The main responsibility of this position is to ensure the smooth arrivals/departures of the area team’s participants. This entails recruiting and scheduling airport volunteers, tracking international and domestic flights as booked by AFS partners and managing the days of arrivals and departures. The Travel Rep works closely with the Departure and the Arrival Orientation Coordinators to convey logistics information to host families for pick-ups and drop offs. Depending upon how many students an area team may host, the Travel Rep may also serve as a Departure and/or Arrival Orientation Coordinator.
- Work with area team volunteers and host families to determine which volunteers on team will be available to meet students during Arrival days
- Utilize Arrival Travel reports in GL to track newly confirmed international arrival travel.
- Create Arrival meet/greet schedule to share with Travel and Logistics Team.
- Relay pick up/meet greet schedule to Arrival Orientation coordinator via Google Doc, or other shared doc for easy updating/editing.
- If the area team is doing host family pick up, work with Arrival Orientation Coordinator to ensure that all required information on pick up checklist is available and shared with host family/student.
- A volunteer must be present at the airport to facilitate the meeting of student/host family.
- You may need additional meet/greet volunteers to support multiple flight arrivals at the same time.
- Utilize the Departure Day report in Global Link to a create master list of your departing students.
- Update departure list with Program Releases (PRs) and Early Releases (ERs) as necessary. Liaise with Departure and Support Coordinators to update this information as confirmed.
- Work with Departure Coordinator to define drop off logistics for host families and to create drop off and airport schedules.
- Work with the Departure Coordinator to deliver a Departure Logistics Webinar 10-14 days before departure.
- Check flight schedules against airline websites to ensure there are no last-minute schedule changes or cancellations.
- Be available weekend prior to departures to answer any travel related questions from host families or AT vols.
- Run departure travel reports for your team(s)
- Ensure all students have a copy of their e-ticket (process TBD).
- Ensure that students arrive at the airport 4 hours before departure to allow for checking of COVID tests results and other forms required by their countries
- Remain at airport (or find coverage) until all departing flights have taken off.
- Depending upon flight schedules, provide transit support for other groups who may be flying via your gateway en route home.
- Set up WhatsApp group to include all students. Keep in touch with all students as they depart from the local airport but also as they connect in a transit cities within the US.
- Communicate any changes, delays and/or cancellations to AFS day-of-travel contact (provided the week before departures).
Skills/attributes/experiences helpful to volunteers in this role
- Prior experience as Hosting, Orientation or Support Volunteer
- Well organized and detail oriented
- Comfortable with computer-based work and electronic communications such as tracking information in a spreadsheet, sending emails, and texting
- Effective communicator; verbally and in writing
- Able to navigate changing circumstances with patience and good humor
- Experience at the airport and with airlines to successfully manage check-ins, delays and cancellations.
Skills/attributes/experiences volunteers may gain through this role:
- Fun, heart-warming times with AFS Volunteers, participants, host families and staff
- Event planning skills
- “Behind the scenes” knowledge of exchange program management and logistics
- Satisfaction from a job well done
- DoS (Dept. of State) Certification Training (annually)
- HSA (Hosting & Support Affiliation) Training (annually)
- Participation in national or regional conferences or training event (in person or virtual)
- Attend the AFS Travel Rep Training