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Trends in Travel for 2014

by Lux Joseph 27. December 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, we begin to look at 2014 and what is to be projected for Commercial Medical Escorts and the travel industry.  Understanding your customer is important to success as a business owner and especially a business that is focused around customer service. Our customer base changes each and every year. Many businesses categorize their customer base by demographics, but travel is more than just demographics.

Every traveler has preferences and those preferences differ among demographics, psychographics, and the current desires of the traveler. Most people have a bucket list of the things they want to accomplish during their lifetime. Within that bucket list people have a travel bucket list that is forever growing and developing. At Commercial Medical Escorts (CME) we are moving patients from different destinations around the world every week. As travelers add to their bucket list for travel, they add new possible opportunities for CME. Want to go to the Neptune Islands in Australia to cage dive with Great White Sharks? Or maybe you have zip lining in Costa Rica to check off? While we do not wish the worst to happen to people when they travel, we do know our service is desired during a time of need.

Travel Leaders Group agents, the division that our travel department is part of, state that 94% of their clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2014. In 2013 that percentage was 92.2% and in 2012 it was 91.3%. Seeing positive growth in the beginning of 2014 establishes a level of confidence among travel professionals. Even with the economy not being on a positive growth it is great to see the industry that CME works alongside with optimistic trends for 2014. The data is representative of 1,358 U.S. based travel agency owners, managers, and front line agents from the Travel Leaders brand.


People will always be traveling. Whether they are traveling for business or pleasure, people are always on the run. During times when our economy isn’t as strong we see trends towards slower growth or decline in business, but every time a business sees or projects a decline in revenue, it is an opportunity to explore different avenues for profit. Airlines took advantage of this with the additional perks they add to purchasing an airline ticket. Ancillary fees exist for checking your bags, priority boarding, changing your flights, special seat assignment, and even special snacks on board the airplane. In 2014, we wonder what additional fees or perks may be new to the business traveler.


From a global perspective, 2014 brings changes to the travel world as well. Sabre Travel Network states that China will overtake the US in total business travel spent in 2014. Russia is also working on making visa free travel to the EU. At the same time many countries are working on evaluating their entry programs to increase visitors and provide entry requirements that are not as strict. Some tips to consider when booking travel in 2014:

·         Mondays appear to be the most expensive day for air, hotel, and car bookings

·         Avoid travel consumption on Mondays, followed by Fridays

·         For cars, the cheapest day is Saturday

·         For hotels, the cheapest day is on Tuesdays


Look at 2014 as a fresh start. Become organized when making your travel arrangements. Think ahead and anticipate things before they happen. Commercial Medical Escorts looks forward to what 2014 will bring. These trends are only a projection as to what will happen. Safe travels around the New Year and should you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available to bring your loved one home for the holiday.

Cell Phone Usage In-Flight

by Lux Joseph 14. December 2013

Each and every day technology is evolving and improving as the tech world discovers new and improved ways to help us live our daily lives with the use of technology. Twenty years ago the form of communication was primarily US Mail, home telephones, and in some places, dial-up internet. Today consumers all around the world are communicating via cell phone, high speed internet, mobile hotspots, tablets, etc. to share their stories, build their companies, and build relationships. But how much of your time is spent on your cell phone instead of conversing with the person beside you? Are you able to spend two hours without access to making a phone call? Some consumers say yes while others say no. This topic was introduced after a recent vote by the Federal Communications Commission to consider lifting its ban on in-flight cell phone use.

Technology will continue to improve and enhance as new things are discovered and as time goes on. For years travelers have been aware of the rules and stipulations of cell phone use during flight. As travelers board their departure flight they hurry to make that last minute phone call to a loved one, finish up a business proposal, or follow up on something they forgot before the announcement “At this time, we request that all mobile phones, pagers, radios and remote controlled toys be turned off for the full duration of the flight, as these items might interfere with the navigational and communication equipment on this aircraft.” Many travelers thought it was a way to reduce the number of distractions on the plane and reduce the nuisance to other passengers caused by someone talking on a mobile phone near them. With the recent news from the FCC that doesn’t appear to be the case, but it is the reason that many customers wish the FAA to ban in-flight calls. New technology has developed and cell phone calls in-flight no longer create an interference with cell towers on the ground. From a medical escort perspective, this would allow our nurses to have 24/7 contact with our operations center and medical director while in-flight. However, we must also recognize the anxieties and stressors of flight that exist for many patients and how having other passengers around a patient talking on the phone may add to this stress level.

With every decision there are positive and negative results for all parties involved. As I just mentioned, this new technology would allow our medical escorts to have access to our medical director and operations team 24/7, but if we look at the statistics of our transports this positive change may not be strong enough to outweigh the negative effects that this policy will create for our patients. According to the FCC website, the role of the Federal Communications Commission is: The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. An independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress, the commission is the United States' primary authority for communications law, regulation and technological innovation” ( The vote that was made by the FCC was true to their responsibilities and role within our country, but it will still take months before they are able to lift the ban. After that it will be in the hands of the FAA who will make a decision as to how this vote will affect commercial airlines and whether it will be up to the airline to decide or become an established policy in which all carriers will need to abide by.

When we transport passengers, it is primarily always in business class or first class unless the medical recommendation from their physician states otherwise or if the patient is able to tolerate a flight in economy class due to the remote location in which they are going to. Many airports throughout the USA and around the world are small and limit the airplane size that can land. This limits the cabin possibilities among carriers and many times only economy class seating is available on the small aircraft. In economy class the passengers are confined to a small personal space. If you are lucky to be able to choose an aisle or window seat you may be able to sit more comfortably then if you are stuck in the middle and confined to Boeing’s standard seat width of 17.5”. Boeing has patented what they call the Personal Space Model, a formula that accounts for seat pitch, width, and similar quantifiable measurements, along with more subjective elements of passenger perception of space. But even their Personal Space Model isn’t going to help when you have a person on each side of you conversing in a telephone conversation throughout a flight. Most people when speaking on the phone are not always aware of their surroundings and how loud they sound to the peers around them. We foresee this being an issue should the FAA allow the cell-phone calls during flight. Many individuals have debated about the cost per minute in the sky being a factor to reduce the number of phone calls, but even when cost is a factor there are always consumers willing to pay.

As this story continues to develop and we see changes in the future, we will continue to follow the developments. Travel by air will always be changing in terms of equipment, technology, policies, and procedures. CME looks forward to these developments so that we can deliver our service at only the highest quality.


Impact on Today's Shooting at Los Angeles International Airport

by Lux Joseph 1. November 2013

Almost every individual that has traveled before will probably tell you that there is stress involved. Whether it is the beginning stages of planning a trip, packing, or the actual day of travel; stress finds its way to be part of the process. However, today’s recent events at Tom Bradley Los Angeles International Airport bring a level of stress and anxiety that no passenger wishes to face. An individual opened fire today in Terminal 3 at Los Angeles Airport. At this time the suspect is in custody, but what does this mean for the travel industry and how does it impact the safety system in place at airports around the world.

The motive behind the suspect is unknown at this time, but based on statements from travelers and the beginning stages of the investigation, TSA may a key reason.  A 23 year old, now identified as Paul Anthony Ciancia of Los Angeles is responsible for this elevated level of fear and anxiety, injured lives of innocent people, and the death of one TSA employee. The suspect was found with a note on him stating his disappointment in the government and that he had not intentions to harm innocent individuals. Whenever you travel, there are always travelers complaining about the security process, TSA’s procedures and policies, and the tedious requests that are made of travelers by TSA. Many people forget the reason that TSA was established and the purpose it serves our country.

TSA was developed shortly after the 911 attacks in 2001 and has played a role ever since to improve the safely of American transportation. Over the years the security of traveling within the USA has changed in efforts to create a safer place to travel to/from. TSA secures the nation’s airports and screens all commercial airline passengers and baggage. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that authorities stated the gunman would approach individuals in the terminal with the rifle pointing at them and ask if they were TSA. If they said no, he would move on without pulling the trigger. Once he reached the security checkpoint, it was open fire in which three TSA employees were shot and several more injured. As of right now there is one confirmed death. This particular individual was considered to be a behavior-detection officer. They are the ones that are looking for odd or unusual behavior among travelers to help identify terrorists. This one TSA officer "It's with a very, very sad heart that I inform you that one of our own has lost his life today," said David Cox, president of American Federation of Government Employees. "To our knowledge, he was the first (TSA officer) to die in the line of duty."

As this news was announced, CME identified its current transports and upcoming transports to determine if and how it would affect our patients we are bringing home safely. At the time we had one transport arriving into Los Angeles within 48 hours and another one connecting through. Although the incident wasn’t affecting our current or upcoming trips, it certainly affected many other travelers. Reports noted the following affected flight data:

• Over 118 flights en route to LAX were canceled or rerouted
• 135 flights scheduled to depart from LAX were canceled
• 127 flights were delayed at least fifteen minutes

The impact that a ten minute event can cause is shocking. Although the shooting only lasted approximately ten minutes, the effects on individuals will last for days. Even several hours later, people were still coming out from places in which they hid.

Ever since 2001, there has been a fear in flying for all passengers. Even before 2001, most people believed the risks of something happening when traveling by air was more likely than any other type of transportation. Incidents like the one that occurred today will once again give TSA and United States Government an opportunity to look at the safety processes in place and see how we can improve them in the future.  

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