Following recent global events like last week’s terrorist attack in Nice, France, or the failed coup attempt in Turkey, there is a heightened sense of awareness among travelers.
You might be wondering, is it still safe to travel to France? What about other popular travel destinations in Europe?
For those traveling to France, the country’s state of emergency declared after last November’s terrorists attacks in Paris remains in place and has been extended an additional six months until January 2017. This means additional security personnel will remain deployed around the nation to maintain public security. All transportation hubs are operating normally at this time. You may see increased security at airports, train stations and other public places.
iJET, FCM’s travel risk management partner has issued a statement regarding travel to France and other countries in the region, stating that people traveling to the region should expect: “increased vigilance and potential security-related disturbances”.
iJET offers the following advice to travelers: “Expect increased scrutiny and more thorough bag searches at transport hubs, on buses and trains, and near other potential targets. Allow additional time to clear security at airports. Remain calm and non-confrontational; comply with authorities' instructions.”
It is perfectly normal to have doubts about travel, reconsider your trip or make changes to your itinerary. Over the years, airlines have become increasingly more flexible with allowing changes and cancellations. Following international crises, like recent terror attacks or the outbreak of the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean, many airlines waived re-booking fees and offered free refunds for travelers with planned flights to the affected regions. For business travel, your FCM travel consultants are always available to help work with the airlines in making requested changes.
Travel insurance is necessary when finding yourself uncertain about travel plans or your destination. Business travelers often have policies through their company – so again check with your travel consultants or travel policy. Many companies, like FCM’s preferred travel insurance partner Allianz, allow travelers to cancel their trip if there is a terrorist incident at their destination within 30 days of their arrival.
However, if you do keep your travel plans or are planning to travel soon, what steps can you take to stay well-informed? We have highlighted below key resources to both prepare you before you travel and support you throughout your journey:
1. Check for U.S. airport updates and ensure that all is running smoothly at your points of departure and arrival (if flying domestically) by looking up security wait times and airport updates by visiting the TSA’s wait time website.
2. If traveling internationally, review the U.S. Department of State’s list of travel warnings and alerts to see if your destination is affected or travel may be disrupted.
3. For international travel, register for the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler enrollment program, which allows the government to track and notify Americans abroad.
4. Review the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel notices for Americans visiting regions with potential health risks.
5. For our FCM clients, visit your company’s travel portal for helpful travel tips, like resources mentioned above, 24/7 emergency contact details and learn more about FCM Secure, our travel risk management program created to support you during all stages of travel.
6. FCM’s clients traveling for business can also download our new travel app, Sam, for easy access to important notifications related to your trip like gate changes and flight delays.
FCM supports our clients and their employees during all stages of travel and is proactive in identifying travelers that may be affected by all types of emergencies. Our objective is to help you ensure your people are as safe and secure as possible, every time they travel.