Get Connected | Contact Us

Global Entry Program Interview Completed

by Lux Joseph 30. August 2013

 

 Are you nervous? Are you concerned? Do you wonder about what will take place? A couple weeks ago I took the opportunity to tell you about the beginning stages of the Global Entry Program.  This past Monday I had my interview with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the Miami International Airport Enrollment Center. This is the last and final stage of becoming accepted into the program. Even if you have nothing to be afraid of and have nothing against your record, having an interview with a government official can still be nerve wracking. However, as someone who completed the interview Monday I can tell you first hand that the process is very straight forward and not stressful at all.

Our appointments were on Monday evening at the Miami International Airport Enrollment Center. There are enrollment centers located throughout the United States and Canada. You can find the one closest to you by visiting the website at: http://www.globalentry.gov/locations.html. If you are located in South Florida, we are fortunate to have two enrollment centers: Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Fort Lauderdale is definitely closer to us, but the availability of appointments is limited. Once you have completed your application and paid your application fee you will receive a notice about being conditionally approved. At that time you receive access to set up an appointment. Our appointments were at 9:20pm and 9:40pm.

Miami International Airport is not a simple airport to navigate if it is your first time visiting so arriving early will ensure plenty of time to find parking and locate the Global Entry office. It is best that you park in the Flamingo Parking Garage or South Parking (uncovered) closest to Terminal J. As you approach the Miami Airport, Terminal J is the terminal located on the left all the way at the end of the strip in the south terminal. Upon entering the terminal, you will want to follow the signs for Lufthansa Check In. The Global Entry Office is directly across from their check-in counter.

I would definitely recommend selecting an appointment late in the evening. The airport was practically empty. Walking through the international terminal the only airlines still operating check in was LAN due to their late flights that depart to South America. The rest of the terminal was empty except for cleaning crew mopping the floors. When we arrived at the enrollment center no one was in line and one individual arrived immediately after us. All three of us were taken into a general room in which there were three stations each assigned with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. The interview process was informal and informative. Some of the questions that were asked include:

·         Can you verify your place of current employment?

·         You were recently out of the country visiting the following countries; can you please inform us the purpose of each trip?

·         Can you verify your address of your previous employer?

·         Why are you applying for Global Entry?

The CBP officer scanned our biometric data (finger prints) and a photo was taken. Once that was completed, the CBP officer discussed the program at length and in detail. Immediately following that we were advised that we had been approved. “Wait, that’s all?” That is the exact thought I had when I walked out of the enrollment center at 9:17pm, three minutes prior to the time our interview was scheduled to start.

We were advised that we would be receiving our card within the next couple of weeks and will receive an email within 24 hours confirming approval. The Global Entry program is valid for five years and definitely worth the $100 application fee and the application process. Do not let the fear of government officials or an interview stop you from completing this. The process is not intimidating or intended to be complicated. In the future it will provide ease of travel for travelers internationally. Upon receiving your Global Entry card the CBP officer encouraged us to make sure our Trusted Traveler membership number is attached to any of our airline profiles. This will make you eligible for TSA PreCheck. If you do not have a profile with the airline, ask them to add your number to your reservation. The first time I utilize the kiosk upon arriving into the USA from an international destination I will be sure to inform you how it goes.

CME will be encouraging all of our nurses and physicians to become enrolled in the program. With our medical team traveling often, it would be extremely beneficial to have this in place especially when they are returning into the USA with patients. The extended lines in immigration can be stressful on the everyday traveler and we want to ensure only the smoothest travels for our medical team and their patients.

  

 

Jetblue to Introduce Lie Flat Seats and Suites on Transcontinental Flights in 2014

by Lux Joseph 23. August 2013
When transporting patients around the world, we are continuously awaiting to see new routings, products, and classes of services provided by the airlines and their partners. Each and every patient has separate criteria for transport and depending on the needs of the patient we need to align the best routing available. We transport our patients in a business class/first class seats, but even when you look at premium classes of service there are different products. Some of these products and enhancements that we are particularly interested in include lie flat seating, angled lie flat, plane seating configuration, and direct routing availability. We are pleased to find out that JetBlue will be introducing lie flat seating in 2014 on their transcontinental flight on some of their most popular routings.
 
Currently some airlines that offer this product include Delta, American, and United. However, we are hoping that JetBlue entering into this market will introduce lower fares and more availability for this premium product. There are many patients that need to be transferred within the United States via air ambulance. However, many of these patients could be a candidate for a commercial stretcher service. Unfortunately no domestic airlines currently offer stretcher service, but these newly added premium products can offer an alternative for a patient who needs to lie flat during transport. To qualify for this the patient has to be able to sit up for takeoff and landing, but they will be able to remain in a stretcher position (lie flat) for the duration of the long haul flight across the United States. When our operations department is working with our travel department to secure the best routing for a patient availability of this product is currently limited and sells out very quickly. With Jetblue introducing this in the second quarter of 2014 we are looking forward to being able to provide additional options for our clients.
 
Jetblue is recognized across the travel industry as low cost American carrier. Other lost cost carriers include Southwest and Air Tran. What sets Jet Blue apart from the other lost cost carriers and the big players in the airline market are that it continues to conquer in areas of efficiency, customer satisfaction, and innovation. Many may view JetBlue as a carrier that is late to introducing this product, but when Jetblue delivers a product they make sure their product is top quality. Jetblue buys only new planes which tend to need less maintenance. This new product will be on the new Airbus A321. We can anticipate it starting with their nonstop routing from New York to Los Angeles and New York to San Francisco. Jetblue will also be the one and only airline to offer individualized suites within their premium class of service. Jetblue states the configuration will be:
“The new lie-flat seat, created in a partnership with Northern Ireland-based Thompson Aero Seating, will be displayed in a unique 2-1 configuration. Rows 1, 3 and 5 will offer 2-by-2 seating, and rows 2 and 4 will offer private suites, with one seat on each side of the aisle.”
 
 
CME is looking forward to the additional service that JetBlue will be offering to travelers in 2014. This will increase the options for medical escorts. A patient traveling from overseas connecting through New York will be able to continue onto LAX or SFO with the same lie flat service and potentially at a lower fare than the competitors are currently offering.
 

Traveling to the Big Apple

by Lux Joseph 22. August 2013
 
 
 
As I arrived to the LaGuardia airport to return back to Palm Beach I thought about my trip to New York this weekend and some of the things that I encountered. Any time you travel there are new things to learn about and discover. That is exactly what happened during my most recent travel and I wanted to share it with you. New travel tips can always come up because people are always innovating new products and ideas to help travelers around the world. Here are some of those tips you should remember the next time you consider going to the big apple.
 
There are so many different means of transportation within Manhattan. From subways, public buses, taxi’s, private drivers, bicycles, or even by car. Each method of transportation has its pros/cons. You may have a particular preference or based on where you need to go may dictate the method used.
Upon arrival into New York City you would think that there are several taxicabs available, but even the supply of cabs didn’t meet the needs of travelers Thursday night. There was a line three people deep just to get a cab into the city.  To avoid the hassle and long wait we utilized a program called GroundLink. GroundLink is a program that is accessible via your smart phone application, web, or by calling. You can schedule an economy car, luxury car, limo, or SUV to pick you at the airport and bring you to your hotel. Not only is it cost effective, but also they keep you up to date and informed:
  • GroundLink guarantees to be on time, or your next ride is free
  • They track and monitor the flight. Should you arrive early, they will be there waiting for you. If you are late, they will still be there.
  • They send automatic text messages to the number on file to advise of the driver information, as well as the application on your iPhone updates when they are on scene.
Will you always need a private car? Most likely you will not. In some cases you may be staying in Times Square and need to go down to Macy’s on 34th street. Walking or using the subway may be the best method based on where you are and where you want to go.  If you take the subway, I would strongly encourage you to get a map and utilize the information booths. We had planned on going to Long Island City which is in Queens and had taken a cab. We were almost there when the cab driver informed us that the bridge to Queens was closed due to a truck fire.  There was no other way to get there except via subway. Unfamiliar and unaware of the subway system, we sought assistance from the booth and they were able to point us in the right direction. New York has so many different subway numbers, letters, colors, etc. USA Today provided great tips on “How to Ride the NYC Subway” at http://traveltips.usatoday.com/ride-nyc-subway-4236.html. I encourage you to check it out.
 
Although we seemed to have mastered the subway on our way to Queens, getting back to Manhattan with a cab was more logical. When most people think of New York they think about all the yellow cabs. All you have to do is “hail a cab”, but finding one that is empty when you are not in Times Square can be a challenge. A useful smartphone application called “Hail a Cab” takes the frustration away from finding a cab. Your smartphone brings up your location based on GPS and will tell you the approximate time of arrival. For us it was 6 minutes. You click “Hail a Cab” and the application starts working to secure the driver. Once completed, the application sends you the driver’s name, phone number and tracks the cab as it is on its way to you. It is as simple as that. No frustration trying to find a cab that is available or waiting at all. You can set this up so you have the cab on the way while you finish lunch.
 
Continue to keep informed with our traveler tips as our nurse’s travel to many destinations around the world. Each unique place has its own tips and advice for the traveler to take in. Travel tips will never stop. New technology and applications for your phone are becoming more popular. If you have a travel tip, we would love to hear from you.
 

© Commercial Medical Escorts. Optimized website design by MoreVisibility.