Issue Management Guide for Business Travel Managers

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If you’re the company’s procurement manager or a human resources specialist responsible for managing and overseeing the business travel of the company’s employees and you’re worried about emergencies that could arise during their trips, you can breathe a sigh of relief. This article discusses the top 8 business travel emergencies that could arise during business trips and how you plan to handle them.

As you know Crisis or Issue management plays a vital role in Business Travel Management.

Whether it’s a missed flight, lost luggage, or a medical emergency, it’s important to have a plan in place to handle these situations quickly and efficiently. By being prepared and having the right resources available, you and your company can ensure the safety and well-being of its employees while they are away on business.

1. Flight cancellations or delays

In the event of a technical emergency, flight cancellations or delays may become commonplace. The business trip, meeting, or event probably couldn’t wait at that point. It is your responsibility as a travel manager to verify whether or not your company has any preferential booking arrangements with airlines or you can hire some third party who can ensure this for you. Also, check to see if your travel insurance will cover any other costs.

Here are the measures to take care of the situation:

  • Rebook the employee on the next available flight.
  • Ensure that they have accommodations and transportation in the meantime.
  • Communicate with the employee and relevant parties involved in the meetings or events they were scheduled to attend. 

2. Lost or stolen travel documents

It is possible that an employee’s passport or other vital travel documents could be lost, stolen, or misplaced. If that’s the case, make sure all employees know before they leave on business trips, or else make sure they have backup copies of their identification.

When you get informed about the lost or stolen document, you can check if travel insurance covers emergency document replacement.

The following are the measures to take if an employee’s travel documents are lost, stolen, or misplaced:

  • Advise the employee to report the loss to the local police.
  • Assist them in contacting their embassy or consulate to report the loss and get replacement documents.
  • Help with additional accommodation or transport if needed.

3. Medical Emergencies

Because of the complexity of the human immune system, medical emergencies can arise at any time, whether because of a preexisting condition or the employee’s frequent travel. If the employee does not already have international coverage on their insurance policy, the company should provide it in case of abroad business travel.

In the event of a medical emergency during business travel, you can take the following measures:

  • Instruct the employee to seek medical help immediately, as soon as you get the information.
  • Help them find the nearest medical facility.
  • Ensure that they have their insurance information available.

4. Security issues and civil unrest

It is your responsibility to brief employees on safety procedures and collect emergency contacts before sending them on a business trip to a region with a history of political uprisings or campaigns that could make their trip there dangerous.

In case any security issues or threats occur to the employees, you can follow the following steps:

  • Advise the employee to stay in a safe place.
  • Help them contact the local embassy if necessary.
  • Arrange for their early return if the situation is not improving.

5. Lost Luggage

Many travelers have experienced or heard of someone else experiencing lost luggage. However, there are key distinctions between business trips and vacations. It’s possible that the misplaced bag contains crucial paperwork, additional items, or technological aids that are essential for completing a business trip.

In such cases, check the company’s policy regarding compensation for essential items. Make sure the employee knows the contents of their luggage for reporting purposes.

The steps to manage such emergencies are as follows:

  • advise the employee to file a report with the airline.
  • Help them arrange any essentials they may need in the meantime.

6. Accommodation Issues (Overbooking and Unavailability)

All business trips need comfortable lodging. As a result, your company may have a list of approved hotels and motels and an agreement in place for last-minute reservations.

Follow these steps to ensure a smooth accommodation process and address any issues that may arise:

  • Help the employee find alternative accommodations.
  • Negotiate with the hotel for compensation or upgrades if it was their mistake.
  • Update the travel itinerary accordingly.

7. Transportation strikes or disruptions

It’s possible that during business trips, your employees may encounter a civil situation. Strikes in the transportation sector, protests, and other forms of public disorder can all lead to this kind of situation. Knowing the local transportation options would be helpful in this situation, and having connections to local car rental agencies would be especially useful.

Following are the steps to deal with such issues on a business trip:

  • Provide the employee with alternative transportation options.
  • Rebook train or bus tickets or arrange for a rental car or taxi if necessary.

8. Natural Disasters

Even though natural disasters and catastrophes are horrible events, staying composed and acting quickly can be beneficial and even lifesaving. Keeping an eye on the weather and disaster reports for the areas where employees will be traveling is essential in such a scenario. Ensure that your employees has easy access to local emergency contact information.

Following are the steps that might be useful to tackle such a situation and provide swift responses that might help save lives:

  • Contact the employee and ensure they are safe.
  • Advise them to follow the local authorities’ instructions.
  • Arrange for an early return or relocation to a safe place if needed.


Remember, communication is key. Always maintain open lines of communication with the employee and provide them with essential support throughout the resolution of the emergency. Additionally, having a well-structured and comprehensive travel policy within the company can facilitate a more efficient response to business travel emergencies.

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