Monthly Archives: October 2012

Top 10 Lifesaving Executive Travel Tips from the Pros

Who’s Afraid of Executive Travel?

Executive Travel doesn’t have to be anywhere near as overwhelming as it sounds. Whether it’s your first business trip or your hundredth, the truth is business people have been traveling for decades now. Here’s  a few really useful tips that can help you travel safer, faster, and more comfortably. 

Quick Tips to Remember

  1.  Put a dryer sheet in with your clothes, they will smell fresh and keep dry during transit
  2.  Have an extra plastic bag in your carry-on, this will not only help with passing through TSA checkpoints but can come in handy if anything springs a leak in your travel bag.
  3.  If your suit somehow gets wrinkled, put it in the hotel’s dryer for 3-5 minutes.
  4.  Check in online ahead of time and print out your boarding pass before you arrive at the airport.
  5. If it’s really running down to the wire and you’re running behind, you have a 30-minute cut-off for boarding.  If you miss this cut-off period, politely ask the agent for authorization to get a ‘gate pass.’  What this can do is buy you some time to get to the gate.  If you make it to within 15 minutes of take-off you have a good chance of getting onboard.
  6. Choose an executive travel agency with a proven track record for the best rates and superior travel support.
  7. If you choose to use a ground transportation provider, know the protocol for airport meet and greet. Will your chauffeur meet you at baggage? Will he meet you in the terminal? Or will he meet you curbside? These small details can save you a big headache after a long flight.
  8. Sign up with an airline rewards program early on and stick with it, you can earn some hefty rewards, in addition to building clout and pull with the airline company.
  9. Also, take some time to look into the city where you’ll be travelling. If and when you have some time off, you can make the most of it by planning ahead.

 Travel Healthy

Travelling healthy is just as important as travelling right.  Executive air travel can take a toll on the human body. Commercial airliners have notoriously poor air quality and circulation; some veteran executive travelers swear by zinc and vitamin C. These supplements can be taken before flight or while on the plane. Red Clover tea is considered a go-to immune system booster and peppermint tea has been known settle a queasy stomach.  Of course, don’t forget to stay hydrated, this can stave off some of the most common ailments associated with air travel.

Changing Time Zones

If you’re changing time zones, you can adjust to the new time zone on the plane.  You can try to knock out as soon as possible or stay up until you arrive.  The choice depending, of course, on the time zone difference.  The goal is to be able to engage immediately once you land.  The best way to fall asleep immediately is to head for the back row. The back row on most planes these days is most likely to be empty, which means you can stretch out and sleep.

Pack As Light as Possible

For the executive traveler on the move, this one is kind of a no brainer, but needs repeating. Pack as light as possible. Only pack a carry-on, and your computer bag, messenger bag or briefcase. If you’re not stuck waiting for luggage, you’ll be sipping a Mai Tai at the hotel bar before the other passengers have even gotten their ground transportation. Put leisure clothes on the bottom, then place suits separated by dry cleaning bags in the middle, on top of that place your shoes, and then toiletries on top. If you have large presentation materials or company samples send them to the hotel or conference center ahead of time, they will be waiting for you once you get there and you won’t have to worry about them getting lost.

Excessive Executive travel can take a cumulative toll.  but with some proper planning and some useful tools, the effects can be manageable. Do you have some useful tips to share that you have picked up along the way?

 image: masterfile.com

7 Quick Fixes for Common Executive Travel Headaches

Executive Travel Complaints

No matter how you pitch it, executive travel is a pain — worsened by crummy customer service and an ever shrinking list of bygone amenities.  Perhaps the airlines are just overwhelmed by harried, cranky executives in a rush to get where they are going.  Maybe the issue is more systemic.  The root of  the trouble is beyond the scope of this article.  In speaking with multiple passengers a pattern has emerged.  This has been a pattern of symptoms-6 to be exact.  It is my belief that multiple fixes to these common problems can make executive travel a little less painful.

 Power Outlets: How many times have you wandered around in circles at the airport frantically searching for an electrical outlet? I have even seen some passengers crouched in the smelliest, nastiest or airport corners, just to get some juice to their devices. Why must it be this way? Here’s a million dollar marketing idea for all major airports.  “fly the friendly skies and never be caught without juice!”

 Seats that don’t recline: This is truly ingratiating.  It’s a bad day at black rock when you are the passenger to have the luck to receive the seat that has a recline button, but only moves back 5 mm.  The worst part is when you finally find that ‘comfort zone’ and the airline attendant hurries you to put your seat back into its full and upright position.

 The Cabin P.A: Many passengers that travel often agree that The cabin P.A. Really should only be used for pertinent and urgent messages.  This means no chit chat, talk of the weather, altitude and smarmy comments.  Do you really care what the weather is going to be like when you arrive?   Honestly, that’s what weather widgets are for on your iphone.  I cant tell you how many clients have told me about how great that Ben stiller flick was until it was interrupted by slick pitchy quips-In four languages!

 Checking in: This one can really be dependent on the airline and the destination. the deadline and final cut off for boarding pass self check-in kiosks is usually 30-60 minutes before departure. Really?  Why not just give the passenger a running chance to make it to the gate. Most people understand that customs and security are the real hurdle to a smooth check in process. I firmly believe that airlines should at least give their passengers a shot at making it past these obstacles-particularly for many executive travelers with no check in baggage. (*Quick tip: If you ask the right way, the desk agent can call the gate and have them authorize a boarding pass.)

 Lounge rules: Some airlines will grant you access to the executive the lounge only if you are flying internationally. But since when did Mexico and Canada become the 51st and 52nd  states? Many airlines are now designating domestic rules to destinations in Canada or Mexico, no matter how long the flight is.  If you haven’t been to an airport lounge, it’s basically a bunch of  plush couches, plenty of outlets, complimentary snacks an open bar-sometimes even free Wi Fi.  Only a few years ago a travelers’ entry was dependent on their loyalty-card status or the mileage plan on their credit cards. But today it’s becoming unclear. For example, if you are with Star Alliance, and have a gold status, you can get into the lounge without any difficulty – if you are flying international. Usually you can plus one but the guest must be flying Star Alliance, as well. These strange policies are especially vexing because you just never do know. And, ultimately what is the differential cost to the lounge of allowing one more person in?

Poor Ground Transportation: Nothing worse than arriving at the terminal after a long flight and having to look for your driver.  Your ground transportation provider should have a proven track record and an ontime guaranty.  The chauffeur should know the airport and terminal layout like the back of his hand.  Having dependable airport sedan service can also make the difference between missing or making your flight, so choose wisely

 Alcohol policy: Throwing a few back can be an easy way to put yourself in dreamland for that long flight.  However, many people ask, why is it that you can bring a personalized pan pizza and Pepsi from the airport concession stand on board but not a Budweiser?

 I don’t think That these demands are beyond reason — although to be honest I do miss the free Honey Glazed peanuts!  What would you like to see?

Special thanks:Tom Szaky, nytimes.com
Image: Optimizedexecutive.com

10 Ways to Avoid the Health Risks of Executive Air Travel

Executive Air Travel

Executive air travel has become the preferred method of traversing the globe in the twenty first century. First class seating, Luxurious Amenities, faster aircrafts, an abundance of meal options have all made air travel the way to go for many. Even with all these incentives offered to executive travelers and an admirable flight safety record, air travel  still does pose significant health risks.

Baby boomers are uniquely susceptible to certain health complications from executive air travel.   Pre-existing medical history, dysfunctions and deficiencies related to age, stress and anxiety can all contribute to susceptibility.

  Signs Symptoms and Casues

Low cabin pressure/expansion of gases:

As the aircraft travels at 25000 ft. + altitude, a drop in cabin Pressures will occur. When this overall pressure drops, gases in an encased area will expand. This may occur in body cavities as well, such as the gut, tooth fillings, the skull, middle ear and the sinuses. The physical affect can give rise to many symptoms such as:

  •  Baro sinusitis – Inflammation of the sinuses as a result of the pressure       difference between the sinuses and ambient air.
  •  Nausea, dizziness and vomiting
  •  Aeorotitis media – Infection of the middle ear cavity, as a result of air   travel
  •  Pneumothorax – Abnormal collection of air in the pleural space (between the lungs and the chest walls)
  • Aero dontalgia – Dental pain experienced during air travel

 

Economy class syndrome:

This can occur when legs are left immobilized in the same position in a tight space for a prolonged period of time. This can lead to the formation of clots in the veins of the legs. These clots can get then become dislodged and travel to the lungs, causing a very serious condition known as a Pulmonary Embolus- which can be fatal.

Low humidity:

As a result of the necessary maintenance of artificial cabin pressure and the constant use of in-fight cooling systems, a very low level of humidity can lead to higher incidence of dehydration.

 “Jet flight” leg:

Less severe, very common,  but still bothersome is the lower limb swelling which is known as ‘Jet flight leg’.

Above and beyond these complications, stress and anxiety have also been noted as contributing factors among the baby boomer population.

 

Simple Solutions to Health Risks

 There are certain measures that can be taken to minimize any Health  complications that arise from frequent executive air travel:

  1. Stay hydrated-drink plenty of fluids and try to avoid caffeine and alcohol in-flight
  2. Stay away from drinks and foods that are gas producing-these can often produce unpleasant and bothersome effects
  3. Avoid nicotine and tobacco products
  4. Try to take little ‘mini-walks’ up and down the aisle to promote good circulation-By giving the leg muscles a bit of movement, the executive traveler is able to avert the possibility of complications from deep vein thrombosis (DVT).  If it is difficult to move about, try doing static mobility stretching exercises of the lower leg joints and muscles.
  5. Try to get an aisle seat  which can give you easier access  to that ‘mini-walking’ path.  Also put yourself as far from the engines as possible.
  6. This is a big one! Don’t neglect regular medication in-flight-It’s easy to miss a dosage so set an alarm or reminder to yourself to take your regular prescribed meds.
  7.  Avoid air travel if there is recent incidence of sinus infections/inflammations or middle ear infections.
  8. Avoid air travel if there is the presence of unstable angina, recent bowel surgery, severe restrictive lung disease, unresolved Pneumothorax, malignant hypertensions, uncontrolled heart failure and Arrhythmias.
  9. Executive Travel-related stress can be a killer!  Unless  absolutely necessary unplug from work or other stress inducing factors and relax with a good book an in-flight movie, or some killer Sudoku. It is amazing how much a calm mind can lead to a healthy physiology and an  overall pleasant travel experience.
  10. Flight take-off and landing are amongst the most uncomfortable moments during a flight, try sucking on a piece of candy or chewing some gum, as this might aid in clearing any blockage of the middle ears

While executive air travel has made globe trotting accesible to many, it has also poses some unique health risks.  Baby boomers  and the 50+ crowd are a specific group of executive travelers that are susceptible to a host of complications that come from both age related  factors as well as the frequency of travel.  However, armed with these tools and tips and some diligence effort, the savvy executive traveler can easily tip the odds in their favor.

Special thanks: Dr Pandula Siribaddana, Helium.com
image: optimizedexecutive.com

The Truth About Uber Car

Car Service, Cab?

There has been quite a bit of talk about Uber these days.  Are they a car service? Are they a dispatch center? Are they a Cab service?  There is no question that many people have Uber on their radar.

Uber is a third party smartphone app that works with car service operators to provide Ground Transportation to Users that “e-hail” the closest available driver.  Many operators that have worked with Uber, plainly state that Uber is really nothing more than a ‘Glorified cab service’.  Others insist that they are also a sedan service.  Let’s take a closer look and see if we can demystify what Uber Car really is and what the future holds for this new market.

 

How does it work?

Uber has existing contracts with operators in multiple cities they are titled as follows: Uber SF, Uber DC, Uber Boston, Uber NY and more recently Uber LA. Essentially Uber is an App-nothing less, nothing more.  The End User registers a credit card on file and builds an account with Uber.  They use the app to find the closest available driver and are sent a confirmation of the car’s estimated arrival time, the driver’s name and the car type.  The concept is relatively simple, but how is the execution.

 Pros vs. Cons

We’ll take a Look at the Good, The Bad, and the in-between and back up our findings with real user reviews found on Yelp!

Pros: Fast Service – With quite a few Uber ready cars on the road, estimated wait times become shorter and shorter, albeit this can vary from market to market.

“When you’re in need of a ride, you press the ‘Set pickup location’ button and an Uber driver near you will find you.  You don’t even have to know the exact address of where you are!..you can watch the car, via the app, as it makes its way to you”. Yelp!

Cons: Glitchy Service – Although the system touts a “no-hassle” approach to user Interface, many consumers have reported alarming disparities:

“I’ve ridden in an Uber car about 15 times -at least 10 of those rides were late because their GPS was saying I was in a different location and instead of calling me they wait in the wrong place 3 blocks away..that whole time they have their meter running.  After I told them the story above they would not credit me back or even admit it was their fault”. Yelp!

Pros: Reasonable Pricing – the price of luxury travel has been lowered.   Let’s face it – some clients really don’t want an hourly vehicle to standby while they dine.  Uber car fills in this gap as drivers use the app while the clients are dining. According to Uber, even the tip is included in the ride. (Although the drivers report that they can’t understand how they get a tip)

Cons: No Scheduling – As of now the end user is unable to schedule a car far in advance as the app has no calendar.  Uber has not added this feature as the techology and design make it another more expensive product altogether.

Cons: Price gouging.  Or, what Uber chooses to call ‘surge pricing’.  This is a painful, but necessary practice on Uber’s part.  But in the end it may alienate many users.

“What really grinds my gears is that on their website, they have a list of flat rate fees. Right? WRONG. It ended up costing $150. I get that it was 2 AM on a Saturday. Prime time for any young adults . Add a few fees on for that. But 1.75 TIMES?? Ridiculous… good but would be better if it was flat rate. That is you enter your destination and get a price, like a real limo servicesYelp!

Cons: Poor follow through and customer service:

“So of course my friends and I emailed Uber, asking for clarification, trying to see why it was nearly double the amount of a flat rate. They pretty much said “Not our problem” and stopped responding to emails.  Terrible customer service to just run away from your disappointed customers after ONE email.” Yelp!

Another frequent user goes on to say…

“I’d put Uber’s fail rate at about 80%. The interface is convenient…until something goes wrong. Then life gets really difficult and there’s no number to call to sort things out. And stuff seems to go wrong a lot. More than half the times I’ve gotten an Uber, the driver had no clue where they were going or, worse, seemed to intentionally take the long way. Then last night, my driver picked up somebody else entirely, left me there and I got charged for their (much higher) fare but was unable to cancel without penalty”.Yelp!

 

Pros: Super Convenient – Easy in, Easy out. No cash gets exchanged as it’s all billed directly to the credit card of the user

CAVEAT: I think there still needs a bit of work and refinement on Uber’s part.

“Uber mischarged my credit card.  I think the fact that I did not ask them to change my default card makes me a bit nervous about their web application.  They refused to fix the problem. No company that is this unwilling to work with customers to fix errors that they caused deserves your business. Stay away from this company.”Yelp!

 

Cons: Iffy Cars – I used the app myself a few weeks ago and I got an old, short door town car with 300,000 miles on it and a shabby driver. This has been my only experience but you never know what you are going to get.  Some users reflect the same concerns.

With Uber,  there is only an email address, no phone number, no guarantee the town car is properly licensed because all you would need is a phone and this app. There is no guarantee the exact car being used is indeed properly licensed or insured, and the driver is licensed or accountable for his or her actions.

Cons: No Multiple Car Options – The drivers often get asked if a second car can be dispatched, of course the driver app is not designed to work that way and  there is little else the driver can do except confirm his GPS location.  However, Uber’s new roll out of their SUV option can help the user fit up to 6 guests in an SUV.  The Downside? Most parties are trying to fit 4 passengers in a town car.

Update – with the addition of an SUV option and the Uber’s Announcement of Luxury Sedans including the BMW 7 series and Mercedes S Class sedans, users will now have a larger fleet option to choose from.  Word from Uber is that the ultra-luxury sedan options will come once as they have enough cars registered.

Cons:  Unhappy Drivers – I believe this pain point can be a deal breaker for Uber. Scores of drivers are exclusively using the Uber app without any existing internal accounts or any other affiliate relationships.  The truth is that they are starving for work and are stoked to have inventory rolling.   More established chauffeurs, feel taken advantage of when it comes to Uber’s pricing structure. Uber takes an unusually large percentage of the trip and asks quite a bit of the drivers.

The bottom line is that a happy driver equals a happy client. Can Uber figure out a method to drive incentives to chauffeurs who can make a higher percentage? If the answer is yes then that translates to the clients being treated well and the product may have a chance at succeeding. If the chauffeurs are only earning the bare minimum to scratch along – Uber could be in big trouble.

What the future Holds

Can Whiz bang technology trump good old fashion Customer service? The truth is that everyone from lower end Cab Users to Mid-Range leisure, corporate and executive clients are all buzzing about Uber car.  Some regulatory and city/state licensing agencies …well, not so much!  There’s very little question that Uber is positioning themselves as major players in the Livery industry.  Many veterans have seen companies like Uber, come and go and it will be interesting to see if there is a second product to market that can beat Uber out.  Let’s wait and see.

We are certainly excited about any type of quality competition as this always serves to raise the bar in this crazy industry of ours.

The only question remains… Is Uber quality competition?  What do you think?

10 Point Checklist for Using a Limo Service

Beginners Guide on How to Rent a Limo

Whether it be limo rentals for prom or car service to LAX. Renting a Los Angeles Limo for any event can be a daunting task.  There are so many Los Angeles Limousine companies out there, and so many vehicle options that choosing a starting point can be a challenge.

For the Purpose of this article, we will stick  to LA Limo vehicle choices and service types.  Vehicle Maintenance and age are the benchmarks of a great Limo service. All vehicles should be no older than 4 years and maintained in a showroom finish shine at all times. Generally speaking, Limo choices fall into a variety of categories based on what industry insiders call “client persona”.

  •  BUSINESS/CORPORATE CLASS
  •  LEISURE/ENTERTAINMENT
  •  FAMILY/PRIVATE
  •  NON EMERGENCY LUXURY TRANSPORTATION

The Bottom Line: You don’t want to hire a town car service that doesn’t have the capacity to handle and work with different types of clients and vehicles.

BUSINESS/CORPORATE CLASS
(3 passengers)

The Lincoln “Executive L” series sedan is the Industry standard – it can comfortably seat 3 passengers, has plenty of room for luggage and offers a luxurious and well appointed ride. Some companies offer extra amenities at no charge, so make sure to check. Top tier limo service providers will offer fresh chilled water, mints, candies and even free Wi-Fi and 12 Volt power charging for mobile devices and Ipads.

Small Groups (6 Passengers)

SUVs work excellent with small groups.  The Cadillac Escalade SUV is considered the creme de la creme of SUV choices. These high end luxury vehicles can accommodate up to 6 passengers and come complete with the same amenities package as the Town car. They are also a great choice for 3 to 4 passengers traveling with large amounts of luggage and cargo as many models have fold down room in the rear. Golfers and PGA tour pros really love the Escalade as the rear cargo space can accommodate 2 fully loaded club bags, with room to spare!

Large Groups (10-14 Passengers)

For Larger groups, the Executive Van and the newer model Mercedes Sprinter limo Van, can hold from 10-14 Passengers. Complete With high ceilings, rear cargo space, high grade leather interior, individual bench-style or captains chair forward facing seats, heavy duty AC and accented luxury interiors

Corporate Groups (24 Passegers)

A favorite of Corporate Executive Travel Planners and Destination Management Companies is the Mini coach or Limo Bus This vehicle can carry up to 24 passengers in style and comfort. Amenities vary from model to model, but most interiors are set up with front facing reclining seats, heavy duty AC, and some come with internal PA systems. Many of these Limo Buses have overhead luggage storage in addition to under vehicle berth compartments.

Event Planning and Conventions
(up to 55 Passengers)

For larger groups and convention work the Mini bus is the go-to workhorse of the industry. These specialty coach vehicles can hold up to 55 passengers and amenities vary from model to model, so make sure to check! Many come complete with an on board restroom.  Standard configuartions include high back forward facing seats, heavy duty AC systems and internal PA systems. There’s always plenty of room for cargo with overhead and Under berth luggage storage and higher end models have LED lighted aisle-ways.

Proms, Night on the town & Leisure

The Vehicles most often used with the party crowd that are looking to rent a limo are the 8-10 passenger Stretch Limousines and the buzz worthy Hummer Limo. The standard stretch limousine is a classic Lincoln town car body stretched to accommodate up to 10 passengers with a full list of amenities.  These vary from a fully stocked wet bar with ice and beverages to a complete AV surround sound stereo package. The Hummer Limo will have a larger passenger capacity and a different seating configuration with some additional bells and whistles in the interior lighting options.

Private Family Chauffeured Servicetown car service

Chauffeurs that are requested by family accounts are often the primary transportation for the family. They drive the family’s children, mom dad and even the housekeeper. They often run light day to day errands and even go the extra mile to ensure the family arrives to a clean and orderly car port. Vehicles most often used are the Lincoln Town car and the Cadillac SUV Servicing a family account is a huge responsibility and a chauffeur is usually retained on a “standby” basis and must be ready to drive the family at any time to any place.

Non-Emergency Luxury Transportation

This is a specialized and exclusive chauffeured service that staffs luxury vehicles with Emergency Medical Technicians behind the wheel. The Lincoln Executive L series Town Car come fully equipped with medical grade O2 and a fully stocked trauma kit. Transportation includes patients coming out of elective procedures, plastic surgery, pain management/Dr’s Appointments, even retirement communities.

Whether your limo service takes you from the airport, to a business meeting, or even to a medical appointment, having a clear idea of the options availabe can help make the whole process of planning your ground transportation so much easier.  Always make sure to ask what type of pricing packages, amenities, and terms of service the LA Limo service of your choice offers.  This will avoid any confusion, hidden fees or service issues down the line.

images: www.villadelynch.com
special thanks: createacardinc

Los Angeles Field Guide to Finding an Expert Chauffeur

LA Limo Service: The truth

Countless Los Angeles Limousine services will promise that their chauffeurs are some of the best in the business.  But how can you be sure?

Ask what service sector the chauffeurs hail from.

Many of the most highly requested chauffeurs in the Los Angeles limousine industry come from the service and hospitality sector. Others hail from the private sector and many from the emergency service sector.  Chauffeurs really should be fully licensed and insured as they are the companies most valuable assets.  The exceptional ones are those that possess impeccable driving records and bring with them a multitude of valuable interpersonal and vocational skills .

Background checks, safety and experience

Every high level executive chauffeur should be background checked by a Department of Justice certified agency and all chauffeurs MUST pass a pre-employment and random drug testing process as mandated by the Los Angeles DOT law.  Most professional executive car service candidates should have a minimum of two years field experience and be accustomed to dealing with the needs of high profile clients

Training Protocol

Top tier executive chauffeurs MUST go through an extensive training period.  Depending on the internal protocol, training may cover everything from safety and comfort driving to internal company and  client relations.  Even small minutia like proper chauffeur grooming and  etiquette make a world of difference in the field.  Does the executive car service you choose have some kind of employee probationary period, if so how long is this period?.

10 differences between a Los Angeles Limo driver and a “Chauffeur”

The Chauffeur is often the first and only company representative the client will meet out in the field.  First impressions are everything in this business. Chauffeurs are many things.  They are licensed and insured professionals that sign binding client privacy and confidentiality agreements.  They are masters of high end customer service and they have the ability to “read people” well.  Chauffeurs are like mobile concierges – they open doors for passengers, handle luggage and know Los Angeles like the back of their hand.  Below are some great benchmarks that differentiate a chauffeur from a driver.  An exceptional chauffeur will CONSISTENTLY possess the following traits:

  1. Has a presentable appearance: properly uniformed and clean shaven.  Nails trimmed,   hair groomed..etc.- He should communicate  an image of professionalism.

  2. He is ALWAYS punctual (15 minutes early) and knows how and where to meet the client.

  3. Maintains a flexible attitude when communicating with executive travel agents and bookers, especially when giving 10 minute out calls or status updates.

  4. Has good social skills and should know how to provide  ‘red carpet’ level hospitality. Many highly requested chauffeurs act like owners and not employess.

  5. Speaks the passengers “language” and speaks only after being spoken to.

  6. Drives in a professional manner that makes the passenger feel safe and comfortable.

  7. Maintains a ‘spirit of service’: handles baggage, stages the vehicle as close to the passengers entrance as possible, checks to see if the vehicle is at a comfortable interior temperature and always answers any additional questions with a flexible attitude.  A savvy chauffeur never says no.  He either responds with “of course” or “I can figure it out for you”
  8. Possesses a combination of being assertive and polite.  High level chauffeurs are able to command a presence with different client personas, while still maintaining an aura of humility.

  9. Has a working knowledge of all major routes in the area; many clients specifically ask for a chauffeur who can act as a guide as well.  Chauffeurs know how and when to offer a helpful travel tip, suggestions or even book a reservation for them at an exclusive restaurant or club.

  10. Genuinely enjoys his job.  This is a big one! Non verbal communication can convey so much to an astute passenger and nobody likes a grump!

There are a multitude of variables that a chauffeur has to weigh and manage.  Exceptional Chauffeurs provide the most immaculate “white glove” door to door experience possible.  It’s a constant and fluid effort on their part.  One that involves projecting a professional appearance, driving safely and efficiently, protecting the interests of the company, and most importantly the wishes of the passenger – who (indirectly) is the chauffeurs immediate Boss.

Top tier Los Angeles Limo companies understand these subtleties and strive to give the client what they want.  The chauffeur is often matched with the client that requests them on a repeated basis.  At times chauffeurs are matched with their client by personality type. When used properly, a high level chauffeured service can help the client build a polished image that cements their reputation from the very start.

What memorable traits or anecdotes can you think of that really make a Chauffeur shine?

image: huffingtonpost.com

Ultimate Guide to Los Angeles Surgical Aftercare and Recovery

Post Operative Care in Los Angeles

Whether it is plastic surgery, bariartric surgery or any other elective procedure, successful results are often dependent upon proper surgical aftercare and recovery.

The recovery process starts once a patient leaves the surgical center and may continue on for a few days to a few months-depending on the procedure. This process may consist of anything from in house post operative care to the moment a patient is transferred to a short stay at a surgical aftercare center. Much of the recovery process lay with the patient’s diligence in following their surgeons protocol for proper post-operative self care.

Recovery “Down Time” With Different Surgical Procedures 

Recovery time will vary from procedure to procedure and also from patient to patient. Many cosmetic surgery procedures (as well as non-plastic surgery treatments) require one to two weeks of recovery. Often times, as with aggressive laser skin treatments, patients are asked to remain at home for up to one week. Face lift recovery may take 10 to 14 days, while rhinoplasty up to one week, even more at times. For Bariatric or Lap Band Surgery, some patients have been able to return to work after one week. Liposuction recovery and down time may be anywhere from a few days to a week. Generally speaking, The entire healing process following cosmetic surgery or Bariatric procedures can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Recovery & Preparation

  • Patients should try to schedule their operation on a Friday-they can have an extra weekend of recovery before returning to their job
  • Fill prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medication one day prior to surgery.
  • Arrange transportation for the day of surgery and for follow-up appointments. Patients are urged not to drive on the day of surgery or while taking pain medication.
  • It is recommended to purchase two weeks of groceries and household supplies and to prepare single-serving meals that can be frozen
  • Post operative period Recovery from surgery requires significant rest and inactivity. However, after some bariatric procedures, Doctors may recommend light walking. Patients should follow their Doctors instructions thoroughly, to avoid further complications and longer “down time”.
  • Almost all cosmetic surgery procedures involve swelling and bruising. After facial/neck surgery, patients will need to reduce swelling. This can be done by the application of ice packs and elevation of the head. Ice packs or frozen peas are easy and reusable. Regular head elevation should be followed for two to three days to minimize swelling and speed recovery. For elevation of the head, it’s preferable to use a dependable backrest, over pillows.
  • Doctors will always notify patients when it is permissible to shower, bathe, and wash their hair. Often this is allowed within a day or two of surgery.
  • Patients may resume exercise once their doctor allows it, not before that time. Exercise may worsen swelling and ruin the final result. Most patients should be able to return to work between three days and two weeks following most cosmetic procedures. This depends on the nature of the procedure and the patient’s actual occupation.
  • Patients should never drive under the influence of pain medication. They can opt instead for a certified Non-Emergency Luxury transportation company. These companies are staffed by licensed medical professionals, that are well versed in the aftercare and recovery process.
  • Use extreme care when exposing to the sun after surgery. During the first year, patients are advised to protect all surgical sites with high grade sun block (SPF 15-40).
  • Vitamin E, contrary to popular belief does NOT minimize scar visibility. As a matter of fact, some research has shown that Vitamin E can cause skin irritation when applied. Always consult with a doctor before taking any vitamins or herbal medications. Some of these medications may be contraindicated and cause complications.

Los Angeles Surgical Aftercare Centers

Surgical Aftercare centers allow patients to rest, recover and recuperate with proper medical supervision and minimal worry. Many of these centers have a high standard of medical care and a list of luxury amenities rolled into a “concierge services” package. The advantage of these services are that patients can use their recovery time productively. Taking advantage of a properly licensed aftercare treatment center can often mean the difference between a seamless, worry-free post-op experience and one that can leave a patient feeling frustrated and worried.

While their level of services may vary, many professional aftercare centers recommend a minimum two night stay and have a variety of different amenities including:

  • tempur-pedic adjustable beds
  • soothing music upon arrival and rest.

  • intercom systems linked directly to a fully trained and licensed OSHA certified RN
  • organic soups, smoothies, and snacks.

  • Private chauffeured transportation to and from the procedure by a certified EMT in a luxury car with tinted windows, as well as a private entrance to the facility.

Whatever choice the patient makes, it is imperative that all staff on hand are fully licensed nurses equipped with all essential medical supplies such as IV fluids, O2, SCDs and emergency equipment. On site care staff should be experienced in all facets of surgical aftercare including monitoring of post-operative complications, pain management, dietary restrictions and medications. Staff should also be able educate their clients on infection and injury prevention. Everything they do should be geared to promoting a healthy post-operative experience.

Any reputable Surgical Aftercare center’s services can be coordinated with the Doctor’s Plan of Care assuring a continuum of protocol.

The Reality of Recovery

The truth is that there is no way to absolutely guaranty a perfect outcome.  Patients should expect to feel and look worse before they get better.  Surgical centers are urged to thoroughly explain and demystify the challenges of recovery after any surgery.  Patients should be encouraged to follow the surgeon’s instructions for proper care before after the surgery without fail and take special care before and after the surgery to ensure the best possibility for proper healing. Even if all advice has been heeded on occasion a complicationwill occur. This is the nature of any surgical procedure. However, with the help of a competent and ethical surgeon, a properly licensed Surgical Aftercare center and a top tier Non-Emergency Luxury transportation service, patients can expect a smoother than usual recovery experience.

Survival Guide for Lap Band and Bariatric Surgery in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Bariatric Surgery and Lap Band procedures

Bariatric surgery, also known as  gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve procedure or more popularly as the Lap Band procedure- is being performed at an unprecedented rate.  The typical indication for this procedure is when obese patients do not respond to lifestyle changes, dietary measures and/or medications.  The sheer increase in the number of these procedures being performed annually warrants a closer look at the complications and risks involved in Lap Band surgery.  There are also several steps that can be taken during patient preparation that are indispensable in reducing the risk of complications.

 There are a few variances in the field of bariatric surgery, but that would be beyond the scope of this particular discussion. In brief, many surgeons have chosen the laparoscopic (hence the term Lap Band) approach over the traditional open surgical approach.  The rationale behind this choice is to simplify the number of external incisions as well as shortening the recovery time. Let’s now take a closer look at the risks and complications involved with gastric bypass surgery and then propose some measures that can be taken to reduce these risks.

 Complications with Los Angeles Bariatric Surgery

  • Strictures and bowel obstruction

 Severe formation of scar tissues and the kinking at specific sites of the intestine can lead to narrowing or blockage of the intestine.  This can manifest as inability to hold down foods and fluids.  Signs and symptoms include:  vomiting, abdominal distension and pain.   Complications related to bowel obstructions and strictures need to be corrected as soon as possible to avoid any further complications.

  •  Bleeding

Bleeding is a common complication with many types of surgery.  This may occur immediately post-operative to several days after the bariatric surgery.  Depending on the severity of the bleeding, the signs and symptoms manifest differently.  Also, the bleeding may not even be noticeable to the untrained eye.  Monitoring of vital signs in the field during a Non-Emergency Transport and having on site clinicians perform a post-op hemoglobin level check can often help early detection of any major hemmoraghes at which point surgeons can seal off any oozing area and avoid major complications.

  •  Leakage through anastomosis

Bariatric surgery basically links up parts of the stomach with portions of the intestine and this invovles anastomosis. Stapling devices are used the majority of the time and in some cases these linked connections can give way. Whenever a leakage of this type occurs there is the risk of intestinal content spilling into the abdominal cavity.  This spillage can lead to serious and in some cases fatal infections like peritonitis and sepsis. Patients should always have a full assessment performed both pre and post-op. Signs and sypmptoms to be on the lookout  for include: elevated temperature, shortness of breath, abdominal pain greater than 6 on the pain scale, abdominal distension and pulsating masses. Often times a careful palpation of all four abdominal quadrants can help detect leakage and internal bleeding early.

  •  Pulmonary embolism

 In some cases, patients have developed blood clots in the lower limbs.  This is largely dependent on patient susceptibility to clots and their individual medical history.  The biggest danger with clots is their ability to dislodge and travel towards the lungs. When clots travel to the lungs, this can lead to respiratory distress and failure. This condition can be fatal without early prevention, diagnosis and mobilization.  Also the clinical use of blood thinning agents in susceptible patients has been shown to be of great aid.

  •  Nutritional deficiencies

In some cases, gastric bypass surgery may lead to deprivation of certain nutrients.  In this case the clinician can work closely together with a properly certified dietician to prescribe special supplements.

Above and beyond any previously discussed risks and complications, some patients are also susceptible to increased incidence of gallstones, ulcers and other infections. Of course close follow-up can help in avoiding these manifestations.

In House Solutions

The truth is that there is no way to absolutely guaranty a perfect outcome.  Patients and providers alike are encouraged to research and then research some more.  Providers are urged to thoroughly explain the demystify complications of bariatric surgery.  Patients are likewise encouraged to follow the surgeon’s instructions for proper care before after the surgery – To a “T”. Doing research and finding an excellent surgical center is half the battle. Patients and providers are both expected to take extra special care after the surgery to avoid as many complications as possible, and to ensure proper healing. Even if all advice has been heeded on occasion a complication will occur. This is the nature of any surgical procedure. Any information to the contrary is completely erroneous.  A competent and ethical surgeon will be forthright in regards to complications but will thoroughly explain the proper planning and care that MUST be taken  Also, patients should consider hiring a private duty nurse.   Any surgeon should have access to a reputable nursing agency, or Surgical Aftercare Center.

 Post Operative Solutions

The newest trend with Los Angeles Bariatric surgery is for surgery centers to arrange Non-Emergency Luxury transportation for their patients.  This service is often reserved for the day of surgery and for follow-up appointments. Non-Emergency Luxury transportation companies are traditionally chauffeur driven  services that have seasoned and certified EMTs behind the wheel and are often equipped with Medical Grade Oxygen and a fully stocked trauma kit.  Transportation of patients includes those coming out of bariatric procedures, plastic surgery, pain management, Dr. appointments, even retirement communities.

 A&E Worldwide Limousine is a private for-Hire Chauffeured Service based in Los Angeles. They provide luxury transportation services in over 350 cities worldwide. For a complete list of services and rates visit them online at aeworldwidelimo.com or contact info@aeworldwidelimo.com For faster service call the Los Angeles office directly at 818-324-0607.

special thanks: Dr Pandula Siribaddana. Helium.com
image: bandingcentersofamerica.com

Everything You Need to Know Before Cosmetic Surgery in Los Angeles

Cosmetic Surgery in Los Angeles

Cosmetic surgery in Los Angeles has a storied History. Both popular media and urban culture have spun plastic and cosmetic surgery into something that is revered, reviled and often misunderstood. Common understanding would define Cosmetic surgery  as a procedure performed in order to alter the shape and physical appearance of a patient for various reasons. Cosmetic surgery can include such procedures as face lifts, rhinoplasty, liposuction/tummy tuck, hair implants, breast reduction/augmentation.  Other popular procedures include Botox, fillers and even the newest in laser treatment.  Depending on the invasiveness of the procedure a few post-operative complications do exist.

Types of Complications

Complications can be grouped into generalized complications (the type seen in any other surgical procedure) and complications related specifically to Cosmetic and Plastic surgery.

  •  Bleeding

This is a common complication with any type of surgical procedure but with Cosmetic and Plastic surgery there is a higher vasculature in specific tissue structures.  As a result of these complications, many surgery centers make innovative use of drains and pressure bandages to staunch and prevent excessive bleeding.

  • Seroma Lesions

In some situations, there exists the chance of fluid collecting between empty tissue space which can cause a lesion known as a seroma. These lesions can be drained easily but, there is a possibility of recurrent seroma formation despite corrective treatments.

  •  Skin death/ necrosis

If the blood supply to a portion of tissue is cut off, it can lead to skin death and may need to be removed. It can affect the result of the procedure and may often lead to serious infection.

  • Slow healing

Slow healing can lead to higher incidence of infection and complications following cosmetic surgery. Patients and health care professionals are urged to complete a thorough medical history evaluation together and identify any medical conditions that require medication or regular care.

  •  Asymmetry/Lopsidedness

This complication is all too common with the abundance of private practices with questionable medical procedures.   There are doctors that have made revision surgery their specialty and this second surgery is often needed.  The necessity of this surgery is dependent upon patient presentation and the severity of disfigurement. Sometimes the second surgery may not have to be performed, as it may lead to further complications in and of itself.

  •  Sensory/motor function impairment

During many cosmetic surgery procedures, there exists the chance of damaging nerves proximal  to the site of surgery.  This is often due to surgeon error or any number of other complications. Consequently, caution should be practiced when performing these surgeries as well as during the post-operative period to avert further complications

  •  Medications

In few cases, where there are repeated surgical procedures, the recurrent use of medication has presented a complication as well.

 

In House Solutions

The truth is that there is no way to absolutely guaranty a perfect outcome.  Patients and providers alike are encouraged to research and then research some more.  Surgical centers are urged to thoroughly explain and demystify the complications of Cosmetic surgery.  Patients should be encouraged to follow the surgeon’s instructions for proper care before after the surgery without fail.

Patients and providers are expected to take special care before and after the surgery to ensure the best possibility for proper healing. Even if all advice has been heeded on occasion a complication will occur. This is the nature of any surgical procedure;any information to the contrary is completely erroneous. A competent and ethical surgeon will always be forthright in regards to expected complications but will thoroughly explain the proper planning and the care that MUST be taken

Post-Operative Solutions

Some patients can consider hiring a private duty nurse.  Any surgeon should have access to a reputable nursing agency, or Surgical Aftercare Center.

Many Aftercare centers have exclusive partnerships with Non-Emergency Luxury transportation companies  These specialized transportation services are often reserved for the day of surgery and for follow-up appointments. Non-Emergency Luxury transportation companies are traditionally chauffeur driven  services that have seasoned and certified EMTs behind the wheel.  Many of these luxury vehicles come fully equipped with Medical Grade Oxygen and a fully stocked trauma kit.  Transportation of patients include those coming out of elective procedures, plastic surgery, pain management, Dr. Appointments even retirement communities

What are some of the challenges you have faced with Cosmetic surgery and what are some improvements that you would like to see in the years to come?

 

special thanks: helium.com  www.plasticsurgerybh.com www.beverlyhillssurgicalaftercare.com

image: www.kck.usm.my

 

A&E Worldwide Limousine is a private for-Hire Chauffeured Service based in Los Angeles. They provide  luxury transportation services in over 350 cities worldwide. For a complete list of services and rates visit them online at aeworldwidelimo.com or contact info@aeworldwidelimo.com For faster service call the Los Angeles office directly at 818-324-0607.