Business Travel

HLO Day 22: Why Airport Shuttles Bite

When I wrote up Lifehacker’s guide to capital city airport transfer options earlier this week, I deliberately avoided door-to-door shuttle services when there was a regularly scheduled public transport option. Today I remembered one reason why: because sometimes they just don’t show up.

I’d booked the Alice Springs Airport Shuttle to pick me up at 0825 this morning, and was waiting at reception at 0815. At 0845, there was still no sign of the bus. Reception called the bus company, which confirmed that said shuttle had already headed to the airport, having decided to simply ignore my booking. I was already nervous about getting an 0825 bus for a 1000 flight to Perth; at this stage I was seriously stressed.

The receptionist, however, cheerfully agreed to throw me the $30 for a taxi fare (“the shuttle company will pay us back”) and called a taxi. Her attitude suggested that this was not the first time this had happened.

Alice Springs airport is only a 10-minute drive and, as my taxi driver pointed out, traffic jams only happen when the creek is in full flow, so I got to the airport with time to spare. But I’m still glad that there’s no airport shuttles left on the rest of the itinerary.

Throughout May 2009, Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman will be travelling throughout Australia with just one carry-on bag for the Hand Luggage Only project.

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