Firms will monitor, not ban, 1/1/00 travel

Less than half of corporate travel managers plan to discourage international travel between late December and early January, when Y2K glitches could disrupt plans or leave travellers stranded. But executives plan to closely track the whereabouts of travelling employees during that time, according to a study by the Business Travel Coalition (BTC).

Some 72 per cent of respondents said they intend to track travellers' whereabouts by monitoring their travel paths and keeping track of problems in the regions where they're located.

"If a company is not going to ban travel, the reasonable backup is, 'Let's at least know where everyone is'," said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the BTC, a corporate travel association in LaFayette, Pennsylvania, which surveyed the 50 members of its Y2K Working Group. Members include DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Procter & Gamble and Black & Decker.

Some companies plan to let their travel management companies monitor employees, while others will require all senior executives to give corporate security departments their personal and business schedules when travelling abroad.

One-third said they have external resources for evacuating employees from a country experiencing Y2K-related medical or safety problems.

Nearly half of the travel managers plan to have a round-the-clock help desk available to assist travellers with alternative transportation or accommodations.

These plans may change, however. Some 96 per cent of respondents said corporate Y2K travel policies aren't finalised. Most travel managers said they'll revise plans as needed and customise their policies for individual countries.

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