Worst Airport Shuttle

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sfo1, Jul 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    It seems no matter which airport hotel I stay at, the shuttle I need is usually the last one to arrive. I always see Holiday Inn, Westin, Hyatt, and a few other brand names coming by the pickup stand all the time. I do stay at brand hotels, but it seems like they always have fewer shuttles and I have waited up to 30 minutes for it to arrive. Anyone else find some airport shuttles just don't give good service?
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    We must be staying at the same hotels. Earlier this year I waited nearly an hour for a shuttle from the Hilton Miami Airport. Everyone else had come by twice, and I had called the hotel twice by the time the shuttle finally arrived.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    If you get on your hotel's shuttle when it arrives and leave immediately with it, by definition it will be the last one you see arrive, won't it? Even if it's the first one, it will also be the last one you see,
     
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  4. TheBOSman

    TheBOSman Silver Member

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    Your airport SFO was my worst yet. The hotel I had chosen only ran a shuttle to SFO every 35-40 minutes. Naturally I was 2 minutes late, and waited over half an hour for the next shuttle to arrive :mad:.
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    So many hotels schedule airport shuttle trips 30 minutes apart, which is too much of a gap in terms of extra time to kill as well as the problem of how bad it is when you just miss one. Hotels that run their airport shuttles every 20 minutes would really win my business, almost regardless of anything else.
     
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  6. Gardyloo
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    I will nominate the Heathrow Hotel Hoppa Bus as the worst airport shuttle in the world*. I would argue that the combination of high price, incomprehensible routes and timetables, studied lack of assistance from the drivers, and supremely inadequate and uncomfortable on-bus conditions, raises the Hoppa to the ranks of most-dreaded transport anywhere.

    *Including the guy in Istanbul who "shuttled" us to our hotel in a primordial Ford in which he exceeded Mach 0.5 on the waterfront boulevard, the exhaust noise masking our screams.
     
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  7. Santander

    Santander Silver Member

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    Several times I've had the experience of running out of the airport and watching my shuttle drive away. I really don't like it when hotels don't offer shuttle service at least every 30 minutes. 45 minutes is way too long to wait. I also hate the dreaded waiting game after you call an on-request shuttle. Time always seems to slow down.
     
  8. TRAVELSIG
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    I also vote for the Hoppa. "National Disgrace" comes to mind to describe it...
     
  9. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    At the end of the day, these hotels are doing us a favor by providing free shuttle service though. If we are too busy or our time is worth more than waiting 30 min for the next shuttle, we can always cab it. I completely u/s in that I hate waiting for the hotel shuttle but it's not their main business.

    Now waiting 30 min for a parking lot shuttle... that would be ridiculous because that is basically 100% of their business.
     
  10. Scottrick
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    I hate the Thrifty parking shuttle at SEA. You have no idea if it's running late at night, and if you try to call, it goes to central reservations for the car rental business. Even if they agree to patch you through, it seems to go to the car rental desk, which is closed at night.
     
  11. TRAVELSIG
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    Hotel Hoppa is a for profit business and charges 4 GBP (or roughly $8) per person each way. This is hardly a favour. A family of 4 will spend $32 for a five minute ride on the Hotel Hoppa.
     
  12. sobore
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    Always seem to have this issue with car rental shuttle. Not sure if it just seems like the one you need is never there, or there is some sort of conspiracy.
    Worst was waiting for Dollar at PHX, It seemed like maybe the shuttle was being used for both PHX and TUS.:eek:
     
  13. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    Paying for a hotel shuttle is new for me. All the ones I have encountered have been offered for free. If you have to pay $32 for a family of 4 on the hotel shuttle, why not just take a cab?
     
  14. TRAVELSIG
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    Well the black cabs in London are hardly inexpensive. They mostly don't want to take you as they are waiting for a fare into London.

    The Hotel Hoppa is overpriced, slow, unreliable, and all the hotels surely must profit from it somehow!
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Getting airport passengers into their airport hotels isn't their main business?

    I'd be perfectly happy to pay $5 for the hotel shuttle if there was one every 5-10 minutes. I have taken a cab when it was clear from the onset that the shuttle would take a while (e.g., late night arrival, call the hotel for shuttle service). Many cabbies are rather unhappy when they "catch" your ride to the airport hotel one mile away instead of the passenger going 20 miles into the city.
     
  16. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    I agree that it would be worth the $5 but if I'm not mistaken, charging everyone $5 to ensure that there is a shuttle running every 10 minutes doesn't work out for hotels because many people (at least in the US) avoid airport hotels which charge for their shuttle... even if it provides higher service levels.

    Don't most airports have minimum amounts for cab rides regardless of distance? I know at LAX, it's still a $15 minimum even if you live 1 mile from the airport and then you add the airport convenience fee of another $3.50, it comes out to $20 min. Sure, some of the cabbies aren't happy that they aren't getting the Beverly Hills or further fare but the minimum amount is there to prevent people from taking cabs when it's not worth their time/convenience and to ensure cab drivers at least get a fair amount.
     
  17. MSPeconomist
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    The airport hotel shuttles at MUC are required to charge a fee, IIRC 8 Euro per person.
     
  18. MSPeconomist
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    Twice within the past two years, I've had reservations (as SPG Plat) at airport hotels where you call for the shuttle pick up and it did not arrive. These were both low occupancy periods and the hotel shuttles seemed to think they could get away with not providing the service.

    In one case, I suspect that the driver went off to do some Christmas shopping or stopped for a drink and decided to combine my pickup with that for an airline crew that was expected a bit later. I waited over an hour for a five minute ride on a cold and rainy night. The hotel's GM never bothered contacting me about it, although a concierge rode to the airport with me the next day after I expressed concern that the driver would try something funny as he had displayed quite an attitude the previous evening.

    In the second case, I suspect the hotel employee preferred to watch Sunday night football (that's what hotel staff were doing later in the evening) instead of bothering to drive to the airport. I waited an hour and eight minutes, again for a five minute ride. This time I had quite a discussion with the GM about what his staff had been doing the previous evening; the restaurant hostess and bartender were AWOL too that night and there was no one at the front desk as guests arrived to check in.
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Wouldn't know about most airports, but certainly SFO doesn't. I have had cabbies get nasty when they found out that my fare would be "only" around 6-7 miles. One guy, after first confirming that he took credit cards, "discovered" that his credit card machine wouldn't work when I told him my destination. The dispatcher got involved and accused him of making that up to avoid a "short" fare. After some heated discussion the credit card reader was "unbroken" but at that point I refused to get into his cab and took the next one in line. As far as I know, the dispatcher sent him away without a fare...

    SFO used to give cab drivers who pick up a short fare some sort of pass that gets them back to the front of the line when they return. There was discussion about eliminating that as it caused drivers to drive like maniacs to get back to the airport within the allotted short-fare time (30 mins). I certainly noticed that on many of my rides home.

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/cab-drivers-angry-about-proposed-sfo-fare-policy-c/nKkMD/
     
  20. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    So my take on the worst airport shuttle ever.... the rental car station at IAH going to terminal C. This didn't happen to me but the driver was insistent on putting passenger's bags up for them. A European businessman was intent of handling his own bags and the driver and passenger proceeded to argue for about 3 minutes back and forth about who was going to handle the bag.

    You'd think the driver would just allow the passenger to put his own bag up but instead, he asked him if he wanted to take another bus. Pretty ridiculous treatment by the driver and just being witness to it (being the guy waiting right behind the European passenger trying to get onto the bus to catch a flight) made me feel like never wanting to rent a car at IAH again.
     
  21. Gardyloo
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    It's run by National Express, the big British bus company. Oh, and it's £4.50 if you pay cash for a single journey. Or more, if the driver doesn't have change for a £20 note, which has happened to me on a couple of occassions.
    Most car services will charge around £20-£30 for trips to local hotels, so 4 pax is close to the break-even point, if you can find a car that will carry 4 pax + luggage.
     
  22. Santander

    Santander Silver Member

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    Assuming we're talking USD here, GBP isn't even close to 2x USD anymore. 4 quid is more like $6 now. Still expensive and a poor service, but not quite as expensive as you make it out to be from a USD perspective.
     
  23. MX

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    There is a number of regular city buses (double deckers) that also service the same area. I understand you can ride any of them for FREE, as long as you're in the airport neighborhood. Hotel Hoppa was intended to be a tax on the confused tourists.
     
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  24. TRAVELSIG
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    The Hoppa is 4.50 GBP which is 7.02 at today's exchange rates :)

    Total rip off.
     
  25. TRAVELSIG
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    Yes- however visitors arriving in London usually don't know how to use the bus service.

    Tax in the same way that often the Heathrow connect allows you to arrive at the same or earlier moment at Paddington and costs significantly less than the "Heathrow Express" or at Gatwick depending on where you are going you can take a train for 8 1/2 quid to London Bridge or Farringdon as opposed to 17 for the "Gatwick Express" which takes you to the oh-so-convenient Victoria Station.
     
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