Just a month before Blake was due to travel to her close friend’s wedding in the state of Morelos, Mexico, about an hour south of Mexico City, the US Department of State raised the region’s travel advisory to Level 3: “Reconsider Travel.”
“It made me really nervous, really anxious,” explained Blake, a lawyer from North Carolina. “It was just going to be my sister and I traveling through an unfamiliar part of Mexico. Obviously we were so excited for the wedding, and we had heard that the location was beautiful — in the mountains just outside the capital. But I have to admit, I was having second thoughts when the State Department raised the threat level.”
“Having the GuardianAngel App really brought a sense of ease”
The prospect of missing her friend’s wedding was not an option, but Blake couldn’t help thinking about all of the ‘what if’ scenarios that could take place on her weekend in the mountains of Mexico. What if their car broke down and they couldn’t get help? What if her taxi took them hostage and drove them far away from their destination? “As a lawyer, I am trained to think about worst-case scenarios and how to minimize risk,” says Blake. “I couldn’t stop my mind from going there.”
In order to plan for unexpected events and to give Blake some comfort during her travels, she downloaded the GuardianAngel App on her smartphone. About a week before Blake’s trip, she sent her travel itinerary, including flight information, in-country travel arrangements, and lodging details to TigerSwan’s Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) for a pre-travel assessment and ongoing monitoring throughout her trip. The GuardianAngel App on her smartphone enabled the GSOC to persistently monitor Blake’s movement at every step of her journey and ensure that she was meeting the checkpoints defined by her itinerary — from the airport in North Carolina to the resort in Morelos.
Blake shared that “having the GuardianAngel App really brought me a sense of peace.” For example, prior to leaving our hotel in Morelos to travel to the airport, she received an alert from GuardianAngel on her smartphone saying that there were some anti-poverty demonstrations taking place in Mexico City. Blake appreciated being armed with knowledge so that she could plan accordingly and avoid unnecessary anxiety regarding the cause of the demonstrations when she arrived in Mexico City. An unexpected and large crowd gathered for unknown reasons in a foreign country would have been unnerving to an anxious traveler, such as Blake, but the knowledge took away any associated fear.
GuardianAngel: Built-in emergency preparedness, experienced Analysts
A Security Analyst in the GSOC responsible for monitoring Blake’s Mexico travel. As a former Navy sailor who worked at the Office of Naval Intelligence, the watch officer’s experience with emergency response and assistance in the military made for an easy transition to supporting the mission of GuardianAngel: “Ensuring that people are safe is the same whether you are monitoring an ongoing Naval mission or someone’s weekend trip to Mexico: you want to ensure that those involved get home safe and sound, every time. Period.”
When the GSOC gathers an itinerary and loads it into the GuardianAngel Platform, the system automatically aggregates the threat levels for the region of travel. The watch officer explains that “everything from local infrastructure and political climate to the security environment and meteorological forecast is captured and reported on by the GSOC. We aggregate all information pertinent to one’s itinerary to create the most complete picture of risk possible.”
Rather than simply providing a pre-travel assessment, analysts in the GSOC are on-call 24/7 to communicate with travelers and assist them anywhere the world. “Being able to communicate with the professionals in the GSOC also made me feel very secure,” remembers Blake. “At one point, during our drive from the airport in Mexico City to the resort up in the mountains of Morelos, we made a turn onto a more rural looking road and it just didn’t feel right. I pulled out my phone and sent a message to GuardianAngel asking if I was still going the right way. I got a near-instant response saying that we were still on the right track as pre-determined by the GSOC when I provided them my itinerary.”
“That’s when I really started to feel a great sense of security…that I would have someone looking out for me at every step of my journey, and that I could reach out to them and ask for reassurance or assistance whenever I need it. Or, even in an emergency, it gave me great peace of mind knowing that I could hit the SOS button and someone would be able to respond to me or even come and get me if I was trapped somewhere.”