When news of the November 2015 Paris attacks reached New Zealand it was Saturday morning and outside of standard business hours for most at home. However a number of academic staff working for one of New Zealand's major educational institutions were in Paris at the time and were potentially at risk.
As part of APX's Traveller Security service, the APX team swung into action to ensure that all travellers were located and communicated with. APX Head of Product & Innovation Andrew Barnard immediately ran comprehensive reports identifying all travellers in Paris at that time, and sent messages to travellers' mobile phones containing a summary of the situation and contact details for APX should they require support.
APX Partnership Managers then called the key contact people for each client with travellers in Paris. Bennett Jordan and Aaron Fern worked quickly to get in touch with key contacts at the organisation with the group of academic travellers. At first they were unable to get through to their usual contacts, so they tracked down the organisation's Risk Manager and liaised directly with her.
Updates were provided by APX frequently throughout the weekend to ensure the affected clients were kept informed every step of the way, until all travellers had been successfully communicated with and their safety confirmed.
Most importantly, all APX travellers in Paris at the time were promptly communicated with and were safe. The group of academic travellers all chose to stay on in Paris, but knew they had access to travel support if it was needed.
The Procurement and Risk Management staff at the educational institution were very impressed with the level of professionalism and service provided outside of business hours by APX.
Following this situation in Paris, APX and the client conducted a review of how the emergency was handled, and formalised a response hierarchy for travel emergencies complete with personal contact details for all key staff members.