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Airport Transportation Options – What “Drives” You?

Airport Road Signs

From delayed or cancelled flights to long check-in lines to turbulent rides, air travel can be a frustrating and stressful experience.  And that’s NOT including transportation to and from the airport.  Adding airport transportation to the equation can elevate the stress of air travel to insurmountable levels.

For those that live in the suburbs, the most popular modes of transportation to the airport are either driving yourself or taking a car service.  In order to deduce which choice is best for most people, let’s analyze what “drives” people to make each choice and try to discern perception from reality.

Driving yourself to the airport

The primary reasons people choose to drive themselves to the airport are:  cost, time, and control.

Key “Drivers” Perception Reality
Cost Driving your own vehicle saves money. You must pay for parking, tolls, and gas.  If you lease your vehicle, you also use miles.
Time You leave when you want, saving you time. You may hit traffic.  Are you equipped to know the fastest route based on traffic patterns in real time?  Are you equipped to stay on top of changes in flight schedules in real time?
Freedom You are free to do whatever you want in your own vehicle.  E.g., stop at the pharmacy to pick up some Ambien, talk loudly on your hands-free phone, sing off tune, etc. Your primary focus should be on driving.  You are not free to rest, read the news, text, or work on your presentation.

Choosing an Airport Transportation Service

The primary reasons people choose to hire a car service are:  convenience, comfort, reliability, safety, and productivity.

Key “Drivers” Perception Reality
Convenience Hiring a professional limousine service alleviates the stress of having to drive through traffic, flip off other drivers, and park miles away from the terminal. No different from perception as long as you hire the right car service. *
Comfort Just sit back, relax, sleep, text, watch videos on your phone or tablet, read, zone out, whatever you want… If you hire the right car service, you’ll be surrounded by luxury, leather, and peace.
Reliability A good car service will ALWAYS be at your home or business 15 minutes before scheduled pick up time. No different from perception as long as you hire the right car service. *
Safety Trained, certified, professional drivers will ensure that you get to the airport or back home safe and sound. No different from perception as long as you hire the right car service. *
Productivity Relieved of the burden to focus on driving, you will be free to read important documents, send timely emails and texts, or prepare for your presentation. No different from perception.

*As you can see, most of the perceptions regarding what drives people to choose a car service match reality… as long as you hire the right company.  Here are some important factors you should consider when choosing which limousine company to hire:

  • Years of experience – as long as their fleet consists of late year vehicles, the older the company, the better.
  • Safety record – Google their safety record and look for any red flags. If their “on time” record is available anywhere, take that into account as well.
  • Industry recognition, accolades – although not a must have, companies that have been recognized by industry organizations and objective 3rd parties have more credibility.
  • Technology – make sure the company has cutting edge communication and GPS capabilities. Tools that enable predictive knowledge of traffic patterns, best routes available, and flight schedules are key as well.

Which will you choose?

The perceived advantages of driving yourself to the airport often do not match reality.  Do you really save time by driving yourself?  Not really.  A lot depends upon location, airport,  parking rates, traffic patterns, etc; over which you have little control.  Are you really free to do what you want when you drive yourself?  No.  Your focus should be on driving safely to your destination, and nothing else.

Yes, it costs a lump sum to use a limousine company.  If budget is what you care about most, you may save money driving yourself for short trips away. On the other hand, if you hire a reputable car service, you are getting value in return.  You are assured you’ll arrive on time; get assistance with your bags; ride in comfort; arrive safely; and get time and freedom to truly do what you want, whether that be work, play, or rest.  You are not bound by the need to be focused, alert and behind the wheel.

Next time you go to the airport, call a good limousine service, sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip.

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