Sato Travel

nearly 50 years, SatoTravel has provided travel services for the United States military under routine peacetime conditions, at times of war and during national and international emergencies. However, the shocking and tragic events of September 11, 2001, with their immediate aftermath (including the first-ever complete closure of US airspace), and long-term affects on the travel industry have tested our associates and company as never before.

With the first reports of an airline disaster, we identify the specific airline flight involved and query our database to determine if we have issued tickets for passengers on the flight-all the while hoping the search will turn up no matches. Unfortunately, this was not the case on 9/11; we confirmed that we had issued tickets for several customers on the American and United flights. Our senior executive team immediately notified the appropriate customer contacts.

In the meantime, SatoTravel offices worldwide worked with local transportation officials to identify and locate stranded travelers. Many domestic travelers opted to reserve rental cars, rather than waiting for airports to reopen. These travelers wanted to offer assistance to other stranded travelers, but had no way of communicating their driving plans. SatoTravel associates were able to connect stranded travelers with drivers -- offering them an alternative to waiting an indefinite time for the next flight home.

Before 9/11, our customers' emergency response plans assumed that commercial airline service would be available and that SatoTravel personnel would have access to their offices. The grounding of commercial air service and the restricted access to our military on-site centers brought challenges unforeseen by our customers. Constant communication between SatoTravel and transportation officials was critical to quickly adapting our emergency response to the new reality. Many SatoTravel associates went to extraordinary means to get to work, facing massive traffic delays and long lines to pass through base security. In some instances, intervention by military transportation



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