Four Tips on How to Choose the Best Car Service for Airport Transfer
(Airport Transfers for the Pain Adverse)
Frequent business travelers are a knowledgeable lot whose peeves may seem alien to the non-frequent traveler. But for the raccoon-eyed road warrior who logs hundreds of thousands of miles a year, knows every plane’s seat configurations, how to finagle an upgrade on an overbooked redeye, the best lounges from Akron to Hong Kong, can effortlessly navigate miles of concourse, and painlessly avoid taxi lines - for them, the chink in the armor is the perennial question: What is the best car service?
There are a myriad choices, and they all aren’t created equally. Not by a long shot.
And so, dear traveler, this top-four tip list is for you: a practical guide to effortlessly navigate the cavalcade of car service transportation options available for today’s harried business traveller. Although in fairness, they’ll work for anyone who wants to arrive at their destination without a bleeding ulcer.
Trust me: it’s worth it.
NUMBER ONE: PLAN AHEAD
Did I say plan ahead? There’s little worse than holding your soaked hand up at rush hour on 6th Avenue and watching cabs speed by in the rain. Wanna know how I know?
As we start crawling out of our shelters, rub our eyes in the light, and head out on the road again in the time of COVID, travel is guaranteed to be onerous. We can expect longer lines, health screenings, social distancing, grouchy TSA, and fewer flights. But this doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. Nope. There’s a solution. Allow me to say it one more time: Dude, you really gotta plan.
It’s not enough to book your hotel and airline and then neglectfully leave your airport ground transport hanging out there to the last minute. If you want to arrive in one piece, make your airport transportation reservations in advance. Often underestimated, it’s remarkably easy and will make you less of a stress-monster and more productive. Your trip starts and ends with an airport pick-up and drop-off service. The most important factor to insure ultimate peace of mind, besides nine holes at Casa del Zoro before the dreaded yearly planning session, is advance planning.
NUMBER TWO: CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES.
Have you ever tried to get work done in the back of a yellow cab or Uber while you careen in and out of traffic on a mad dash to the airport? I didn’t think so. Don’t be a cheapskate, for God’s sake. There is little price differential between an established chauffeur car service and a first-time gig driver, who uses the family car to pick-up a few extra bucks, but the experience is far different.
The seasoned road warrior, whether on a sales run, a road show, or on the way to a bone-crunching shareholders meeting, books a respected black car service with multi-city availability.
Why chauffeured black car, you ask?
Because peace of mind and comfort are good investments. In a professionally chauffeured black car, one can work in the back, make calls, jot down notes, or dream about that Coquilles Saint Jacques and a chilly Côtes de Provence when you arrive in Nice, or New York. You chose your airlines and hotel carefully, don’t fall on your sword with airport pick-up and drop-off service.
So ask yourself: is there a professional and reliable airport car service near me; one that also has a presence on each point along my itinerary; one that will organize and track my entire itinerary - from the moment I step on the curb for airport pick-up to my drop-off days later. Is it a black car service with a professional, trained chauffeur? Does the company have an impeccable reputation? Will they track my entire trip, adjust for flight delays, traffic, gate changes, weather, and myriad of other humbugs that try the patience of even seasoned travelers? Will they allow for last minute changes (hello wine tasting at the French Laundry). If the answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, book them.
Now! At the time of booking, inform them of your itinerary. It’s that easy. Sit back and feel confident. They’re going to do the rest.
NUMBER THREE: YOUR PHONE IS YOUR FRIEND
Unless you are using a flip phone, it’s not like you don’t use your phone for everything anyway, so it’s not a huge stretch to use it for ground transportation. Your phone is a portal to stress-free travel. Book your car, receive updates, amend, and make quick itinerary alterations with a few, simple swipes and a tap or two. If your airport pick-up and drop-off service doesn’t have a phone-based app, or mobile website (I’m looking at you Yellow Cab), a text notification system, a robust booking and tracking backend, and a dedication to the business traveler, you have definitely chosen the wrong company - or you’re a glutton for punishment. On the other hand, if your airport transportation service is able to keep you apprised and current on your itinerary, and track your progress, complete with text updates, and be flexible, then bingo - you’ve chosen the right company.
Congrats, you get to go to point four.
NUMBER FOUR: WALK DON’T RUN
If you get your jollies from being habitually late, daring the vindictive TSA gods, or you derive masochistic pleasure in madly dashing across the airport and flopping in a sweaty heap into the middle seat next to the lavatory, then by all means - leave yourself thirty minutes from airport curb drop-off to your gate. Knock yourself out. But forget about that upgrade because you’re now in the middle seat. Savor it.
If not, then do as the pros do: leave time for the unexpected. Ask yourself, when do I depart? When do I arrive? How much time do I need at my destination(s)? What is my comfort zone before my flight departs? A good rule of thumb is to leave an hour from drop-off to departure if you have unchecked bags, and an hour-and-a-half if you are checking bags. Personally, I am a nervous traveler, and want a solid hour after TSA. That leaves time to upgrade, if necessary, and to catch up in the lounge. To reduce stress here’s a pro-tip: Join the road warriors and avoid the drive-share caravan of airport transportation. Use a black car service and leave time to complete your expense report or watch the latest episode of Killing Eve. Your choice.
GETTING THERE: THE FINAL FRONTIER
Okay, you’ve got the lay of the land. What now? Yeah, yeah, you can call a rideshare company, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Instead, allow me to save you a world of pain.
There’s a hidden gem in the field - one that is hands down your trusted blogger’s favorite: drvn (www.drvn.com). drvn can do it all, and at a price point that just might make the company accountant forget about your last dinner on the expense report. Maybe.
When reserving private car service with drvn, passengers are always provided with a professional chauffeur, in an immaculate, top-of-the-line, licensed vehicle. They take your private transportation personally, making your itinerary their purpose.
To recap: Plan ahead, choose your airport transfer company wisely, use your phone, and for God’s sake, leave yourself time.
drvn will do the rest. There. You’re now on the way to being a pro. Enjoy.