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International Travel 
There are several steps that can be taken when faced with a travel emergency in a foreign country, whether due to a strike, political unrest or a natural disaster. A combination of good preparation and keeping one's cool can help remedy the situation and ensure a safe and speedy return home.

Use your Designated Travel Agency

The shocking events of 9/11 reinforced how important it is for travelers to make ALL air, hotel and rental car reservations through the company's designated travel agency and online travel booking system. In this way, should an emergency occur overseas, the travel agency can locate travelers quickly, whether the booking was made online or by phone with a counselor.

As an added precaution, travelers should leave a copy of their itinerary with their travel arranger and/or a business associate. Details should include all air, hotel and rental car information, and, if possible, a contact at the arrival destination.

Emergency Assistance Options

The American Express After-Hours Emergency Service provides toll-free assistance after regular business hours for phone reservations. For online bookings, our Miami E-Fulfillment Center provides toll-free, 24-hour travel assistance. Both services are staffed by specially-trained counselors who have immediate access to the traveler's itinerary and can book alternative arrangements. Emergency Service phone numbers are listed on the traveler's itinerary.

Keeping in Touch

When a crisis happens overseas, it's important to let work and family know your situation. Unfortunately, most U.S. cell phones don't work in foreign countries due to the different communications frequencies used. However, there are alternatives:
  • International calling cards: Purchased in pre-paid amounts overseas or pre-trip in the U.S., these can be used at most public pay phones.
  • International cell phones: Use the universal standard GSM cell phone frequency and work in most countries worldwide.
  • Laptop and handheld e-mail capabilities: A fast way to communicate home; however, Internet access may not be available in remote areas.
  • Internet cafes: Found mostly in urban locations, these are a good alternative for travelers without a laptop or handheld device.
Be prepared with more than one alternative as not all options are available and/or usage may be limited in remote locations.