Do you still reckon the placard at the gate is still worth it?
In the day and age of Uber, Lyft and Bla Bla Car literally at your fingertips, does the good old-fashioned pre-booked hotel shuttle transfer have any relevance?
To have a driver waiting for you with your name written on a board is a great feeling after a long flight – but at times this doesn’t always go to plan.
The variables getting in the way include the driver/pax being in the wrong meeting place, pax delayed when processed through customs or the driver not turning up at all. Delayed flights regularly seem to be the biggest cause of issues. The human side is, especially in lower socio-economic countries, that these drivers are earning below minimum wage and missing 2 jobs in a row is going to hurt. Especially when pax is thinking “gee, I could just Uber and…”
Here are some things to consider when deciding the best short journey options for your customers.
The type of traveler
My grandparents are reluctant to give out their credit card details online, but the younger generation doesn’t think twice. So the humble pre-arranged transfer would appeal to them in the same way old farts like Mark (MD of roomsXML) happily pay more for the end to end experience.
On a recent trip to Dubai, the transfer company met him airside, got him through customs into a waiting room with water and straight out to a car.
Whereas the impatient twenty-something would be more comfortable with a ride share option as it’s familiar, on their phone, trackable and no cash is required.
It seems to be what most travelers look at when planning. One of our most popular transfers LAX to Anaheim. Uber is about $10 cheaper when compared to a pre-arranged transfer. This can vary with vehicle type and surge pricing so like everything you need to compare prices. Uber is wildly variable in the quality of the experience and non accountable. Let them book it themselves.
Once upon a time, pre-arranged transfers booked ready for you once you land were the optimal convenience. But as mentioned above, this doesn’t always work out. Taxis/ride share companies are generally in abundance and waiting for you to use immediately. Shifting trends.
Technology has changed and the amount of choice we have in terms of transportation has exploded which is an advantage for the consumer.
I’m not against the pre-booked transfer; I think we should be looking outside the box and seeing what else is out there that will benefit the traveler to keep them coming back.