Limousine Charter & Tour

January 2017

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 32 of 93

LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JANUARY 2017 29 Sprinter Coaches by Royale Call today and speak with a product specialist: 1-800-544-5587. 99 Newark Street, Haverhill, MA 01832 | 978.374.4530 · 800.544.5587 | sales@ · Sales & Service Centers: Massachusetts · New York · New Jersey · Florida · California · Nevada © 2015 Cabot Coach Builders, Inc. Where Craftsmanship Counts ™ may have to if fuel prices spike again. The choice for operators is to raise the hourly rate permanently or implement a reason- able temporary surcharge with an expla- nation. Surcharges need to be thought out as most people will question them and consider them invalid. They will simply find another provider, even if the net price is the same with both companies. Price Matching We will never be able to compete with TNCs. While we must adapt the way we price and show our prices for services, it doesn't mean dropping our rates. It means instilling value in what we have to offer and presenting it as a single rate. Andrew Armitage, owner of Vintage Chauffeuring in Plainfield, Ill., says he tells potential clients asking for the low- est rate, "I will not be the company you are looking for. If you want the highest quality and most professional company in the area, then we can discuss why you should book with me." This is a perfect example of how we should be selling our services and presenting a single price for getting the job done. — Jim with a sign and no additional charge. Since an airport tax is assessed to your company, bury it in the base charge rather than showing it as a line item. Look at all the other taxes your business pays such as payroll tax, tax on fuel purchases, and PUC taxes. You know you have to pay these taxes as an operational expense, so reform the simplified charges that TNCs use by in- corporating them into your base rate. Those Pesky Surcharges Some of the hardest charges for clients to swallow are surcharges. TNCs have no surcharges, only surge rates. This means, if you order an Uber at 4 a.m., you will most likely pay the lowest rate. There is minimal demand for service at that early hour. However, many operators advertise they are a 24/7 company, but charge a pre- mium for an early morning or late night ride. Now might be the time to rethink this. Do you pay extra for a gallon of milk if you buy it at the grocery store at 4 a.m.? Of course not. Is the clerk who sold you the milk getting paid more for working the graveyard shift? Probably, but it's built into the price of the milk. No one should be levying fuel surcharges anymore. We pensate the chauffeur for his sacrifice. Airport Pricing No other trip type has seen so much disruption caused by TNCs than airport pickups and drop-offs. TNCs have dis- rupted the entire ground transportation industry at the airport, especially taxis. The extra charges for "airport tax", "air- port parking", "onsite greeter" all add to the dismay of the corporate traveler. Travelers are annoyed when the chauf- feur parks the vehicle, comes into the air- port to hold up an iPad with the client's name, and then walks the client to the car, only to receive a $35 charge because the client wanted to be met inside. In the 1980s and 90s, airport greeters would meet arriving passengers as they deplaned at the gate, walk them to bag- gage claim, call a chauffeur's pager using a payphone and enter a code for "passen- ger ready," and load them in the car. The $35 fee was certainly warranted. With to- day's technology of sending texts to cli- ents with the chauffeur's cell phone num- ber, greeters are almost obsolete. Clients using luxury transportation expect the chauffeur to be present in baggage claim

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