Ask for a quotation: Before you book your airport transfer, be sure to obtain a quote for a fixed price. Many companies will give you a price but neglect to mention that parking is extra, waiting is not included, there’s a premium for travelling at night etc.
Remember to enquire if all of these costs are included in the price.
Book On-line: Booking your airport taxi on-line is the best way to ensure you have a record of the booking. Make sure you receive a booking confirmation from the company. In the unlikely event that anything should go wrong, you have a written record to go back to and check.
Information: Give us much detail about your travel arrangements as possible. A good on-line booking form should include the following information as a minimum, dates, times, number of passengers, collection and drop off addresses, contact number, Terminal information, flight numbers and any special instructions.
Check your dates: It’s easy to make a mistake. One of the most common is for clients travelling trans-Atlantic to give their take of date as their arrival date, when actually they arrive the following day due to the time difference. At any one time there are many drivers at LHR looking for their passenger when they are still fast asleep in their hotel room on the other side of the pond!
Use a meet and greet service: Being met in the terminal means you are not rushed and the driver can assist with your luggage and you able to grab a coffee or use the loo before you set off on the road. It’s tempting to be met in the drop off area but the timing has to be perfect and it’s all a bit rushed. When we 1st started out we sued to meet many clients this way, until one day when a driver got out of the car to help the clients, a policeman jumped in and drove the car to the pound for being illegally parked – true story! They say you learn from your mistakes and we have.
Turn on your phone : Providing your mobile number is an excellent way of allowing the airport transfer company to get in touch. A good company will text you on your arrival back into the UK to let you know everything is ok and this also means you have the driver details. Airports can be extremely busy places and good proportion of the people there have no idea where things are or how to get to where they want to go. It’s easy to miss your driver, even though they are there and having a means of direct communication makes the process far easier and less stressful.
Let us help: Carrying your bags, minding your luggage or just pointing you in the right direction should all be part of the service. Let the driver assist you in any way they can.
Don’t be afraid to ask: If you would like anything during your journey to and from the airport, just ask the driver. To stop for a comfort break is no problem in most instances and a lot of drivers welcome such break as an unplanned chance to stretch their legs. Or you may have forgotten to put a loaf of bread in the freezer, well just ask the driver to stop at the shop for a couple of minutes. This is the difference between a quality airport transfer or Chauffeur Company and a taxi firm.
Feedback: Don’t forget to let the company know what you thought of the service you received. Good or bad a reputable company will appreciate you taking the time to feedback to them what you thought was great about the service and if anything could be improved.
Enjoy the service: Finally, sit back and relax. Many of our clients regard the car arriving as the start of their holiday. From the moment the vehicle pulls up they can be sure they are going to arrive stress-free at the airport in time for their flight. On return they won’t have to find a hire car desk, valet assistant or catch a bus to the off-site car park.
Jack McGivern Works with Spire Travel as a marketing specialist.