duty of care to ensure that employees are safe and protected from risk at all times. This duty of care means employers must identify any risks to health and safety and provide appropriate measures to ensure traveler safety.
The 6 best travel assistance companies for your business
There are plenty of companies that specialize in providing seamless support to your business and traveling employees. When investing your travel budget, you want to ensure you're getting the most value out of your solution.
Here are six of the best travel assistance companies to consider in 2023.
TravelPerk is an all-in-one platform for corporate travel management where you can book, manage and report business travel. Its top-rated 24/7 customer support team provides high-quality travel assistance for whenever you need it. The platform offers a comprehensive suite of features that help clients get the most out of their corporate travel arrangements—both via desktop and mobile app.
The company’s top-rated support team uses their knowledge to support your employees no matter where they are.
Main travel assistance capabilities according to TravelPerk:
- Receive 24/7 support from real humans in 15 seconds or less
- 1-1 concierge services to help cover every detail of your trip, from organizing travel to accommodation and meeting rooms
- TravelCare for risk assessment and management with COVID-19 information, pre- and during travel alerts, and destination guidelines, so that travelers fly safe, and admins know of any problems that might come up during the trip
- Real-time traveler notifications to keep employees in the loop
- Integrations available with a number of duty of care providers like Riskline, International SOS, Safeture, and others to provide you with the safest experience possible.
How TravelPerk helps you put employee safety first
At TravelPerk we understand that keeping employees safe both pre-departure and during travel is crucial. With TravelCare you can see, at a glance, what the latest travel restrictions are for your destination, ensuring your team stays up-to-date with what documentation and vaccinations they need before they travel.
Alongside the travel assistance features, TravelPerk also offers a variety of other solutions, such as:
- An industry-leading inventory that offers the best deals on the market–including flights, accommodation, trains, and car rentals.
- FlexiPerk offers travelers flexible travel solution by enabling organizations to get at least 80% of their money back when canceling up to two hours in advance
- Carbon offsetting for business travel with GreenPerk
- Ample third-party integrations, including expense management, meeting space, mobility, security, sustainability, travel and user management, enable you to integrate the platform with your existing workflow
TravelPerk offers travel solutions to businesses big and small, and helps ensure your employees always have access to support.
2. Global Rescue
Global Rescue has been a leader and pioneer in the travel assistance industry since its establishment in 2004. The company offers integrated security assistance, medical aid, as well as travel risk and crisis management services.
The travel assistance company supports a variety of companies—universities, tour operators, and non-profits.
Main travel assistance capabilities according to Global Rescue:
- Global rescue team that specializes in supporting and rescuing employees in need of assistance
- Destination reports and event alerts to provide guidance for those who need it when traveling to unfamiliar destinations
Global Rescue is a chosen provider for businesses that operate in high-risk and unpredictable locations. They're a good choice for travel protection—that’s their only offering, after all.
3. Travel Guard
Whether you're looking for help with canceled flights, medical and insurance concerns or need translation services—Travel Guard can help. Its global reach is what makes it a favorite for businesses and organizations who need travel support and top-class services.
The travel assistance solution not only helps when it comes to medical care or emergency evacuation, but it also assists employees on a smaller scale—such as with translation services. Traveling to a multilingual country can be just as daunting as canceled travel—Travel Guard helps with both.
Main travel assistance capabilities according to Travel Guard:
- Translation services available in other 40 different languages
- Wide range of insurance coverage and plans to suit your needs
The company not only excels in providing first-class travel support, but it also offers travel insurance policies through the well-known insurance company, AIG. This way, you and your employees are covered in the unfortunate event that things do go wrong.
4. Allianz Travel Insurance
Allianz Travel Insurance is one of the leading global insurance providers—whether that’s travel insurance or health insurance. The reality of travel is that sometimes plans can go south—travel insurance is a must.
Allianz’s travel assistance solutions are offered as part of your insurance, and can help if things go wrong.
Main travel assistance capabilities according to Allianz Travel Insurance:
- 24/7 award-winning assistance worldwide
- A network of prescreened medical facilities to help ensure you find the right medical providers for your needs
Allianz offers the solutions that many businesses need when organizing corporate travel. Not everything always goes to plan, so it’s good to have an insurance provider that has your back.
5. Generali Travel Insurance
Generali Travel Insurance provides a travel insurance plan that’s designed to cover any unexpected travel hiccups. There are a number of plans available for travel insurance—each with its own coverage policies to ensure your travel is insured.
It's a long-standing travel insurance company that you can trust to help with any of your travel assistance needs.
Main travel capabilities according to Generali Travel Insurance:
- Receive ID Theft Resolution and Concierge Services for all travel
- Three separate insurance plans to cater to affordability and provide ample coverage for your needs
This travel insurance company only offers solutions to the US market and US residents—but they provide worldwide coverage for customers.
6. AMEX Global Business Travel
AMEX Global Business Travel is a good solution for those needing assistance when traveling for business—whether that’s stolen credit cards or emergency health care.
The globally-recognized solution is helpful for providing support for any travel disruptions or problems you may encounter.
Main travel assistance capabilities according to AMEX GBT:
- 24/7/365 customer support services to handle issues whenever they occur
- Personal travel assistants to help provide a unique and tailored experience to every client who books business travel
By using the services of Amex Global Business Travel, you'll get access to a range of benefits for being a customer of the brand as a whole.
It offers airline credit reporting to see what unused tickets have resulted in reimbursement and expense guidance to help save money. Risk management solutions are also provided to ensure your employees stay safe at all times.
However, Amex GBT falls short in the tech it uses, not as easy and comprehensive as users would like. Its customer support is also lacking, and the inventory options are limited and more expensive compared to TravelPerk, for example.
Click below for a more detailed comparison between Amex GBT and TravelPerk:
Improve your travel experiences with travel assistance companies
There are many benefits to using travel assistance companies, especially nowadays where there can often be a lot of uncertainty surrounding travel.
Disruptions to travel can occur at any given time—being well-prepared determines how these issues affect your company and employees. It's important to have a company that you can rely on to help with your travel arrangements for 2023 and beyond.TravelPerk’s traveler support is unmatched, and the wide variety of features helps ensure your traveling employees are safe and informed no matter what. Try TravelPerk today to start efficiently managing your corporate travel process from start to finish.
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