LOS ANGELES, USA – What started as a humanitarian gesture has evolved into a promising business venture for Shelly-Ann Cawley, a Jamaican who lives in Los Angeles. A 20-year veteran of the airline and leisure industries, she operates Travelers Care which provides comprehensive assistance to the flight-challenged.
Cawley launched the company in January last year. She operates from headquarters in Long Beach and oversees contractors in Florida, New York and Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, her hometown.
“Though it wasn’t a paid service or had a name, for over 10 years I would help friends and family all the time. I travelled to Jamaica to go get my aunt as she was nervous about flying alone and taking (friends) kids to Jamaica,” she reflected.
Cawley called on her years of working as a flight attendant and aviation safety specialist to build her clientele. To date, many persons who utilize the company’s services either have a fear of flying, are physically-challenged or suffer from Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The fledgeling enterprise enters a market dominated by airlines who compete not only for ticket sales, but niche slots like catering for the elderly and unaccompanied minors.
That’s where Cawley’s experience working in different capacities with Air Jamaica comes in.
“I have seen, assisted with as well as been involved in situations where I’ve had to go in search of finding an unaccompanied minor who walked off the airplane without my flight attendant’s knowledge, (or) issued progressive guidance and coaching to my flight attendants for losing someone’s child,” she explained. “Took wheelchair customer to the restroom who sat waiting for a very long time, because the wheelchair attendant was nowhere to be found and I’ve also coordinated the safe travel of a customer travelling alone from JFK, New York to Montego Bay, who exhibited signs of early Alzheimer’s.”
While seniors account for a significant chunk of accompanied airline passengers, a number of well-documented aviation disasters in the last 10 years has added to the fear of flying or Aerophobia.
Taking that into consideration, Shelly-Ann Cawley believes there is a place for companies like Travelers Care whose more intimate approach suits passengers.
“The primary focus of Travelers Care is to keep families safe when using air travel. We accomplish this by providing a professional travel companion to fly with you or your loved ones, alleviating the potential nightmares and mitigates the risk of traveling alone. Ultimately providing safety, comfort and peace of mind for families,” she said