While we always recommend that clients’ travel plans include provisions for foreseeable challenges, when trouble hits in the form of a natural disaster or a sudden change in the social climate, our emphasis turns to evacuation.
Speed is of the essence for evacuations, and it is imperative to get an agent in place as soon as possible. Sometimes this takes hours or days. In this case, we made contact in minutes.
The challenge: Get out of Abuja before protests had shut down the city
A group of American businessmen about to complete a business trip in Abuja, Nigeria, contacted us for help to get home.
Recent events had radically changed the country’s security profile. Civil unrest was igniting all over town and threatened to shut down sections of the capitol.
With the potential for the crisis to spiral further out of control, the client needed help fast to get to a secure location and return home.
The solution: Surprise and relief – rely on a team close by
When our operations director received the call and confirmed the location, he knew this would be a quick turnaround even by our standards. We had a small team of agents that had recently finished a detail in Nigeria. Not only were they in the same city as the business travelers, they were staying at the same hotel.
We contacted our lead agent and filled him in on what was happening. He and his team made it to the client’s room just as the client was finishing his initial phone call with us.
The results: Immediate evacuation
This client was fortunate that we had a team that was already fully briefed on the situation unfolding in Abuja. Our team knew that they had a small window of opportunity to make it to the airport, and that if they waited too long, they risked blockades of their routes to the airport by protesters. Within the hour, the client and our team were on the road to the airport in secured vehicles.