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Getting Stuck in the Airport

by Lux Joseph 29. June 2014

Travel these days can be fraught with inconveniences, lost baggage and delayed flights among the most familiar of travel woes. But, if you are going to be spending a few “unexpected” hours at an airport, where is it best to be? A recent survey of ASTA travel agents found that domestically, the best airports to be “stuck in” are Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Orlando International Airport. Both airports received an 8-percent share of the responses.

As the "world’s busiest passenger airport," Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson offers travelers more than 200 shopping and dining outlets and a 24,000-square foot executive conference center. Orlando, meanwhile, provides travelers numerous shopping and dining outlets, even an upscale eatery for those with money to burn as well as time to kill.

With an abundance of technological services, including numerous self-service business centers and rapid-charge stations, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport came in third with 6.3 percent of the vote. Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport, with its art gallery, aviation museum and gaming opportunities ranked fourth with 6 percent.

Tied for fifth place (5.4%) were Charlotte Douglas International Airport, with its free WiFi and memorable white rocking chairs in which to while away the hours, and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, which is home to a 4-story tall model of a Brachiosaurus. Need we say more?

Best Domestic Airports to be "Stuck In" 

  

  

Share of total response 

1

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

8.4%

2

Orlando International Airport

8.4%

3

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

6.3%

4

McCarran International (Las Vegas)

6.0%

5

Charlotte Douglas International Airport

5.4%

5

O’Hare International Airport (Chicago)

5.4%

Most of our nurses and physicians when flying connect through Atlanta, Charlotte, and Chicago. When traveling with patients it is important that we provide a significant amount of connection time. A traveler who is traveling on their own may chance the 50 minute legal connection, but during a commercial medical escort, it is important to allow adequate connection time for wheelchairs, customs, and possible terminal changes.

Best International Airports

On the international front, Amsterdam’s Schiphol received the largest number of responses with 23.6 percent. How could it not with a wedding chapel, an array of "snooze" chairs and a casino? Even the restrooms are fun with scenery to make you feel that you are in the heart of Amsterdam.

London’s BAA Heathrow Airport (21.7%), is a shopper’s dream with personal shopping services as well as the shopping collection service (available only to those traveling within the European Union). Tied for third were Frankfort and Singapore’s airports (6.7%). Travelers who find themselves delayed at Singapore’s Changi Airport can take in a movie, play Xbox or, if the mood strikes, head for the nap lounge, while those at Frankfort Airport with a bit more time on their hands can take advantage of the on-site hairdresser, tailor or dry cleaners.

Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport offers those with an unplanned delay a chance to track down and meet Merhan Karimi Nasseri, the man upon which the movie, The Terminal, was based. Meanwhile, business travelers who find themselves with a lay-over at Hong Kong International Airport (4.5%) can take advantage or airport-wide, free WiFi service.

Best International Airports to be "Stuck In"

 

 

Share of
total response

1

Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam)

23.6%

2

BAA Heathrow (London)

21.7%

3

Frankfurt Airport (Germany)

6.7%

3

Changi Airport (Singapore)

6.7%

4

Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris)

4.8%

5

Hong Kong International Airport

4.5%

When making travel arrangements, sometimes it’s better to have too much time during a connection than not enough. With the increased number of amenities being added to these airports you will always find something to occupy your time. It’s every traveller’s worst nightmare: having to make a connecting flight, missing said connection and having to scramble to re-work travel plans. Keep this in mind when making your next travel arrangements.

Meet Penelope

by Lux Joseph 7. June 2014

Commercial Medical Escorts is fortunate to have one of best nurses based here locally in South Florida. This clinician comes to CME with a wide range of experience and knowledge about nursing and medical escorts. Our Director of Operations says, “Penni is one of kind. She is committed to providing compassionate, quality care with each and every patient she transports back home. The feedback we receive from patients and clients is always positive and uplifting.” Today you can learn more about Penelope.

 What is your most enjoyable part of this job?

The most enjoyable part of this job is being able to travel, meet a variety of clients and still be a nurse and take care of a client who needs my skills and experience.

 Where did you gain your experience and knowledge in the field of nursing? What area's of expertise do you have experience in?

I have been a nurse for 30 years. During those thirty years most of my time was in an Emergency room and Trauma Center. I am originally from Maryland and obtained my nursing license there. I have also done Recovery Room, Pediatrics, Orthopedics and Forensic Investigating for the State of Maryland. My husband and I moved to Florida in 1998.

 When you are not flying what do you do?

When I am not flying, I work full time at St. Mary's Hospital in the Trauma Resus Unit. And when I'm not there, I do love to go out and play golf with friends.

 What has been your most interesting transport? Why is that? 

My most interesting transport was bringing a client back from Rome. I was lucky in the fact that I had a few hours and got to see a few of the historic areas of Rome. My client and his companion were a great help in giving me directions to get around on the train system. On the flight back, I was able to assist another passenger on Air Italia. The flight crew had paged for any medical personnel for assistance. They knew I was there but they didn't want to bother me. I let them know that I was willing to help. As I watched "3 Doctors" take care of this passenger, I went and offered my assistance, as it was obvious to me that they were having some problems. They were most grateful that I came and gave them some help. The passenger did fine in the end. However, it turns out that the 3 Doctors were dentists en route to a convention in Ft. Lauderdale!! The moral being, find out what kind of Dr. is answering the call!

 What would you tell future clients of CME?

If you, as a future client, need additional help either with medical needs or companion needs, CME uses only well-qualified and experienced medical personnel. We love what we do!!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend: The Importance of Vacation

by Lux Joseph 23. May 2014

AAA is estimating that approximately 36.1 million Americans were travel more than 50 miles this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. According to their reports, this is up approximately 1.5% from last year. It is unique to see that eight in ten travelers will be driving as their preferred method of travel. At CME, we primarily transport patients via commercial airline, but we have also transported patients by rail, car, and boat. This upcoming weekend will also be a busy weekend for Commercial Medical Escorts. Typically there is a trend that follows the medical repatriation industry. As more individuals are traveling, there will be a higher number of potential medical escorts for our team to assist in. If you have the weekend off, it is a perfect opportunity to take a short vacation even if it is what some people describe as a “stay vacation” in which you stay where you are, but do things you normally wouldn’t be able to do.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans put in more working hours during an average year than workers in Britain, France, Sweden, and Germany. As a country, we also have less parental leave and the least number of paid holidays and vacation—in some sectors it's as low as 10 vacation days per year. Meanwhile, the average European enjoys at least four weeks of paid vacation per year.

America lags far behind Europe in time off the job. It’s no secret. Americans, almost as a rule, are overworked and under-vacationed. According to the Census Bureau, we're a nation of workaholics. Statistics show that 28 percent of workers 16 and older work more than 40 hours a week, and 8 percent work 60 or more hours a week. It is reported that Americans receive an average of 14 days off per year. Compare that with standards in these other wealthy industrialized nations, as reported by Expedia.com’s Vacation Deprivation Report.

  • British workers get a minimum of 24 days vacation time.
  • In Germany, the minimum is 27 days.
  • In Canada, the minimum is 19 days.
  • In France, workers get 39 days of vacation time, and the typical workweek is only 35 hours.

So if you do have the free time, take a vacation and enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend. The travel 2014 forecast from AAA is the second highest travel since 2000. People are traveling more and more as the economic factors become more favorable for families. During the economic recession most travel that was being done was by business and corporations like Commercial Medical Escorts, but as things are slowly improving travel is once again becoming a popular choice especially for vacations.

For the six years that the Vacation Deprivation survey has been conducted, the United States stands alone as the country with the worst vacationing habits. In 2006 workers in the United States left an extra day of vacation on the table—4 days in 2006 versus 3 days in 2005—despite an increase in average vacation days received—14 days in 2006 versus 12 days in 2005. (www.vacationdeprivation.com/)

The United States is one of the few wealthy countries in the world that does not have laws governing the minimum amount of time granted to workers each year. Even in Korea and Japan, countries noted for intense work schedules, workers are allowed to take twice as much vacation time as their American counterparts.

In almost all surveys, American workers complain of feeling overworked, stressed and anxious about their lives. Clearly, most Americans have a bad case of vacation deprivation and the problem is getting worse.

There are many historical, cultural, financial and technological reasons for this pattern. We could debate endlessly about how we got to this point and what the long-term implications are for individual workers and for our nation.

Without getting into that much detail, I simply want to point out that too much work without adequate down time causes high levels of stress, which, in turn, negatively impacts our quality of life.

Beyond quality of life issues, there are health implications to being overworked. Numerous medical studies show a disturbing correlation between overwork and stress-related diseases, even early mortality.

So if you have this weekend free, enjoy it. Knowing the importance of time off is the easy part. The hard part is acting on that knowledge. Some tips to maximize that vacation are:

  •  Mini-breaks, mini price. Talk to your travel agent about special 3- and 4-night offers being made by hotels in many major cities. Some tour operators offer airfare, hotel and theater packages for a long weekend in the city. Cruise lines, too, are offering short cruises to meet America’s new interest in short vacations. Your travel counselor can help you find the vacation that’s right for you and your budget.
  • Add-ons. Try adding on a day or two to a business trip to take in the sights. If possible, have your spouse or family join you. Your travel agent can help find you and your family the best deals, map out points of interest and take the hassle out of planning.
  • No phone, no TV. Consider visiting a “wireless” resort that features an electronics-free environment—no in-room phone, no TV, no Internet connection. Your travel agent can help you find the right resort for you, whether you want to leave all electronic gadgets behind or find a resort where you can still check in once a week from the business center.
  • Leave it behind. Leave your laptop, business cell phone and PDA at home. To lessen the temptation of checking in every hour or fretting over how the office is falling apart without you, put a game plan into place before you leave. Decide what tasks take priority in your absence, who will take care of these and other jobs while you’re away, and leave a set of instructions and client contact information.
  • Stick to a work schedule. For some, getting completely away from cell phones and laptops is impossible, or may even cause concerns about what will be waiting for them at the office upon return. For those people, I recommend scheduling a time of not more than an hour every day to check in with the office and take care of work issues. It’s up to you to establish your own boundaries, and taking a real break from work should not be viewed as a crime or paint you as a less-than-productive member of your company. In fact, coming back rested and refreshed can increase your productivity at the office and make you more receptive to new ideas and approaches to problem-solving.
  • Pay attention to your stress level. If you are feeling unusually fatigued, tense, or irritable or experiencing neck or lower back pain, it might be time to use a few of those vacation days to re-charge your battery. Listen to your body; it could be the best signal that you need a break.

From the entire team at Commercial Medical Escorts we wish you a safe and happy holiday. Enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend. If you are traveling remember to be safe! 


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