television news for a few days, when it could have been your face on the evening news. You have to set aside your ego – at least temporarily.

T is goes beyond the above-mentioned items. It supposes that all parties maintain an open, professional and constructive manner of communication. Not just during a LSI when it happens, but on a regular basis, a few times a year. T e key ops managers must know each other and the lines of communication must be short. When your company is ‘not on duty’ when a LSI happens, you need to accept that your competitor who is, will dominate the headlines and the national radio and

the whole country is watching over your shoulder and you’ve only got one chance to do it right

(6) Also a no brainer: as always, but especially during LSIs, the assistance that is provided should be in time, adequate, humane and logical, and sometimes better than insurance policies formally cover. After all, the whole country is watching over your shoulder and you’ve only got one chance to do it right. Taking the above-mentioned prerequisites into account, it would be my guess that there aren’t many countries, besides Holland, where this could work. Perhaps in one or two Scandinavian countries, Belgium, Spain, maybe Canada. Many countries would be looking at their governments to come to the rescue – send in the Air Force – and sit back and see what happens. T at is not the choice the Dutch assistance companies have made. T ey want to be in charge of what

they consider their daily business and they do an excellent job of it. ■


Eric Grootmeijer has been involved in the international assistance industry for over 41 years in various positions with ANWB – T e Royal Dutch Touring Club – and ARC Europe in Brussels, Holland and Austria. He has led onsite evacuations after large-scale incidents, hundreds of so called ‘plaster cast fl ights’ from Innsbruck for unfortunate Dutch skiers, and was successful in fi ghting fraud from certain hospitals in Spain who evaded the EHIC programme unlawfully. Now retired, he remains involved in the industry and runs his one-man consultancy fi rm 3A: Assistance-Advice-Agency.

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