Luxury Coach & Transportation

August 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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CLIENT MARKETS How To Handle High- Profile Funerals When an entire community is watching, there can be no failures. Creating a detailed plan can lead to flawless operations. By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor I have been honored to organize the transportation of many high-profile funerals. Such funerals include those of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, soldiers, celebrities, politicians, or any VIP who draws media attention. ese services tend to draw long pro- cessions of vehicles and spectators. ey can be filled with pomp and circum- stance. Precise planning and execution are required. is means you have to interact with many entities, such as the funeral home, the family, security or police, and sometimes even the media. Learn what kind of planning is involved to make the event flow smoothly. Setting the Stage Most importantly, project yourself as an expert on handling this type of transportation. Remember, you likely do funerals on a regular basis. For the people involved in a funeral, it is a life- time event. e exception to that is a law enforcement or fire service funeral where many protocols are followed based on a playbook. However, being an expert on your portion of the plan- ning will be appreciated by all of those you work with. As soon as you agree to handle a high-profile service, always reach out to the funeral director and establish a working relationship. e director will be invaluable to you in knowing who is who in the family, the estimated size of the funeral, and other vital details. Such information can help you deliver flawless service. Landing the Assignment Don't wait for someone to call you. ey might call someone else. Contact the public information office for law enforcement or fire department funer- als. For government dignitaries such as city, country, or parish officials, call their office. Offer your services for immediate family while expressing condolences. I always comped this ride and inevitably many more rides would be ordered. ere are many sources of income for these rides, but you might have to wait to get paid. Funding might come from their union or a benevolent fund or organization. Your initial offer to provide transportation will open the door for other participants. For example, when famous country singer Buck Owens died in 2006, his company and family directed many celebrities to me who attended the funeral. Getting a Police Escort Getting a police escort for a funeral not involving a fallen police officer or firefighter might take an act of Con- gress, unless you approach the right law enforcement agency with the right request. In general, law enforcement will decline to provide an escort for a private citizen. As famous as Owens was for his days on Hee Haw and Buck Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, Calif., his family approached the local police depart- ment and were declined. e proces- sion would take us on state highways 2 0 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION AUGUST 2019 Remember, you likely do funerals on a regular basis. For the people involved in a funeral, it is a lifetime event.

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