Stranded – When Disaster Strikes

The recent collapse of the Thomas Cook Group is a tragedy felt widely across the travel industry. It has hit over 150,000 UK holidaymakers and has resulted in families, business travellers and Thomas Cook crew alike, being stranded across the globe.

Collapsing on Monday 23rd September 2019, this global travel catastrophe comes after talks failed to produce a fundraising lifeline for the struggling company.

How We Helped

Whilst Access operates in the business travel sector with a bespoke focus within the TV, film and media industry, we endeavour to help our community wherever we can.

Access provisioned a dedicated team for those affected, in order for them to receive immediate assistance. Within the 48 hours following the news, Access assisted our clients stuck around the globe and arranged alternative travel arrangements for them. We also arranged the relevant reimbursements for clients with upcoming arrangements and made new plans for them.

We also provided real-time updates and reporting to travel managers and procurement teams, ensuring complete transparency of the end to end process.

Crisis Management

Having a proven track record with comparable travel catastrophes such as the 2016 Brussels bombings, the 2017 eruption of Mount Agung – Bali and the 2010 ash eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull – Iceland, our dedicated 24-hour team are ready to respond and help within seconds.

Duty of care and continuity of service (no matter what happens), is at the heart of the team at Access. That’s why when we’re alerted to an emergency, travellers worldwide are immediately tracked, and travel managers are provided with real-time updates

During the Brussels Bombings of March 2016, Access was responsible for the execution of a travel crisis management plan and immediately deployed a team who were dedicated to sourcing accommodation and travel for clients requiring deployment to Brussels to cover the story. Access went from having no guests booked within Brussels, to having 134 rooms by the end of the day. Access is adept at handling bookings for clients who make multiple amendments and changes at a moments notice, including bookings out of “usual working hours”.



During the 2017 eruption of Mount Agung – Bali, Access immediately responded again by executing a crisis management plan. This included identifying and contacting affected travellers, providing detailed traveller tracking to organisations and ensuring increased staffing levels. Not only did Access need to help travellers leave the island, but we also needed to aid news crews wanting to get onto the island.  Due to the productions that we had in the area, our team experienced a 50% increase in call volumes between 1am and 3am on the 26th November. The level of support and service provided to clients was unparalleled, with competitors unable to provide the breadth of service we provided.


With a team size of over 200, 25+ languages spoken in-house, 24-7 opening hours and regional offices across the globe, Access is ready to help no matter what the disaster is.

So whether you need help getting home, or getting to the centre of the action, get in touch now on 01543 272 575 or drop us an email for more information at