Many tourists consider airport transfers a routine part of travel. As a result, they ignore making arrangements ahead of time, even when visiting a foreign country — at the risk of missing a flight, going to the wrong hotel, or being stuck in traffic.
As much as possible, tourists should make private hire transfer arrangements before arriving at the airport, especially when travelling abroad. Doing so empowers visitors to have a local driver navigate through local conditions, traffic, and customs.
A pre-booked private hire is a good option if you’re in an unfamiliar city and don’t want to ride a public bus or rent a car. Many airports have non-specific bus services that serve passengers, terminal workers, and the general public. However, bus operating hours and route schedules can vary significantly, which adds uncertainty for busy travellers.
Here are three private hire options for booking airport transfers:
Most travellers assume they can easily get a taxi upon arrival. However, taxis are often full with passengers at big city airports, especially during busy season or during peak hours.
Larger cab companies often maintain websites that allow travellers to book transport services online. By booking a private hire cab on the Web or by phone ensures that travellers will have a vehicle waiting to pick them at the airport.
However, travellers should note that some taxi services can be a more expensive option than limo services and private shuttles, depending on location. Additionally, unscrupulous cab drivers often turn off the meter and charge higher rates when they see tourists who are desperate for a ride.
Unethical drivers may also take advantage of tourists who are unfamiliar with local surroundings by inflating the fare through longer routes.
Conduct some due diligence on taxi companies you’re considering to hire. Call the airport’s customer service or information desk ahead of time for referrals. Don’t wait until you arrive at the airport to do some research or you can get stuck at the arrival terminal.
By hiring a limo, you can avoid having to wait in line at the taxi stand.
Some limo operators are actually cheaper than taxi providers. That’s because many drivers operate as independent contractors, and do not rent their vehicle from a company. Limo drivers who want to serve more passengers may be willing to negotiate lower fares.
However, it can be harder to conduct due diligence on independent operators, many of whom keep a low profile. The info desk or customer service at the airport can provide guidance on reputable providers.
Some limo companies offer coupons and discount for regular customers. This industry is competitive so travellers should take advantage by doing research on special offers.
Airport shuttles typically offer reliable transfer services. In the context of airport transfers, private shuttles are generally better than public buses. The latter involves unpredictable routes and schedules, and public buses often serve an audience uninvolved with the airline industry, which means — in a nightmare situation — you might end up at the farmer’s market instead of your hotel.
Look for competitive quotes online with a reputable airport transfer company. Research shuttles or minibuses that work closely with your hotel, and you’ll be on your way to a smooth transition out of the airport.
Private hire transport services helps you avoid transfer-related headaches.