By Teri Davis
It's the busy travel season and since I am in the limo business, I want to share some tips if you are traveling and using a car service or limo company during your trip. There are so many disreputable limo companies that have no business even BEING in business and they give the rest of us a bad name.
I have heard dozens of horror stories from my clients over the past few years that I feel it would be a public service to my readers and clients so that they know what to look for! Here are some things to know that will make your limo service a pleasant one and keep your holiday happy!
1. BOOK EARLY -
I cannot stress how important it is to book your limo service early to avoid disappointment and to make sure that you have a car for your event!! Thanksgiving Day is the single biggest travel day of the entire year!! If you don't book your reservation at least 10-14 days in advance, you will NOT be getting a car.
The same is true of New Year's Eve which is the single biggest night in the industry--BOOK EARLY and USE A CREDIT CARD!! There are several reliable limo service websites, the two best in the industry are limos.com where you can rate your service and airportservice.com where many airport travelers find car service for airport transportation.
You can easily check for limos at both websites and you can find my company, dependablelimos.com listed at both sites! Always use a credit card for your reservation so that the limo service KNOWS you are going to show up and get into the car. If you cancel your reservation within a certain time frame, your card will not be charged, but if you cancel at the last minute and/or don't show up, expect to pay the full price for the trip.
The limo company turned away people to honor your reservation and they expect to be paid for the trip. This is standard practice in the industry, it's just like a guaranteed hotel room.
2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CONTACT NUMBER FOR THE COMPANY.
The airports are packed with people in the holiday season and people get lost in airports and traffic is usually very snarled outside major airports and limo companies are very tightly booked. If your plane is going to be late, then make sure you call the limo company and TELL THEM!! Any reputable company will bend over backwards to make sure that you get your ride no matter HOW late your plane comes in--but it helps if you let them know.
If you get bumped and put on a different flight. CALL AND TELL THEM!! We are not psychic, and the more you help us, the better we are able to serve you. If your flight is early (it DOES happen) then call the company and tell them when you land--and always check your voice mail for a message from the company when you get off the plane.
You might have to wait for your car, but you will get one and a little patience and understanding on both sides helps.
3. AIRLINES LIE ABOUT ARRIVAL TIMES
No matter how many times I receive bad information from the airline about flight times, it still infuriates me that I get incorrect information on a regular basis about flight arrival times from the airlines! If I ran my business like the airlines run theirs, I'd be in bankruptcy too--like so many airlines are!! Jet Blue is particularly bad about this--they have a flight from California to Ft.
Lauderdale that is scheduled to arrive every day at 5 a.m. and it ROUTINELY lands about 4:15 a.m. This is infuriating as in order to meet the plane and get proper sleep, I have to go to bed about 9 p.m. Eastern time--and the plane leaves CA at 9 p.m. Pacific time (midnight EST) and I am asleep since I have to be up no later than 3:30 a.m. to meet this flight. When it arrives early, it breaks my back since it's almost an hour's drive to that particular airport.
4. TIP YOUR CHAUFFEUR.
Most limo drivers work almost entirely for your tips. We are waiters/waitresses with Lincolns. Limo company owners are buried with insurance bills that are ridiculous, as are licensing and permit fees and chauffeurs are working for your tips.
The standard is 20% of the fare for good service and if you receive excellent service. which you do with my company and my affiliates, please show your appreciation to the hardworking chauffeur who drove the car safely, cleaned it before and after you got in and out, carried and loaded your luggage on both ends of the trip and took care of any special requests you made along the way.