Tuesday 12 October 2010

The French air strike may as well be another ash cloud to today’s business traveller

I’ve just read on Travel Mole (http://www.travelmole.com/stories/1144591.php) that Ryanair has been forced to cancel 250 flights today and British Airways passengers are being warned to expect delays and disruptions due to the air traffic control strike in France. Flybe has also cancelled a handful of services to Paris and half the flights to and from Paris Orly airport and one in three at Charles de Gaulle will no longer take to the air.

This strike is the fourth in just a month by French workers and has lead to Ryanair calling on the EU Commission to remove the 'right to strike' from air traffic controllers. But whether you support the strikers or not, and whether you think everyone deserves the right to strike or not, my thought for that day is please spare a thought for the people who are – now, anyway – left on the ground: the business travellers.

Whether it’s an ash cloud, a strike or a terrorist threat, it’s always the travellers who get caught in the middle and end up being the most inconvenienced. But the real question is how – or even can – this inconvenience be avoided or at the very least minimised? And the answer is, yes. One of the big lessons we learned following the ash cloud was companies with travel policies or with travel management companies were best able to track, manage and help their travellers to reach their final destination. 
David Chapple, event director