For the millions of seafarers and offshore workers globally, the last few months have been a torrid time. Although classed as key workers, country lock downs and a lack of actual airline services running has meant that even the most well-planned itinerary is at risk. We know that deadlines can be tight and essential in safely leave their vessel or get to their rig in the least amount of travel time possible. These travellers rely on their trusted Crew and Personnel Managers to meticulously plan each crew rotation who have the tricky job of moving many people at any one time in normal circumstances, but now it’s more challenging than ever.
SME and specialist organisations need the same level of support as their larger counterparts but can be lost in a general TMC. The services of a specialist Marine Travel Management Company who serve and support these sectors cannot be underestimated! Here we list why it pays to use a specialist:
#1 Geographical Knowledge
For example, a typical request can involve organising flights for crew travelling from various airports across Europe and Asia to arrive in Sakhalin, Russia. The entire crew must be there waiting (with some requiring an overnight hotel) to travel by bus to the port where a helicopter transfer takes them to the installation. Missing this connection would mean a boat transfer which takes 24 hours and therefore not an option!
Marine travel consultants really understand the importance of time-critical connections and their geographical knowledge and skills allows them to come up with feasible options by re-routing via other destinations. Using their knowledge and ability on how to split tickets on different airlines to obtain the best option.
Traveling on non-conventional routes can be limited but also in demand. A specialist business travel agent will work with their clients by assisting with forward planning of crew rotations to secure seats in advance wherever possible. If a routing is full, having the ability to waitlist seats whilst holding an alternative can be invaluable to getting a crew member in place, on time!
Let’s also not forget frequent changes to plans. It is a regular occurrence to receive a call at 2.00am on a Saturday morning to be informed that a ship is now docking in another port and all the crew’s flight plans must be changed immediately.
Supporting the Marine and Energy sectors is much more than organising flights. Here at Good Travel Management, a division of the John Good Group, this is what we do as with our expert port agency teams are regularly required to organise meet and greet services at ports liaising with port agents and directly with vessels to confirm travel requests.
For hotel accommodation and car hire bookings, travel management companies will usually arrange prepayment or billbacks of costs as crew members do not generally have their own corporate credit cards.
Accurate information for each traveller must also be communicated to the airlines when travelling on Marine and Offshore fares such as vessel name and registration country, any missing information can lead to crew having unwelcome issues at the airport check-in desk.
#4 Duty of Care
Crew members do not have the same business travel preferences as their Corporate travel counterparts, as getting from A to B is the primary driver for Ship / Rig operators. Nevertheless, it is imperative that all aspects of duty of care for crew are considered and particularly now the airline and airport hygiene standards and policies.
From pre-trip planning, travel policy content to traveller tracking, it is essential the specialist corporate travel agency understands and works closely with each client to understand their objectives and goals. Without a doubt having a robust 24/7/365 operation is essential to help clients ensure their personnel can travel the globe efficiently.
For more information on how Good Travel Management can assist your business, download our FREE Marine and Energy Travel Toolkit or contact us:
T: 0330 004 0520