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Amazon vs. Expedia

by Lux Joseph 7. December 2014

When it comes to booking a hotel for your upcoming trip there are many resources out there. Some people utilize their travel agent as they typically are the most knowledgeable and can find the best bargain. For those who choose to look for a hotel on their own they may consider Hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, or Hotwire to name a few of the many online travel agencies available to consumers. Out of all of these selections, Expedia is the United State’s online travel agency giant and within its portfolio are Hotels.com and Hotwire.com. Some individuals may say they have a small monopoly on the hotel industry, but will that still be the case in years to come?

Amazon, a company that is known to almost every consumer around the world has over 240 million customers. They started off in the business of selling books online and is now the heart of the economy and has grown to be a retail mega store, a grocery store, a bookseller, an entertainment studio, and even a music provider. Amazon could soon become a distribution channel for hotels. Amazon currently works with a small selection of boutique independent hotels, but their track record shows that it would be no surprise to see them battle up against Expedia.

Many hotel chains are becoming frustrated with Expedia’s power over the industry and a new competitor added to the mix would challenge Expedia’s process and potentially redefine the market. A company like Amazon has the experience and ability to change the direction of buying hotels online. Amazon has already approached several hoteliers about the possibility of Amazon launching a hotel booking service for their clients.

For some of the hotels that are already being sold via Amazon have positive reviews and in an article by Travel Weekly one of the hotels, William’s Grant Inn, stated that after an offer was run on Amazon, they would see an increase of 50-100 calls for accommodations.

Many consumers look for “one stop shop” places. With Amazon’s already diverse selection of business and now the idea of potentially adding a hotel booking engine Amazon is only continuing to “dream big”. Their CEO, Jeff Bezos, has always been a driven individual with an outlook to change the world.

The Amazon Empire could be Expedia’s next big competitor and could also create a shift in how hotels currently do business. A hotelier’s main focus is to fill the rooms. When a hotel’s clock turns midnight any room unfilled is revenue lost. Hotels sell their rooms through a multitude of channels and adding another player to the program will only maximize their place in the marketplace.

If and when Amazon launches a hotel will you book there over one of the other options available? I believe that Amazon’s strong focus on the customer experience may shift how consumer’s shop for their hotel. Furthermore, Amazon is continuously looking at ways to do things different and who knows what that means for the future of hotel shopping.

 

Commercial Medical Escorts Honored with Prestigious International Award

by Joey 4. December 2014

Commercial Medical Escorts Inc. (CME), a leader in commercial airline transportation worldwide, has been selected as the first-ever recipient of the Medical Provider of the Year Award presented by The International Travel Insurance Journal (ITIJ). The ITIJ Industry Awards are designed to recognize excellence across the travel and health insurance industry. ITIJ editor-in-chief Ian Cameron said, “It’s the best of the best”. Companies are being recognized by their partners, peers and colleagues from around the globe for their efforts over the past year in providing outstanding contributions to the global travel and health insurance industry.

“Commercial Medical Escorts is honored to be the first recipient of this award,” stated CEO Blake Yturralde. “By using well-trained medical evacuation coordinators and medical escorts, CME is able to provide consistent, dependable, and dedicated service that is driven to assisting our clients around the world.”  

Intana, a part of the Collinson Group, presented this award to Blake Yturralde, CEO/President on November 13, 2014 before an audience exceeding 700 people from more than 80 countries representing industry leaders in assistance firms, air ambulance providers, international hospitals and cost containment companies. The award ceremony took place at the12th Annual International Travel and Health Insurance Conference (ITIC) in Venice, Italy.

Commercial Medical Escorts Inc. was among three finalists nominated by more than 20,000 ITIJ readers. Amongst strong competition, CME’s program was recognized for its outstanding growth and development over the past year with emphasis on our weekly blog educating the public, our in-depth clinical program, dedication to community outreach and education, involvement in trade organizations and overall comprehensive industry knowledge.

We would like to thank our operations team, medical team, clients, and service providers for their continued trust and support in CME. Over this past year CME has learned a lot through collaboration, innovation, and success. We are so proud that the travel and health insurance industry sees CME as the trusted go-to resource when it comes to medical escorts. This award demonstrates that CME is the premier medical escort company.

Meet Michelle

by Lux Joseph 14. November 2014

Commercial Medical Escorts did not become a leader in aeromedical transportation without the help of our nurses, physicians, and paramedics that work tirelessly to provide only the highest level of patient care. Each of our team members meets and exceeds CAMTS requirements and participates in continuing education on a quarterly basis. Today we are introducing you to one of nurses, Michelle. Michelle speaks fluently in German and English and therefore plays a key role in assisting with medical record translation as well as getting medical reports prior to our escort’s departing their home base.
Today we had the opportunity to interview Michelle and find out more about her role at CME and why she does what she does.
 
What is your most enjoyable part of your job?
This is a multifaceted question. It has always been my philosophy that compassion is the key ingredient to being a great nurse, therefore, I would say that helping my patients get safely back to their homes after an unpleasant experience takes precedence. The look of relief on their faces when I first walk into a room is so gratifying, but the gratitude that they express when the transport has been completed is priceless. The wonderful places I get to travel to and explore are also very rewarding. I make sure I get to see as much as I can of everywhere I travel.With the present state of our medical system, nurses are completely overwhelmed with tons of paperwork and too many patients. But what bothers me the most is how unthankful the job can be with little or no recognition or appreciation. Working for Blake, Joey, Tricia, Elaine and Ingrid, I feel so appreciated. They are the most wonderful group of people to work for and with.
 
Where did you gain your experience and knowledge in this field of nursing?
I have a cardiac/critical care background. I also do Pre-op/PACU and private duty nursing. I lived abroad in Germany for 12 years, thus am fluent in German. These experiences coupled with the courses I have taken through CME gave me the basis necessary for the job. Each flight I make lends me further experience and knowledge for best practice in flight nursing.
 
What has been your most interesting transport? Why is that?
My most interesting transport was to Marrakesh. I’d never been to Northern Africa and I found it to be so different than anyplace I’d ever been before. It was also challenging because everyone spoke either French or Arabic and very few spoke any English.
 

What areas of expertise do you have experience in?
I have been in medicine for about 35 years. I’ve been an RN for 23 of those years. I started out as an EMT in Phoenix, AZ. I then worked in a few ERs and ICUs as a tech. When I finished nursing school, I went straight into ICU nursing. I also have trauma, cath lab, special procedures, PACU, chemo provider and private duty experience.
 
When you are not flying, what do you do?
I am very family oriented therefore I spend a lot of time with and around my family. Joe and I have been together for 6 ½ years and we love to travel. Joe has 2 daughters, Kim 31 who lives in Tuscon, Mary 26 who lives in PBG, and one son John 29 who lives in Port St. Lucie. I have two 2 sons. Zachary is 22 and lives close to me in Jupiter and Niklas who is 19 lives in Bavaria, Germany near my Ex-Husband. My grandmother just turned 101 on Oct. 19 and I try to spend a lot of time with her. I grow orchids of all types and colors and love gardening. I also love to cook and I quilt when I have the time. I also like to read books
 
What would you tell future clients of CME?
We are a wonderful team of flight coordinators, paramedics, nurses, and physicians with each patient’s best health and interest at heart. I would tell them that they are in "The best hands".
 
Please describe a difficult trip and the outcome of it.
My most difficult trip was transporting a woman with an extensive psych history who had been on a trip with a tour group in Tuscany, Italy. She hadn’t been taking her medications as prescribed and subsequently had a psychotic episode landing her in a psych ward of a hospital near Pisa. When I walked into the ward, it was like a scene from "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest". Every person in there appeared to be very over sedated.My patient could not walk, she could not articulate, or form even a simple sentence. In the 5 days she was in the hospital, they hadn’t given her any soap, a toothbrush or toothpaste, no shampoo, no change of clothes or even a comb. I had to get her cleaned up before we flew. The trip was very complicated and it had been a horrible experience for her. Since she had seen almost nothing on her trip, I asked the driver to take us by the Leaning Tower of Pisa where we got her out of the car and took a nice picture with her standing in front. When we got to her brother’s house, she and her family were so relieved that she was home safely. They were all in tears and I got lots of hugs! This is what makes my job so rewarding.
 

No matter what industry you are in it is important to have a mentality like Michelle’s. Anyone can go to work each day and accomplish what needs to get done, but it says a true team member like Michelle to make your program excel to new heights. When nurses, physicians, and paramedics are referred to CME they join a family that will bring your loved one’s home safe and sound.

 

 


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